Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Can't Believe I Avoided Time for So Long

I think it was already a month ago that I noticed a new Warrior Writers book was in the works and had a call out for submissions. I meant to get back on right away after I saw that e-mail, but I think that "right away" slipped away a month ago already and I think after I write this posting I'm going to look for my last posting on this blog and think about how long it has been.

I have been writing a whole lot more, and also conspicuously less in some areas. I wanted to enter a creative non-fiction scholarship essay contest in Spring of this year (deadline April 2011) and I decided some kind of account of my deployment would be good to write. After all, I wanted to win the money ($10,000 prize sounds very fine to a struggling single mother) and the climate is ripe for war stories, so I figured I would try.

The problem is I can't remember anything the way it should be told.

My memory is fragmented, my internal timeline is off, and the journal I kept while I was in Iraq? I didn't even MENTION that I was in Iraq one single time.

I was thinking I'd post some fragments on here every few days, and hope for some words of encouragement, workshop advice, or...

Oh, who knows.
I absolutely have to keep writing,
is all.

1 comment:

  1. You got it. Just keep writing. It sounds like you have many stories, not just one, which would probably make good material for several pieces of "unconventional narrative"--instead of a regular linear story that begins at the beginning proceeds to the middle, climax, resolution + end. Think about movies you've seen that began at "the end," perhaps in the present, which can be a frame for your story. Or, for another type of example, consider the movie 21 grams. I think that begins in the middle and flits around with time back and forth--sometimes running stories of people parallel to each other. In fact, "unconventional" is basically conventional these days. My suggestion is to not worry about creating one all-inclusive narrative. It sounds like you have many stories, a unique relationship to time and memory, and lots of raw material. Try to use "unconventional" narrative as tools. Carve out several different stories that seem to work together -- look for common themes, experiences and ideas. Mix and match timing, play with it, have fun. Then once you have a bunch of pieces that make sense when they go together, tie them together with "glue" made from a few more words that you write. You could convey your experience with memory and time through the structure, actually. Sounds like you have the beginnings of some writing that could become quite compelling for many to read.