Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Book

I just finished reading a book by Mary Higgins Clark. In Acknowledgments she said "Perhaps the question I am most frequently asked is," Where do you get your ideas?" she answered that "She may read a short article in the news paper or magazine, and for some reason it sticks in my mind." And when I read that while looking for something to read while waiting in the Dr.'s waiting room, I bought the book WHERE ARE YOU NOW? It sounded as if there might be a serious lesson in that book. If there was, it eluded me. But I was transported into another world that held me tightly for several hours.

My daughter number three has asked me repeatedly to get my act together and to make a PLOT CHART and to seriously plan to write a book about my past. This Blog is probably the most serious attempt so far. What I found while reading Mary Higgins Book is that I do not like to read a book that has too many jumps from one season to another. I like books that have a beginning and a middle and an end. I like people to appear as they happen to fit into the time schedule. If they need to be introduced, do it there. I you need to tell why they are important to the story, let it develop. (Blockbuster Plots)

Now, why have I jumped from 1938 to 1970 and back to 1945 ? And why have I gone back historically to my relatives lives. Because I run out of memories of my own? Or because there are times I can not talk about because they are too difficult to get into.

I will ask my Plot Daughter what my problem is. And I will tell you exactly what she answers. And maybe we will all learn together how to do it. See what happens next.


Barbara said...

I personally like your story AS IT IS PRESENTED in the blog. Strange you should write about this now, I was going to write to you to say that, in my opinion, you have a powerful book in the blog as it is,and all you need is a publisher who is smart enough to see it.
I would think that younger people, who have been brought up on communications technology and truly think differently (see book The E-Brain by Dr. Gary Small) would take to it as a most natural narrative, and people like me (though we were brought up on beginning, middle, end) just take to it. Part of the lure of your narrative is that element of surprise, we learn about things, then they fade out, until later, they pop in again with more power than they would have had if we hadn't learned of other things in between.

Plot Whisperer said...

I remember years ago, Dad was still alive, when I suggested you each write one page a day and fax me the results (this was before emails, etc.). I have a truly thick file folder of the entries you sent me, Mom, filled with authentic, sensory details. In contrast, Dad's file is much skinnier -- he was a 'facts and nothing but the facts' sort of writer.

Although she says I'm always after her, I'm truly not. I try not to influence my mom much other than to encourage her to keep at it. She's got a terrific "voice" and style of her own.

What I know for sure is that this blog that Shreve created for her grandmother has brought my mother enormous pleasure, mostly because of loyal followers like Barbara and all the rest of you.

Deepest gratitude to you all...

Ter-o-fla said...

Well, I do not often comment, but I do check in every day or so.
It is fine the way it is - there is no need to change anything, as far as I am concerned.
The memories are precious and they are presented very well.
Thank you. :)

Emiana said...

I too like how the blog has developed. Memories come as they come and one thing triggers the next. The sequence says alot about you as well and where you are in your thought process. I've enjoyed that aspect very much as well. I read this blog regularly and I look forward to it immensely. I love the fax a page a day idea. How clever and lovely. I might have to ask my parents to do that. They have so many stories. Thanks for sharing yourselves, ladies.

Sandra @ The Memory Workshop said...

I've enjoyed every bit of your blog, and I don't mind the randomness of it at all. The only thing I would suggest is that you include the year, or at least the decade, to which you're referring so we have a point of reference.

I have a little giggle when I think that your memories are often from Before Sam (BS) or After Sam Stockton (ASS).

I have a scrapbooking business and I'm always encouraging other scrapbookers to let go of the chronological approach to preserving their photos, and to instead focus on one memory or event at a time. It's much more productive and fun to scrapbook what insprires you, not "what's next" on the calendar. We don't recall our memories in order so it's not necessary to store them in order.

You have the most wonderful, creative and supportive family!

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

You do a lot of craft work. Have you ever made a quilt? I think the blog posts are like the pieces of the quilt. You are getting the information together, choosing the material, the colors and patterns. You're just cutting out the blocks of fabric now and haven't started to assemble them.

After you've cut out a lot of blocks/written a lot of posts, you can begin assembling the pieces. When you lay them all out you'll see what pattern you want to make with them. You'll figure out how to assemble them. You'll match one story with another and a narrative will develop.

All of this is to say, don't worry now too much about assembling the pieces, the individual stories, into the larger whole right now. Just write as many memories down as you can and don't worry about the big picture.

When you feel you are at the point that you can't remember any more, then look at how to put all the little stories into one big story.

Anonymous said...

Well ..Svensto..
I love the graphics of your title. So simple but lovely.
I have finally read all the background and am now caught up. There were way too many nights of staying up too late, but it was so hard to stop reading!
I found you through Shreve's Blog and will be forever grateful. I have enjoyed every minute of it. I have laughed out loud so many times and been sad about your mothers lack of love for you, which was her loss. She must have had some mental block to have been unable to love such a lovable person.
I love your paintings and would like to see more. Do you sell them?
Martha still has such an incredibly beautiful smile, I noticed that before I knew who she was.
I am looking forward to reading about many more days of your life! I'd like to hear more about your trip around the world. Thanks so much for your blog.

Hugs from Alabama.


Anonymous said...

Svensto, here is some AMD info for you.
An article on Macular Degeneration. http://www.uabmagazine/2009/june/macdeg
Both my parents had it.
Do you have a grid to look at daily or weekly? You cover one eye at a time to check the sight in each one. Your eye Dr can give you one. There is probably one online you can print out. It will catch any new problem quickly so it can be seen to.
There is also a good quarterly newsletter if you are interested that keeps up with the latest research and vision aids. It's called "Eyes Only" put out by Assoc. for Macular Diseases. 210 East 64th St. NY NY 10065 212-605-3719


Joanna said...

I've enjoyed the stories from Day One. The randomness is quite charming. I don't know that it would work as well in book just jump from place to place. But, it works very nicely on the blog.

pogonip said...

Random thoughts work for me! Your blog is perfect just as it is and I always enjoy reading your entries.