The correct mattress is not about comfort, Nina informed us. It’s about support. Support isn’t always comfortable at first; it grows on you over time.
There is a wide divide between reality and remembering, and the memoirist is often left alone in his or her struggle to straddle that gap.
That’s why organizations such as the National Association of Memoir Writers, or NAMW, are so vital to a memoirist’s world. It’s the most important thing you can do for yourself as a writer: surround yourself with other writers. And for memoirists in particular, it’s often therapeutic to meet and converse with others who are facing the same challenges.
When I was in college, as a naive twenty something, I imagined a literary agent to be on par with a unicorn: a magical being that can transport you from one place (unpublished) to another (published) in one swoop. They lived in a faraway place (NYC) and no one ever really saw them, or could prove their existence. Yet, we needed to believe in them… Just as I was giving up hope, I met Weronika Janczuk, a literary agent with Lynn Franklin Associates in New York City.
When they announced Bev’s name, I think I half expected Drew Barrymore to walk out onto the stage. I had just watched Riding in Cars with Boys only weeks earlier and, despite having read the book first, the image of a brown-haired Barrymore with a Brooklyn accent still resonated in my subconscious. Instead, a slim, tall woman with a very full wig, a funky hat and a glittery dress walked out onto the stage.
I was nervous when I first picked up Bobblehead Dad, Jim Higley’s new memoir about his battle with cancer. Ever since I became a mother, four years ago, my emotional quota has essentially been drained. Watching, hearing about, or reading anything where parents or children die or deal with death really bothers me. This rules out watching any Lifetime Movie. I was convinced that by the end of the book, I would be sobbing uncontrollably while hugging my daughters. So, just in case, I placed a box of tissues within arm’s reach.