How can we call it creative nonfiction when you’re just re-telling something that happened? I mean, how is this different from reportage? Or journalism? Actually, what is the difference between reportage and journalism?
These are questions I ask myself everyday, because as a Creative Writer, I have to ask a lot of questions and reflect on my actions, always. Like ketchup, what is ketchup? I mean, we know it is a tomato-based condiment used mainly on burgers and fries, but is ketchup a sauce? And what is the difference between sauces and condiments? These are things I think about…
But among my reflections is this neglected dust-covered hope chest I call my relationship history. Can you believe (yes, you, dear reader) that it’s been well over a year since I’ve gone on a date date, and not just one of those “SURPRISE! Now-where-did-my-pants-go?” dates (sorry Mom).
So as a test of my Creative nonfiction prowess (a test of which YOU will be the judge), I present to you…Remembrance of Dalliances Past: Famous Last Words in Haiku Form*
“You and I will play
A game where I will pay you
to dress normally.”
“What’s that thing?” I asked,
“Oh this?” he said, “This is called
a Power Balance.”
“You’re at 26,”
“No wait” he paused, “Probably
more like 28.”
“I can show you test results,”
So you won’t worry.”
“Well, my last girlfriend
I like to think of her as
When is it ever
okay to ask if I am
”normally” this fat?
*Not all nonfiction
**Names have been changed to protect the identity of certain nonfictitious characters
The best compliment I ever received was in a letter from Mikey, sent a couple of years back. “That’s the way you are, you don’t scrimp on life”, it said. And even if it was meant more as an observation, “You don’t scrimp on life”, has slowly evolved into something closer to a recommendation.
It is also, not surprisingly, something I admire about my closest friends.
my friend just forwarded me an email I wrote to him a year ago and this is the key takaway I think all people could benefit from (via drinkyourjuice)
I was about to write something about how if you meet someone and you think it’s something and it turns out to be something else and you even think about sitting there trying to sort out what happened or what went wrong, shut that shit down. shut. it. down. anyone who pulls a disappearing act on you doesn’t deserve your time and attention. I am not interested in pulling out my ouija board to figure out how someone feels or why they didn’t just tell you, this isn’t going to work for me or whatever it is. I’m not in that business anymore. don’t have time for it, not interested in it. bottom line is that disappearing acts are for magicians. if you want to pull those off, perform at children’s birthday parties.
but then I read this and it makes essentially the same points.
First off, I would like to thank my parents—both parents—for understanding that the corporate life: it’s just not for me! I don’t like filing…things. I don’t like filing things. And the people there all wore Sanuks. Like, unironically, they’d be there chit-chatting it up with their company lanyards and their Sanuks. Ew.
Anyway, we are here at the end of my first semester taking my MFA in Creative Writing, and what can I say…I have never made a better decision. I just have so much life TO *GIVE* and what better way to do this than to tell stories, you know? I mean…Hemingway did it all the time. All the time. And that was the wisest advice ever.
“Hemingway did it all the time”
So before I hand in these products of all those hours of lost sleep and lost money (I drink a lot of coffee and coffee is expensive), I would like to share them with all of you, right here. On tumblr. It was work, but you can’t spell work without “wor” and you can’t spell “worth it” without wor, also. So this is work that is worth it, which makes me wonder if it is work after all…Is it?
Finally, because he wanted what had happened between them finished, he said, “I love you.”
“Now you tell me,” she said. She stood at the window, holding herself.
He was silent a moment, then said, “Well, yes. Now.”
The room was dark save for the pale silver mist cast by the moon. Neither had thought to turn on any of the lights in her apartment.
“It only occurs to you now to tell me you love me.” She stood in profile to him, holding herself, her eyes, as best as he could tell, looking out the window. It was a second-story apartment, and he could see out the window the small parking lot behind the complex.
She still hadn’t put any clothes on, and he saw how the light from the moon shone on her, illuminated her face and breasts and abdomen and arms. The rest of her was lost to the darkness of the room, this woman was an apparition, floating in the dark and light of a bedroom.
But he could see enough. He saw in the way she held herself the damage he had already done, saw in the slope of her shoulders the weight he’d placed there. And he saw in this damage and weight his way out.” —
Bret Lott, “Somebody Else”
You know what I miss about LJ? Q and A time. And memes. The dumber the better.
1. What is your best friend’s name?
I’ve been fortunate enough to find a pretty sizable horde of people who I can consider best friends. And not because of tenure or proximity. This is evident in the growing entourage at my imaginary wedding. There’s Marla and Reg and Amaya and Wendy and Tinka and Meng. There are also two of my exes, both of whom I don’t really know where to lump in terms of the whole best friend equation, but who definitely come to mind because of the kind of rapport you get from former LOVERS that you don’t get from anyone else.
2. What color underwear/boxers wearing now?
Do people still wear underwear at bedtime?
3. What are you listening to right now?
I lost my iPod a month ago and have been enjoying the sound of NOTHING. I think it comes with age.
4. Whats your favorite number?
I like multiples of 3.
5. What was the last thing you ate?
Serenitea tofu mmmm so good. They fry a handful of basil with it. It is genius.
6. If you were a crayon what color would you be?
7. How is the weather right now?
Pleasant, like the weather in my heart.
8. Who was the last person you talked 2 on the phone?
Some Globe agent trying to get me to upgrade my plan. HAHA! No.
9. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
The amount of space between their nose and their upper lip. And pants. I like pants that fit.
10. Do you have a significant other?
No one’s been able to satisfy the conditions set by number 9.
11. Favorite TV show?
Mythbusters. Actually just Kari Byron. I would watch her if she were a TV show.
14. Hair color? / 15. Eye Color
16. Do you wear contacts?
I wear glasses.
17. Favorite Holiday?
19. Have you ever cried for no reason?
ALL THE TIME!
20. What was the last movie you watched?
CASE IN POINT! I cried like a baby while watching Biutiful.
21. Favorite Day of the Year?
Every day is different, but Fridays are pretty consistently awesome.
22. Are you too shy to ask someone out?
Are we talking about Paul Rudd, because I would be way too shy to ask Paul Rudd out.
23. Can you do a headstand (not using the wall)?
No. Strength of a bear.
24. Hugs or Kisses?
Kisses! You can get hugs anywhere especially if you’re a hug slut.
25. Chocolate or Vanilla?
That depends. Is it on bread pudding?
26. Do you want your friends to respond to this?
I’ve missed you, LJ!
27. Who is most likely to respond to a text from you?
28. Who is least likely to respond to a text from you?
29. What books are you reading?
John Berger’s To The Wedding, an anthology called Evocative Objects, and Paul Valery’s Analects
Just my ears.
31. Favorite movies?
“I like movies.” - Michael Bay
32. Favorite football Team?
33. What are you doing right now?
This survey, with a side of open-heart surgery.
34. Butter, Plain or Salted popcorn?
BUTTER ON EVERYTHING.
37. Dogs or cats?
BUTTER ON EVERYTHING.
38. Favorite flower?
39. Been caught doing something you weren’t supposed to do?
…which only added up to doing more stuff I wasn’t supposed to do! Also, stealing.
40. Do you have a best friend of the opposite sex?
41. Have you ever loved someone?
Everywhere! Butter on everything!
42. Who would you like to see right now?
Is this a not-so-subtle hint for all the people who just aren’t that available? I miss my friend Paul because I only see him every other year. Right now though, alone time is pretty sweet.
43. Are you still friends with people from kindergarten?
Nah, those bitches were bitches.
44. Have you ever fired a gun?
Guns are wrong.
45. Do you like to travel by plane?
If there were a faster way to get around, I’ll take it. But for the meantime, there’s Virgin, and that’s pretty good. I really like trains though, trains are fun.
46. Right-handed or Left-handed?
47. How many pillows do you sleep with?
I sleep on pillows, not with them.
48. Are you missing someone?
It’s not like I’ll never see them again, and if I don’t, there are always more people out there. But all the same, yes.
49. Do you have a tattoo?
I have four.
50. Anybody on Tumblr that you’d go on a date with?
Tess Lynch, but she’s married.