Archive for April, 2009

Memoirs of Embarrassment

April 27, 2009

Much to Your Chagrin: A Memoir of Embarrassment by Suzanne Guillette decides to write a book about other people’s embarrassing stories but ends up discovering she has wealth of her own. I do too.

One time I asked an author to sign a copy of his book that I picked up at a thrift store. When he opened the book he saw that it was already inscribed to Vicky. I tried to play it off that I must have grabbed the wrong copy off the shelf, but it was still embarrassing. That’s a story I can laugh about with my husband.

Then there are other embarrassing stories, like the time I walked through the open door at the subway station to see if I could get away with it, which reflect poor judgment on my part. I blame many of these happenings on youth and indiscretion. Fortunately, the consequences of these foolish and naïve choices were relatively insignificant. In fact, I think the fine for trying to sneak on the subway was the most severe.

College was a breeding ground for testing the waters, and I found just enough balance that made me comfortable. In retrospect, I’m not sure why we stole a street sign with our dorm name one night or why I drove with the pole sticking out from my car’s trunk. But I did. Once I graduated and started my first job, my sister was compelled to warn me that I could not behave the same way in the workplace. “You can’t steal food from the kitchenette,” she said. This is my same sister who visited me on campus and left with crates of prepared salads, cereal and milk.

Triggered by an ad on television, I flashed to a foolish story that occurred my senior year. “Honey, would you like to hear an embarrassing story about my past?” I asked. He said no. And I don’t think it was because he was so engrossed in The Office rerun. My foolish indiscretions would taint his view of me, the mother of his children and would not enhance his respect of me. Yes, it helped me to become who I am and was all part of the maturing process but he does not want to know. I may mention the time of a bathroom slip-up but he has no interest in hearing stories about my walking the line of legality or mingling with another person. So of all of the books I could write, I will not write one of my embarrassment.

Another Jackpot

April 20, 2009

The New York TImes reported that another user generated blog lands a book deal.

Stuff White People Like about things that white people like, such as microbrews, dinner parties and rugby was one of the first books. Then there is Letters from yo Mamma which had users submit notes from their mom.

I’d love to have that sort of success, and I imagine fun with my blog. Since I tend to disclose personal stuff I’m not ready to advertise this site to my friends. But something fun, and clever, and user generated, well I’d make time for that.

I had an idea once to make a documentary about people artist’s and their struggle. But what would be unique would be that each artist’s journey would be documented by the artist himself, the I’d shoot more stuff and edit it all together into a cohesive film. People made their own short films to compete on reality shows like The Apprentice, why not for a documentary? Maybe in my next life.

Statement

April 13, 2009

I’ve decided to attend the writing seminar again this summer. Since my writing time has been limited lately, but I still wanted to post something, I’m posting the statement of purpose that I submitted.

Last year when I applied to the Writers Conference, I had crafted a timeline to complete my novel. It was ambitious but doable, leading me to be more disciplined about my writing than I had been in a quite some time.

After finishing the conference, I was inspired and motivated to complete my novel Multiple Choice. My leader helped me appreciate and develop both the subtle intricacies and larger plot points in writing. Members of my writers group commented on my significant improvement. I was on my way to completing Multiple Choice.

There’s an expression, Man plans and G-d laughs. This winter, with the unexpected illness and then death of my mother, the unexpected pregnancy and then birth of my son, my plans were derailed. Instead of juggling plot points, I’m focusing on estate matters and soiled diapers. Rather than searching for a character’s voice, I’m looking for a bank statements and burp cloths. In lieu of editing the current draft, I’m managing a new business on less sleep. Taking over my mother’s affairs, I have a newfound respect for all that she was able to accomplish as a mother and businesswoman. Knowing how strong and successful she was reminds me of my potential.

With these new responsibilities, a daily structure is beginning to emerge and I remain committed to writing. I know how important it is to finish the book as well as the dedication it requires.

This year will be significantly more difficult for me to participate with two children under two without my mother to babysit but I know how unique and valuable an experience the program is. So I will find a way to immerse myself in the conference yet again. I hope once again to finish the program energized to polish my draft of Multiple Choice.