Mary Beth Coudal, co-founder of Boot Camp For Writers, and blogger (The Pursuit of Happiness) invited me to join this tour. I am to answer four questions about my writing process and introduce you to three new bloggers, who will do the same next week and on it goes.
1. What am I working on?
I am working on the finalization of the memoir I began in 2008 titled, Passing Through, (which may or may not remain the title). The story is about losing my parents in relatively close proximity and the slow peeling of thoughts, beliefs and emotions that once covered a more judgmental, less compassionate, me. I believe when information is presented in a digestible manner we can learn to afford the dying safe and dignified passage and the living a guilt-free road upon which to continue. The experience was complicated and transformational.The redemptive lesson: Death can teach you how to live.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
A tough and often asked question. I’m not sure it does (I hear a buzzing noise, that is not the right answer, is it?) Obviously, the specificity of characters, storyline and tone, are unique to me. The experience however remains universal, adding to its appeal. The numbers dealing with death and dying have increased to record proportions as the Baby Boomer generation hits their 60’s and their senior citizen parents reach their 80’s and beyond. We are circling the 120 million mark. Memoirs are being published as Boomers grapple with this experience. I am interested in humane endings and staying present through the (difficult and emotional) process. My memoir is another vantage point that will reach people, differently.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I write because I must. Sometimes my writing helps me process what is happening (as in the case of the memoir). I write to express beauty, or haunting emotion, or intrigue. There are times when the once removed waystation of writing gives me the space to ingest the experience I am living through, working on it in the background, so I may keep my full attention on the present moment, sanely and effectively. I write nonfiction in response to the world around me. My writing started early as part of my sifting, absorption, and comprehension. Since I could think, feel and express, I wrote.
4. How does your writing process work?
Sticking with nonfiction, I write as I see it. I have been known to embellish or delete information depending on what enhances the story. I write when the feeling strikes, it’s not a 9 – 5 for me, never was. But when that desire hits, I must write, like an itch that needs scratching. I almost always have pen and paper to write down scattered thoughts and phrases. Writing allows me to say what I might not otherwise feel comfortable saying, at least not initially. I do write at least three times a week for my blog, http://wendykarasin.com. I find solace and release in writing. As though the experience can live outside me, giving me time for reflection and offering me perspective. I feel better once I’ve written, like a shower after a sweaty, gritty day – I’m cleaned.
Next stops on the blog tour are:
Celia Rhodes, goddessdigitalart.wordpress.com: We have become online writing friends. Although we live across the country and have never met, we’ve established a trust and comradeship.
Celia says: I am: Wife; mother; grandmother. Rebel in a family of conformists. Thinker; seeker. Photographer; digital artist. Funny, irreverent, disciplined and sloppy, lost and found, outgoing and private. At the core, whatever else changes, I am me. Always. My writing reflects these facets, the wisdom and insight gained–often painfully–on life’s continuing journey.