Back and Forth Through Life


In browsing the remains of my local Borders a few days before it closed, I purchased a book called “Old Friend from Far Away — The Practice of Writing Memoir” by Natalie Goldberg (author of the most-excellent “Writing Down the Bones”).  I bought the book for three reasons:

1)  I really like Natalie Goldberg’s work

2)  I am interested in memoir and learning to write it

3)  I thought the book might help inspire blog posts and (maybe) inspire me to write more.

Today’s prompt was “I Remember.”  Two simple words . . . and my mind flooded with images.

I remember . . . the house in Clifton Park where I grew up and the huge sycamore tree that grew in front . . . planting a maple tree with my mother . . . endless games with my best friend, David Micklas . . . catching the school bus . . . the anticipation of Christmas and my belief that the ornaments waited each year for the moment when they would be unwrapped and put on the tree . . . my first dog, Yogi, and the last time I saw him . . . my grandmother’s funeral . . . high school graduation . . . the day my nephew Josh was born . . . my first high school crush . . . acting in school plays . . . taking driver’s education . . . turning 18 and ordering my first alcoholic beverage (a sloe gin fizz, of all things) . . . my first college crush . . . my first broken heart . . .

The memories are endless, each one inspiring another to rise to the surface of my mind.  I am a tattered quilt, a mosaic composed of a bit of shattered mirror, a blood-red crescent, a sweep of midnight patterned with stars.

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About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Essays, Melissa Crandall, Memoir, Memory, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Back and Forth Through Life

  1. wow cool memoir! keep it up!

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