men / mom / neurotic thinking / writing

the death man

the front of a card made by my mom--a self-portrait

the inside of the card--my dad

NaNoWriMo is coming. I haven’t been writing and have been overwhelmed at work, and so thinking that I can write a novel in November is foolishness. But I love NaNoWriMo.

And I’ve got an idea.

Before my mother died, she started a novel. She called it The Death Man and it was autobiographical. It is about her ex-boyfriend, and the title perhaps gives away her feelings about him.

I’m thinking to finish the story.

I may not be up to the task. But someone has to tell the story. I want to go on and on about him here, explain everything as I remember it…

Have you ever tried to tell the story of someone close to you? A writer friend talked about this the other day, and he said he couldn’t finish the story because the facts kept getting in the way of telling the best story.

It’s been so long since I’ve written anything worthwhile, I may be worrying over nothing anyway.

7 thoughts on “the death man

  1. The problem of facts getting in the way of the story is the problem of any biography, autobiography, memoir, …. You have to decide which facts are relevant and how to present them. Whether you can tell your mother’s story depends on how well you know it. If you know it well, I don’t see why not.

  2. I think we all need periods without writing, fallow periods, to let the ideas mulch and worm.

    I think that if you write this story of your mother’s it can’t help but be your story, because your voice is so strong.

  3. I love it when you post your mom’s art.

    Sometimes when a story has to be told, it doesn’t matter if it ends up “worthwhile” to anyone besides the author.

    I’ve been happily sworn off Nanowrimo for a couple of years. I’m surprised to feel the itch again.

  4. Love the card. (Especially — oddly, maybe — the inside picture of your father: he appears to be bringing you all those flowers, maybe, but when you enlarge it, they seem to be wrapped all about him, like a loose cape.)

    Good for you for pursuing NaNoWriMo. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with this year.

    That title can certainly lead you in a dozen different but equally haunting directions!

    • P.S. I like Sherri’s point: the ideas “writing a book” and “publishing a book” are so ingrained in us as two halves of a whole that we forget the simpler values (and pleasures) of just doing the first part alone.

  5. You are a NaNo fiend! LOL I think it sounds like a fun idea, and at the same time, an incredibly pressured idea, especially at holiday time like that.

    Now, if it was in Feb, I might even think about it. πŸ˜‰

    Have fun and good luck with your idea. πŸ˜€

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