I have a book coming out early next year, called Things Come On. It covers the period from autumn of 1972 to summer of 1974, during which (a.) the Watergate scandal was “unfolding” and (b.) my mother was dying. That concurance provided a ready-made structure.
Now I’m writing the rest of my mother’s life and times – and there is no obvious narrative structure waiting for me. Instead, I have to pull one out of my – brain.
In part, this is because I’m dealing with 50 + years instead of 2. Also, I’m working on the part that covers her childhood and teens, during which not much extraordinary happened. I’m hoping that once I get her to Washington and onto Capitol Hill, the content will buoy me up and carry me along.
This is not to say that her childhood and teen years (1920-1939) are not interesting. I find them very interesting – not just b/c they involve people I knew later in life, but because, well, I’m a sucker for particularity. I can get immersed in the minutiae of anyone’s life, esp. if it’s new to me, esp. if it’s from a bygone era. And I think that the minutiae, the seemingly random and haphazard memories, quotations, and factoids, form a lot of what we take to be life.
But not everyone feels that way, alas. So, how to make it interesting to others? Isn’t that always the question?
Literarisches Events (in and around Lawrence KS)
- PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, KU Campus.
- PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m. Lawrence Public Library. Sponsored by Raven Bookstore.
- DENNIS ETZEL, JR. & RACHEL CROSS. Lawrence. Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
- TONY TRIGILIO. Lawrence. Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00 p.m., English Room, Kansas Union, KU Campus. FREE.
- CALEB PUCKETT & JUSTIN RUNGE. Lawrence. Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
- BEN LERNER. Kansas City, MO. Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd.
- KRISTIN LOCKRIDGE & ROBERT DAY. Lawrence. Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.