I’ve concluded that scribing a memoir, on line, on this blog site, is lunacy. If Hemingway were doing this, he’d have visited self-annihilation much earlier. Swimming with hungry sharks seems more rational.
Then why am I tackling the We Were The California Girls project? https://charmainesmusepallet.wordpress.com/california-girls/ For all of the above reasons.
The memoir will, I pray, explain how a lonely kid found herself inside her imaginary world. It’s how escapism turns a nightmare into a palatable existence. It’s how spirit grows. It’s how what we believe is what we become.
But this is where I struggle. There were mean, wicked and evil people in my life. Fortunately I was never sexually assaulted. Unfortunately, all the other unpleasant assaults were mine for the feasting. Because I believe that forgiveness and prayer are a part of any healing process, and because I believe that my words are the skeletal formation of the future, calling a wicked snake a wicked snake challenges my writing.
Enter my beloved Edward. Edward is the truest of true editors. He calls it. I don’t want to hear it. Alas, there is no choice but to listen and adapt, that is, if I want this writing project to successfully conclude. Along with Edward’s sage advice, other wise folks have chimed in, like former classmate Christi; and my step brother, Paul, who shared some of those dark times. And personal notes from friends, who are shocked by some of my early-life events, are warm and comforting. Yeah, they do salve that inner kid’s wounds.
How does all this tie into California Girls? It’s coming. Alice, Lin, Sandy, and the rest are real California girls who are not what Hollywood, for the most part, falsely portrayed. We were not all shapely super-beachy fem bots. I was right down the middle. Alice remained in my life for more than 50 years and her road was NOT a happy beach party. Lin did remain beach close, but discovered a different lifestyle. Sandy remains an artist. Mary will tell her story about growing up as a Mexican-American California girl, etc.
The moral: Everyone has a story. It’s how it’s told and if it is even worth telling, that makes the difference. And that is my current nightmare. Will We Were The California Girls make a difference? Will anyone ever give a crap? Can I dig down and bring up a writer’s honesty that is not self-indulgent, that hits a universal theme, and has literary value?
We’ll find out.
A note to other California girls: Feel free to email me your essay about being a California girl. I do want diversity and value and may include it in this project. email: email@example.com In the subject line, note “CA. Girl Essay.”