Mascot for #DevilDiss

Mascot for #DevilDiss
Mascot for #DevilDiss

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Ideas for This is Not a Memoir

My MA program, despite all its bullshit, was creative. People brought guitars. Designed t-shirts. And every week we had readings- Blue Parlor in Vermont, Blue Mesa in Santa Fe. Every week people signed up to read things they'd written- poetry, short stories, whatever they had. I remember reading just about every week. It was a weekly impetus to write, to have something. It was a weekly challenge. It was great.

I have always written creatively- bad poetry. Short stories. Creative non-fiction. Since 2001 I have kept a writer's notebook. But the last couple of years I've had an idea in my head. A creative itch I can't scratch, can't get rid of, keep circling back to.

I already have the cover art all picked out:
At first, This is Not a Memoir was just an idea of writing creative non-fiction.
Then I encountered Lynda Barry's  Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor. This project jogged something loose- the drawings, the writings, the responses, they were familiar to me. My writer's notebooks are similar. I lean more towards stick figures in my drawings, as my students can attest, but my writer's notebooks are collages- print outs of pictures, color Post-Its as additional thoughts, layered pen colors as I revisit and respond to older writings.

So I started to think of a big, mixed-media project. One that similar to Barry's project, would have scans/images of my writing notebooks.
Interspersed with these pages would be other pieces- pages like this that were first thoughts, doodles, brainstorming, for later pieces. Like this one, "Not Ready To Give Up. Or Am I?"
But I don't just want this, I want to intersperse short fiction stories among these pieces. Stories that feel like true stories, but per the title, are not.

I have no idea where this would go, who would be interested.
But I think, with this next year, with decks cleared of a lot of things, I might start putting this together the way I imagine it- go through my 25 writer's notebooks, start choosing and curating pages, scan, crop, and clean up the images. Then start pulling short stories, writings, scribbles. Then write some new stuff, revisit these things, reimagine. Pull it all together, see what I have.

So what do you guys think?

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