Upgrading the Past

Baby, it’s cold out there.  The snow is so fluffy, it should be swept, not shoveled.  And I’m inside with an oven that doesn’t want to cooperate with my demands…like going to a certain temperature and staying there.  A repairman is supposed to arrive any month now to look at it and see if it’s repairable.  Again.  To be honest, I wouldn’t mind replacing it. 

In the middle of NaNo, a contest was put up by one of the editors at Girls with Insurance .  I liked the premise, but didn’t have time to work on it.  This week I did.  I’m not a writer of nonfiction very often.  It is getting a bit easier though.  The name of the contest is “You Could Have Had Me.”

The piece I wrote, “What I Was Going to Remind You of Someday” does have elements of truth in it.  So much was added though, it seems a bit like fiction.  It takes place when I was seventeen or eighteen.  I don’t know.  It probably isn’t any good at all.  I sent it to 4 people.  Two have not gotten it yet because it went out in the holiday cards I sent yesterday afternoon. The one reply I did recieve said it was convincing. I think it reads like an upgraded bit of my past where there was cause and effect and it all made sense somehow.  Nothing like the life I actually lived back then.   

I’d been considering the idea for a month then wrote it in my notebook in less than an hour.  I touched it up, deleted 1/10th of it and sent it in.  The maddening thing is that the contest doesn’t close until 31 January.  That’s a long time to not even know if it landed in the correct email inbox. I absolutely felt like I was cheating, too.  I know Dawn isn’t the editor to choose to send nonfiction to at that magazine, but still…

I’ve been in correspondance with somebody who doesn’t want to remember anything about his past, saying it’s long gone.  I challenged him, asking  how else he would know what to write, what details to lend to a story if he could only use his present.  I think it’s preposterous not to consider what you know to be true to add to a story.  I can write about working in a strawberry feild because I did.  I can only imaging working as a forklift truck operator because I have not.

Well, since this is another Friday instead of a Thursday, I’ll chasten myself for not writing this blog entry in a timely fashion.  As this appears to be the last entry of this wonderful year, I wish you joy and thank you for reading.  If I still made resolutions, perhaps I’d strive to be on time next year.  Happy New Year!

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