I’ve been having so much fun meeting with Lisa and asking her questions about life beyond and my intention was to use the material for a fictional book I have been working on for a while now. But in the last three days, after telling the story about how Lisa and I met, I have had various people â€“ another 9/11 widow who was in town for a night, a friend who is also writing a fictional book about the afterlife and now even my agent â€“ tell me that I should write it as memoir. When messages come in threes like that, I am inclined to go with them. But I am filled with all the usual questions that fill my little brain whenever I try to get my head around a new memoir idea. Will people think I’m crazy? Can I fill a whole book with this story? Am I insane? Writing memoir is a lonely road to travel. We spend WAY too much time navel gazing and putting ourselves out there.
Perhaps then, it is no coincidence that I am to be teaching a class called “Shame Resilience” based on a course offered by one of my favorite speakers, BrenÃ© Brown. She has written a book called “I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power” which explores shame within our culture and offers ways of becoming resilient to it thereby allowing one to live a more authentic and “wholehearted” life. I seem to have no problems with being authentic, vulnerable, letting everything hang out there for all to see. I guess I must ooze wholeheartedness. I’ll take that. I will be curious to learn if it’s possible to be too authentic and vulnerable in this age of over-sharing.
A big reservation I have about writing my experience with all things paranormal is that the stories are so crazy that I wonder if people will even believe any of it? And yet, I have yet to have one negative comment. People seem hungry for this sort of information. Still, I know I have to be careful about who I tell this stuff to. Not everyone is open to it.
As fiction I might have been able to write just about anything and get away with it. With memoir? Not so much. I don’t want to pull a James Frey. My agent met my idea with skepticism putting forth her theory that “those people” have an ability to intuitively read a person’s thoughts, tell people what they want to hear. So maybe she won’t be able to sell it if she doesn’t believe in it. And yet, with one book proposal in the hopper being assessed by my agent, I plow ahead.
Because writing about relationships and sex wasn’t hard enough.