Creative Nonfiction

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My Mother’s Inspiration.

April 16, 2014

I was fourteen when I realized I wanted to be a writer–when I realized writing wasn’t just something I enjoyed, but something I did well. In fact, I was so good at writing, I was able to make my mother cry. I suppose I should have felt guilty about it. Usually, when a teenaged girl makes her mother cry it’s over something serious, like sex or alcohol or getting caught smoking a cigarette behind the trailers at school. But, when Mom read my story with tears glistening behind her lashes, I couldn’t help but feel a certain sense of satisfaction about the whole situation. When she dabbed at the corners of her eyes, careful not to mess up her immaculately applied mascara, I waited on the side with my breath held deep in my chest. Excited. Anxious. But definitely not guilty. “Wow!” She said it with a choked voice, and she smiled and dabbed at her eyes a bit more. […]

The Fortress

The Fortress.

March 12, 2014

Hey guys. It’s been a while since I’ve written a creative nonfiction piece about my mom. In part, that’s awesome, because these creative nonfiction pieces are built more of my anxiety and my need to get something into words I can’t express than from happiness. In other words, usually writing them means I had a bad day or am in a bad place. So, in that regard, you can take the distance between the pieces a good sign that I’m doing awesome. On the other hand, it can also mean I’m not always confronting the way I feel about it. I read an article a while back that had something really interesting to say about grief. It talked about how the vast majority of people who find themselves in a situation like mine–where they lose someone close to them–actually “get over” the depression really quickly. Something like 80%. In comparison, 15% of people get depressed for long periods of time, […]


I wish I’d known.

October 16, 2013

This is another piece of what may eventually become a memoir about my mom. I’m still not entirely sure on writing the memoir. Now it has less to do with finding an audience (I’m a marketer, for god’s sake; if I can’t find an audience, I should fire myself), but more to do with my painful inability to consistently write about it. The piece you’re about to read is actually my third attempt. Every previous draft was such a pile of crap I wouldn’t dare share it with anyone but my trash bin. This happens every time I try to write about Mom. Maybe I’m just being extra finicky about it, but I feel like I can’t possibly put the weight of my emotions into words well enough to write one essay, let alone a whole book. But, at the same time, how can you? I can hardly find the means to articulate my emotions over Mom in expression, let […]


I can do anything.

September 24, 2013

Mom was crying. Usually it’s a bad sign when your mom cries. Usually it’s a worse sign when you’re happy your mom is crying. I remember at the time thinking that I must have been some kind of sociopath, and that it couldn’t really be healthy to feel good about this kind of thing, when she came up to me and gave me a hug. “Wow,” she said, wiping the tears out of the corner of her eyes with her long nails as to avoid messing up her mascara. She handed me a packet of stapled paper. “This is really great.” And as I looked down at the two-page story in my hands–the two-page story I had written–Mom went outside to tell my aunts and uncles about it. To tell them how talented her daughter was. And she laughed with them, saying she hadn’t been wearing her waterproof make up and that next time I asked her to read something, […]

lung cancer

The worst is over.

August 27, 2013

It wasn’t about “what ifs” and “I can’t handle this” anymore. It wasn’t about possibility; it was about reality, and the reality was that every day the world kept spinning and I couldn’t sit there in that hospital room forever.


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