Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Posted by Laurel Garver on Wednesday, January 06, 2010 12 comments
I had lofty plans to blog about epiphanies for Epiphany, but I am just too brain-dead today. Preparing a piece for Nathan Bransford's YA diary contest entry about killed me. I excerpted from an autobiographical story in progress I started writing kind of on a dare (fie on you, Simon!). Reliving some of the worst bits of growing up with a bipolar parent is not my idea of a good time, but it's what I have to offer the world by way of an authentic teen experience. I'd forgotten how exhausting it is to tame the shame long enough to start exorcising this particular demon. I could use a good primal scream about now, followed by a long winter's nap.

12 comments:

  1. And here I thought you were going to toss of a page from Dani's fictional diary, but you go and post fictionalized autobiography? Wow.

    Really, congratulations on digging down with that one. I read it, and it's excellent. Does it help, to get it out and down in pixels? I've found that with my own autobiographical stuff.

    Now go take that nap.

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  2. Kudos for you for meeting the dare and entering the contest. Can't say I'm up for that, this time.

    I'd like to join you on that long winter's nap.

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  3. I find that anything with an autobiographical tang to it is so much more emotionally difficult than pure fiction, even if it's a positive experience.

    I agree with Simon. Go take that nap. :)

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  4. I always in favor of a long nap. It sounds like you've definitely earned one. I think it's great that you're tackling such an important issue. There are a lot of kids out there who will benefit.

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  5. Laurel, I read your diary entry and was awed. It really stood out among the many I looked at. Sorry it's taking an emotional toll, but you did cut to the heart.

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  6. Give your brain a rest Laurel, don't let it clog it all up. I entered it too, among the other 200 something people. I doubt mine will even get noticed but hey, a girl can dream right?

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  7. Laurel, you should post your paragraph here so I can read it! I am toooo sleepy to go scroll through the entries over at Nathan's blog. :)

    And I feel your pain. My WIP (the one with the Laurel!) is fictionalized fact. It's HARD to write it.

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  8. Simon: I'd meant to use something from one of the WIPs, then I started reading other entries and felt this strong tug to do something extremely risky--be authentic in a way some of the others weren't. And no, it didn't really make me feel better to write it. I just feel wrung out trying capture the real emotion in all its complexity: the aching love and desire to fix things all mixed up with shame and helpless rage.

    Now, that last sentence felt good to write. Whew. Therapy at last. :-)

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  9. Elle: I can understand sitting one out. It sounds like you are making good progress with your WIP.

    Karen: I so agree. I'm remembering once again why I almost never write autobiographically. It's incredibly draining

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  10. Shannon: Thanks. I can't tell you how many times I've had someone pull me aside to talk privately about their own family's struggles with a mentally ill family member. I will someday write a whole book on this, once I've developed the skills to do it justice.

    Tricia: Thank you for the kind encouragement. I'm not convinced it's the best I could do, but it's what I seem to be capable of writing now.

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  11. GWOE: Last I checked, there were well over 600 entries! Yowza. And thankfully I did get that nap.

    Amber: I guess I could put it in the sidebar. I still feel incredibly squeamish about this piece.

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  12. Ok, it is in the sidebar now for those who are curious.

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