Thank you for sticking with The Debutante Ball as it passes the baton to its 10th class! This blog peppered me with humor & hope for years as an aspiring author; I’m honored to have the opportunity to contribute. My 52-week stint starts now:
A friend recently commented that life has thrown enough complications my way to merit a memoir, but an exceptional memoir requires you to hand over the whole of your truth, along with your version of other peoples’ truth, and I’m too territorial for that.
I wish I LIKED MY LIFE were 100% fiction because that would mean I’ve never experienced the kind of loss that leaves you physically heavier than before. When I was fifteen, I lost one of my closest friends in a tragic car accident. It remains an alarmingly defining moment in my life. Introducing grief to raging teenage hormones and a fierce desire for independence shifted my priorities, perspectives, and curiosities, as well as shook up my relationships—with friends, family, and passersby. Suddenly everyone held the possibility of a private hell to hide. I LIKED MY LIFE started with a desire to explore mourning at that tender age.
Tapping into that challenging time is where the nonfiction ended and the storytelling began. I was inspired by a sentiment from Adrienne Rich’s poetry: If we could learn to learn from pain even as it grasps us. Isn’t that a powerful thought? I love the idea that slivers of beauty exist in life’s most antagonizing moments, if only you know where to look. I set out with three characters—Madeline, Eve, and Brady—as they learn exactly that, each on their own timeline and in their own way. I wrote the book for me. That their journey might find its way to living and breathing readers is wild.
And who knows? Maybe I’ll write that memoir and release it 60 years later, Harper Lee style.
A sidebar to the universe, on the off-chance it follows this blog: I’m all set with untimely loss, Rottweiler attacks, and near-death experiences. If you’re looking to hook me up with writing material, I much prefer mysterious flower deliveries and winning lotto tickets.
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