This happened . . . Prompt #402

Today’s prompt is inspired by a talk Ianthe Brautigan gave on March 5, 2001. Memoir is a journey. Just because it’s your life, don’t think you know the end. A beeper could go off and change everything. Life is like a box of chocolates . . . you don’t know what you got until you bite into it. Sometimes your life makes sense after you write and digest your findings. Ianthe suggests writing a memoir in an unusual way, not “this happened and then that happened.” To start: Write excerpts from your past. Write your stories. Don’t worry about where they will go. Tell your story as if sitting around a campfire. If you need inspiration:  Make a collage from magazine articles/photos about what you want to write about. Look at these when you need a nudge to write. Once you start writing, let go of how you should write….

Guest Bloggers

Story of A Reluctant Memoirist

Guest Blogger Zoe FitzGerald Carter, author of Imperfect Endings: A Daughter’s Story of Love, Loss, and Letting Go (Simon & Schuster), writes about being a reluctant memoirist. I never intended to write a memoir. As a reader, I’ve always preferred fiction to non-fiction and my book, Imperfect Endings, which is about my mother’s decision to end her life after struggling with Parkinson’s for many years, started off as a novel. I wanted to write a fictionalized account of my experience growing up as the youngest of three girls and explore how it felt to have two powerful older sisters fighting over my soul. My idea was to create a crisis in my characters’ lives as adults and then show how the old alliances and animosities from their childhood were re-ignited by this “current” event. At the time, I was struggling to make sense of my mother’s suicide and I thought,…

Book Reviews

Imperfect Endings by Zoe FitzGerald Carter

Sometimes you read a book and it turns out to be perfect timing. You might not know it when you start the book but then, as you read and your life unfolds, the unexpected becomes a gift. That’s what happened as I read Imperfect Endings by Zoe FitzGerald Carter. In Imperfect Endings, Zoe  expertly tells the story about her mother’s decision to end her life and the difficult days that follow. Zoe deftly weaves the end-of-life narration with childhood experiences as she and her two sisters navigate this unexpected turn in their lives. Written with grace and honesty, Zoe captures recognizable emotions about how we get along, or don’t get along with our parents and our siblings. Her eloquent exploration of these primal feelings is like art in its simplicity and transparency. Zoe says to her sister, “I’m totally losing it, Han. I feel like I’m sleepwalking.” “You’re overloaded,” Hannah…