Category: Memoir

Song Conversations

I love this song because it reminds me of discussions I have had. Only, it wasn’t in November. It wasn’t raining. And he wasn’t 3.

by Building 429

I was standing in the pour raining
One dark November night
Fighting off the bitter cold
When she caught my eye
Her face was torn and her eyes were filled
And then to my surprise
She pulled out a photograph
And my heart just stopped inside
She said He would have been three today
I miss his smile, I miss his face
What was I supposed to say

But I believe always always
Our Savior never fails
Even when all hope is gone
God knows our pain and His promise remains
He will be with you always

So, one of my all time favorite young adult authors, John Green, has a social networking site with his brother, Hank Green. As various people have commented and the site has grown, they have decided they need some moderators. John requested several informal applications from a variety of people, and after a few weeks, Hank informed people of their positions.

I am, hereby, the Blurbing Book Club Book Reviewer. My posts will be on Fridays here: I feel honored and slightly speechless. And, I am going to need several Young Adult book recommendations. I already have several ideas, but not quite enough for one per Friday! Whew!

Wait, wasn’t I supposed to be doing something productive like grading or studying for my GRE? Hmm…

I *hate*…

I hate that I am not in Milwaukee right now. Not that I am oh-so-great so as to be able to comfort my friends/mentors/professors, but I hate knowing that I could do something (maybe) there but because I am here, I cannot.

My prayers are with Cam Tatham‘s family and friends and James Liddy‘s family and friends.

I am looking at my perfect sunset picture over the skyline of Milwaukee and thinking good thoughts and many prayers.



Miss you, Michael.

Uncle Bill and Aunt Judy did such a great job of picking out their gravestones I think. Beautiful–I love the truck on Mike’s–so him! And Janel’s is so simple and pretty. Good for a baby I think.

~Mark Harris~

But don’t cry for me
‘Cause I’m finally free

To run with the angels
On streets made of gold
To listen to stories of saints new and old
To worship our Maker
That’s where I’ll be
When you finally find me


The Year of Magical Thinking

Joan Didion is such a beautiful writer. I think because she is so direct. And simple. Right now I am reading about her experiences with her daughter’s illness and her husband’s death in The Year of Magical Thinking. A friend mentioned this book is excellent for dealing with grief and since I am currently experiencing living in an apartment by myself, I am experiencing some level of grief. But, mostly, I am remembering what it was like when Michael died.

And then I read this… “I could deal with “autopsy” but the notion of “obituary” had not occured to me. “Obituary,” unlike “autopsy,” which was between me and John and the hospital, meant it had happened” (31).

Recently, I had a paper accepted for student research day at UWM which means I will be flying back to Milwaukee to present on a paper I wrote while I was in graduate school. The title of my paper is Loss and Language: Information Seeking Behaviors in Grieving and Traumatized Individuals detailing the idea that during the grieving process, people use different words. Professionals in the information field need to be cognizant of this and work with information seekers to assist them in choosing to use the best and most comfortable words possible during the grieving process.

Thanks, Joan, for the directness and the simplicity.











Like, seriously, David Eggers (founder of McSweeny’s–yet another fantastic literary journal which I will at some point be thoroughly engaging) is my hero. Okay, he does have a bit of a language problem (which probably could have cut the book about 100 or so pages), but we have time to work on such things.

I am just starting to get into memoir, having had a serious fiction fixation (ooh! that was some fun alliteration right there, yeah, buddy!) and found that Dave Eggers book was a fantastic starter choice. Having lost both of his parents within 12 weeks of each other to cancer, he found himself raising his brother, Toph, on his own. The moments of humor combined with utter male stupidity (I would like to think that a female would have a bit more of a motherly instinct in some of the scenarios mentioned) work to push the momentum of the story forward.

For those readers who are a bit touchy about memoir given recent authorial authority being used to it’s utmost, my favorite part of the book is when Eggers addresses this directly in the introduction:

Well, suddenly the clouds broke, the sun shown, and once again, the author knew this: that even if the idea of relating a true story is a bad idea, and even if the idea of writing about deaths in the family and delusions as a result is unappealing to everyone but the author’s high school classmates and a few creative writing students in New Mexico, there are still ideas that are much, much worse. Besides, if you are bothered by the idea of this being real, you are invited to do what the author should have done, and what authors and readers have been doing sense the beginning of time:


So, yes, the book is a bit self-realized at times, but you know what? Dave Eggers is still my hero. And he should be yours, too.

Actually, I am thinking about making a button. It will probably say: I like cheeseburgers.