"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." ~Ray Bradbury
It occurred to me today that, although I've mentioned my other writing projects in passing, I haven't described them with any detail. Lately my mind has been completely wrapped up in my stalled fiction WIP, a contemporary story about love and infidelity, but even though I'm having trouble with that novel, I am staying drunk on writing by working on a couple of other projects in the meantime.
The first project, my father's memoir, is close to my heart, a story that I want to tell both because I think it's important to record family history and because I think that my dad's career as a logger in Upper Michigan is something that would interest the locals. My dad grew up as the oldest of ten children, with about twenty-five years between him and his youngest brother, Jeffrey, who passed away last summer. Uncle Jeff was actually several months younger than my dad's own son, my brother--definitely an interesting dynamic. Dad has so many stories about growing up among all those kids and about logging with his father, from the early days when horses, rather than semis, were still used in the woods until he retired several years ago. He's recorded many of his stories for me, and I'm in the process of transcribing them--a long, painstaking job--and deciding on the focus and direction I need to take as I write his story.
My other project is also a memoir--my own. I was a NaNoWriMo rebel last November; instead of writing a novel, as the rules require, I wrote about memories from my own life--my childhood, school years, first loves, my marriages, the births of my children... I ended up "winning" NaNo, exceeding the required 50,000-word count by more than 20,000 words, which just shows that I can blather on about myself with the best of them! I've had this project on hold since November. I need to think about a unifying theme, that one thing that my memoir is about, which, since doing so involves stepping back and looking objectively at my own life--at moments I lived--is proving to be difficult. I'll go back to it one day, though, if for no other reason than to ensure that my kids will know what my life was like and how it shaped the person I am today.
In addition to these projects, I work on several smaller pieces each day, from vignettes to short stories to other writing that defies easy classification. I'm always working on something. I have to write. It's the only thing that keeps me sane.
I'd love to hear about your projects. What have you been working on lately?