Thursday, July 30, 2009

When your sister calls, answer it

I received a phone call yesterday from one of my sisters. She stated her concern over what kind of material I might include in my writing project now that I have committed to a memoir. She gently reminded me that she reads my posts insinuating that I should tread lightly where her name is concerned. She also stated that I can write whatever I want about the rest of them since they won't read it anyway.

Of course, she is right about this-perhaps with one exception, maybe two. Regardless, this is hardly cause for alarm. I barely know where to begin much less do I have great designs on breaking up my (ha ha, this is funny. you'll get it later if you don't already) family.

I'm also not out to burn bridges. Relationships are tenuous enough these days. I don't so much think that we're building bridges as knocking down trees to cross a dam.

As it is, I gave her a couple flashbacks I promised to write about her and she agreed they would have to be included. There are so many moments in a lifetime, do we really narrow it down to just a few words?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


"Are you Catholic or Mormon?" Apparently, people only procreate for God. The answer is no. My parents just had a lot of kids. So it was 1975 and there was no farm work to be done in the city--they liked having babies, I guess. Mom isn't exactly forthcoming on any sort of reasoning here and Dad's only comment that I know of was, "Seems like they were all surprises back then."

Yeah, okay, so my parents never learned anything about biology in school and never had to take a health class about the miraculous of the body. Seems it couldn't have been too much of a surprise after, say, number 2? Regardless of why Bev and Chuck multiplied 3 to the 3rd power, here I am writing to tell you all about what a crazy idea it was. Welcome to Penny Jar: A heads up on being at the tail end.

This is my second blog and probably the more focused of the two. I have only been at this a week so far, but my enthusiasm should make up for the other shortcomings (most of which I am probably not aware of). My goal is to use Penny Jar as a catalyst for memoir writing. I have been threatening my family with a book for years and I believe this is the momentum I need.

There is a wonderful English professor at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater named Alison Townsend. I studied under her for a course in Creative Nonfiction several years ago. She had us make a list of "The stories that you keep coming back to." Despite the fact that there are so many other things I would like to write about that don't involve my family, the story I keep coming back to is this: I am the youngest of 9 children. My parents divorced when I was seven. Nobody has ever called me an "accident" to my face, but I think the fact that I was born 9 years after my closest sister speaks for itself.

She has called me, "Afternoon Delight."