October 4, 2012

IWSG #5 ~ October 2012

Hey everyone and welcome to my fifth IWSG post! The IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh (I've been waiting for an awesome opportunity to throw "brainchild" into a sentence, lol) where writers can express their highs and lows throughout the process of writing. If you'd like to join, visit Alex's blog at the link above. You'll be so thankful when you do. :)

I'd like to post another paragraph from the rough draft of my memoir. This is still in the beginning of the book:

A little over a year after my maternal grandfather died from brain cancer, my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer--the very same type we had just watched Grandpa battle until his death. I had cried at his funeral as though I had never cried before--I couldn't stop and thought surely the tears must run out soon. Eventually, as days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months, the tears slowed down only to begin anew once we learned of my mom's diagnosis.

Never before had my world felt so out of control. Never before had I felt the pain of moving in a world I didn't understand anymore, where I was stripped of my childhood once and for all. I look back on my journals from that time period, and there are so few references to the events of such magnitude happening all around me that sometimes I have to wonder if I was actually there or am I reading through someone else's memories? My despair was deep. How could my family and I be strong enough to go through watching another of our loved ones fight the very same disease all over again!

The next section is further into the book:

There was nothing I could do when my mom lost the rest of her hair from the radiation treatments, vomited every night after chemotherapy sessions, began having seizures, and lost more and more of her memory. I remember the utter and complete frustration on her face when she could not remember the words she wanted to use to express herself. I wanted to supply them for her so badly, but I didn't know what it was she wanted to tell me.

It's a lot of heavy material, but before I get into the meat of the story, I want to explain what our lives were like before my grandpa and mom were diagnosed with cancer. At this moment in time, I still want the very first paragraph to be the following (I also posted this particular paragraph in last month's  IWSG post):
Lightning struck our house the day my mom died. By that time she was in a coma, lying in a hospital bed in our living room. I had long ago begun sleeping on the couch in there with her, keeping vigil over her at night. The soft swoosh swoosh of the oxygen tank breathing for her should have lulled me to sleep at night, but I was terrified to sleep. My racing pulse and overwhelmed mind would not have allowed it anyway. Most nights I just dozed off and on, awakening from troubled dreams. I just knew that I didn't want her to die alone. I had just turned fourteen.
I'm feeling good with the progress I'm making. Thanks to this group, I can keep myself on track and accountable! :D

I'm also really dying to write fiction, especially this month when every year I soak up all things horror for the entire month! I read horror novels back to back and watch horror movies every weekend (when the kids are asleep, lol). I have several ideas kicking around my head right now, and with the emotional toll writing the memoir can take on me, it'd be nice to work on some fiction and take a break from the heavy stuff.

What do you think about my rough draft so far? Do you like to work on a couple of different projects at a time, or do you prefer to see one through all the way to the end before taking on a new one?

Thank you for hanging out with me and listening to me ramble on, lol! I've gotta hit the hay so I can take my kiddo to school in the morning, but I'll be making my rounds tomorrow and visiting you!


  1. I enjoyed reading your memoir excerpts. It's nice that you have journals to refer to. I've had a very eventful life, but I can't remember half of it now! lol
    Keep going - you'll get there! :-)

    1. Thank you. If I didn't have journals, I wouldn't remember anything, and sometimes even then I still don't, lol. There are entries where I can't help but wonder if I'm reading someone else's writing. ;) That's a cool thing about journals--they show you how far you've come as a person. :)

      Thank you for your encouragement, also. :) You're absolutely right; I've just gotta keep on plugging away! :D


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