I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD SLAPS, SPEED BUMPS and LIGHTBULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

To write how she talked


This small suitcase is similar to the little black makeup case which held my mother's manuscript for over twenty-five years. It was discovered in my attic on the eighth anniversary of her death, April 16th (check out my post on that date), I explain why I am writing about my mother's lost and forgotten novel.


I’m up to chapter six and though my mother’s writing is first-draft bad, the story is compelling.

In my words:
Twenty-two year old Marty inherits all of Uncle Toby’s holdings, the huge run-down inn where he died and 1200 acres on the Connecticut River. She and Abby, a young friend from college, decide to live in the inn and fix it up. Though Marty has walked by Uncle Toby’s room many times she has not yet discovered the bag which rolled under the bed and has yet come to terms with being the last member of her family.

In her words:
Marty listened attentively as her friend endeavored to explain that the relationship in families can be so intimidating that at times one finds it veritably impossible to retain ones identity. The ties that bind might, at times, be so excruciatingly tight that one wished to loosen them a bit to allow for independent moments or thoughts.

In my words:
And that was my mother, a woman who became a secretary for the head of a huge company, (today’s administrative assistant), a woman that could have and would have run that company eventually, except that my father’s job required they move cross country. She went because as she often said, “God-dammit, his job comes first”. She bent and molded her future to fit his and ours. Regret came later, I think, which settled into, “well that’s the way it was, fuck it; can’t change the past, so pour me another vodka on the rocks.”

I wish she had written like she talked. Her use of language was as real as honesty is brash. That filter people have to quell words, so as not to hurt someone’s feelings, she didn’t have that.  I think I miss how openly honest she was, and yet maybe not, she could be brutal. The Maureen O’Hara character in the John Candy film Only the Lonely, that was my mother. I haven’t seen that movie in years but maybe I should, just to revisit the woman who was my mom.

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