Deb Moore, leader of the CALS Writing Circle and teacher of the popular series Memoir Writing for Seniors, recently shared a terrific article as part of her newsletter. (Email dmoore at cals dot org to be added.) I wanted to make notes while I was thinking about it so I wouldn’t forget to come back to this resource. For my own memoir in progress, which focuses on love relationships and sexual experiences, I wondered what my arc, through line, and beats might look like. The example went like this:
I wanted ______________(the desire line).
To get it, I ______________(action).
To get it, I then ______________(action).
But ______________(obstacle) got in my way.
So, I ______________(action).
Maybe my answers would look something like this: I wanted to connect with individuals, experience love, and better understand myself and others. To do that, I tried various partners and kinds of relationships. I explored orientation and ethical non-monogamy. But jealousy and frustration and desire for my freedom got in my way. So I had to determine what my healthy boundaries would look like and how much I was or wasn’t willing to compromise. (Having a polyamory-specific relationship counselor really helped!)
I’m not sure what the conclusion of my book will look like as I’m always experiencing new things, but I think that outlines one way the arc of the memoir could go. Nice! Thanks, Deb, for the share! And thanks to Adair Lara for the great advice.
Just a quick check-in as I update my site. With varying degrees of success I have been handwriting in a real journal with a real fountain pen and ink! I have re-started my sticker obsession and earmarked two favorite Etsy stores for future purchases, Planner Studio and Joy of Planning. (Honestly I have too many favorite shops to list here and you should just follow me on Etsy if you’re interested.) I have dipped my toes into new hobbies–DIY bookbinding and DIY miniatures (building a tiny library). I have taken up drawing and adore this youtube channel (intended for children) that does step-by-step instructions for kawaii (cute) and chibi (little) characters. Plumbers and electricians vy for my attention (funds) and I am facing the conundrum of needing a couch that won’t break under duress (Americans are heavy, dangit!) but also won’t break the bank (see what I did there). My teaching of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way is drawing to a close after three courses worth. I can’t begin to express how important the friendships formed there have been to this EXTROVERT in isolation. I’m watching Utopia (an Amazon Prime original which is completely insane) and reading the fourth e-book of the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater (they are SO GOOD). I’m also listening to the audiobook of The New Moon’s Arms by Nalo Hopkinson after I encountered this tee shirt and realized I only knew 3 of the 5 and needed to ammend that immediately! (NK is next.) I went through a bit of an Amazon addiction so I decided to take October as a Buy Ban month to reset my rabid consumer (someone has to reign her in, probably best it’s me). I’m exercising again and tracking my progress on Instagram. Have I forgotten anything? Probably. Vote him out (grab him by the ballot). Wear your mask. Black Lives Matter. Be kind.