I have made the decision to pull my fiction manuscript out of the desk drawer where it’s been hiding for several years now and shift it back to the memoir it was originally meant to be. I have already begun the process of changing the names back to the “real” ones and removing anything that isn’t 100% true, at least from my perspective, and it feels good.
I worked on this book several years ago under the guidance of my writing mentor, John Rechy. John is a well-known and wonderful writer who in several of his books has taken his real life and written about it lyrically and with great clarity. These now-famous books were marketed as fiction because John’s logic is that memory is faulty as well as subjective, thereby making true “memoir” nearly impossible to render. Alas, while I respect that view, my decision to shift my book toward a more fictionalized world has created a manuscript that is, for me, emotionally dissatisfying. And while I am aware that fiction often sells better than memoir (unless you’re very famous), I know that my book, as it is currently written, holds neither the lyricism nor the clarity to capture the attention of the serious reading public. That leaves me with nothing to lose to pursue my original vision, which was to chronicle this sometimes challenging/painful/growth-inspiring time of my life.
So, with that all said, I will most likely be posting segments of this book on my blog in order to give myself a way to work on it in the evenings during the time that I normally have allotted for writing my blog pieces. I don’t know if I’ll do this every day or only occasionally, but whatever the case, I will be doing it some.
I am excited about this decision, and, believe me, I have not been excited about this book in a very long time. I will do my best to tell this story as authentically as I can, given my skill level. What skills I lack, hopefully, I’ll make up for in good-hearted effort.
This is the story of when Ray, our three daughters and I moved from rural Texas to Beverly Hills in 1994 to help my brother Jim as he faced his battle with AIDS.
I will begin tomorrow night.
And now, I believe I’ll head to bed after a day that has held a few challenges…
We’ll talk again tomorrow.