Weekend Round Up — A Project Worth Doing Well
I’ve been writing all summer with the goal of sending my book proposal out in September to procure an agent. I’ll be writing again this weekend. And it’s going out, just a bit behind schedule. I’m ok with the delay because the extra polishing is making a significant impact on the quality of the piece.
Here’s the thing, non-fiction is sold on proposal, while a detective novel for example, is sold on manuscript. Meaning if I was talking about a murder with a candlestick in the library, I would write the whole book and then look for representation.
But non-fiction, in this case memoir, is a whole different animal. The proposal is comprised of several parts including three sample chapters — the first three chapters of the book. It’s the layering of details and fluffing of memories I’m working on now and they make ALL the difference in the story’s narrative.
I’ve been writing this book in my head for over a decade. There’s no way I’m rushing the actual writing of it based on a fictitious deadline. It’s ready when it’s ready.
Chapter one opens with the moment I hear a knock on the door, on Thanksgiving Day. It’s my husband’s boss with the news there’s been a scuba diving accident and we need to go to the hospital—now. That’s all I know, and it’s all you know because I’ve written the book in present tense. There’s no recounting the story with 12 years distance. You’re strapped in, in the seat next to me as I unravel the day of his death and in the months afterwards.
I won’t forget to tell you about the call from the Organ Donor Registry and how I ask them to not donate his eyes, because I can’t see them on someone else. I’ll feel ashamed for asking, but I’m unable to take it back. I’ll talk about my first night and how I can’t close my eyes without the imprint of Zak’s form lying in the emergency room, still dripping with water from the Atlantic. I recount how I become an unwilling expert at delivering bad news. Rather than spreading holiday cheer, I’m ruining everyone’s Thanksgiving holiday.
I get sweaty just typing this message to you all. The remembering and the recounting. As I write and layer in details, I’m reliving it. I type fast and keep my eyes down, my breath comes in short gasps. I’m in survival mode. Hiding from what I know is coming. But it’s necessary, this telling.
Other than this book, I’ve only written about a small part of this story, one other time, a few years ago. If you’re interested, you can read it here.
In the meantime you know where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing. Writing my chapters, layering and fluffing.
But that’s all I want to say about that right now. I want to know what you guys are doing? When I need a break from this writing, it’s fun for me to know what you guys are up to. Also, I gathered some fun links from around the web. I do love a curated list.
The story behind the greatest internet food comment of all time.
The difference between open-minded and close-minded people.
Fall is the time to give things up. You know like the trees give up the leaves? Like that.
Ciao for Now!