I’m back to finishing my memoir, The Autobiography of a Sea Creature, preparing the first chapter for yet one more round of edits, this time at The Healing Art of Writing Conference next week at Dominican University in San Rafael, California. The conference should be great with lots of talented writers, both participants and presenters, in the field of medicine and literature. I know that the workshop will help me make the book the shining gem it was meant to be.
Two years ago, I’d given the first chapter to an agent and she returned it with sharp, yet accurate, criticism. Back to the drawing board. The 2008 Writing the Medical Experience Workshop at Sarah Lawrence College helped me create more narrative drive or forward momentum in the story. Books like The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative by Vivian Gornick and Writing the Memoir by Judith Barrington deepened my understanding of what a memoir should do. A book is something that one grows over time.
Writing this myincision blog is enormously helpful in revising Sea Creature. By blogging about my PTS (post traumatic stress), for example, I’ve been able to understand the significance of certain key passages in the story and as a result, shape them more consciously and place them more strategically as I share my journey as a survivor of infant surgery. I hope to have the book ready to send out by fall. It’s time. 2010. The Year of the Sea Creature.