The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, November 09, 2007


by Melissa Bell

No, I haven't screwed up the year. 20,007 is my current word count for this year's NaNoWriMo. So far I've managed (oh but barely) the self-imposed 2500-word daily quota and that's why I'm popping in so late/early with a phoning-it-in blog post. Jeez. 3 a.m. as I write "jeez".

I'm working on something a little different this year. More of a memoir. My memories of my mother. I want to remember what I can of her life, the things we used to do together, the times we have had. Her own memory is not what it once was. Once an incredibly capable and creative woman with boundless energy who always looked like a million bucks and who was a wonderful well-read hostess and cook and wife and mother, she slips further and further away with each passing day. Sometimes it feels like it's with each passing hour a little bit more of her life crumbles into mental dust and then is gone, never to come back again. And sometimes I think she pretends that it's all still there, even when she knows it's not, but I cannot know for sure. We are each going on our own journey through this very dark and shadowy part of her life. I can't lead her out of it. I can really only follow her and try to keep her safe.


Blogger Anne said...

I was wondering how things were going for you and your family. This "little" update says a lot. Wishing you courage and strength for what lies ahead. (And congratulations on a stellar word count.)

Fri Nov 09, 07:08:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

This is great what you're doing, and on so many levels, Mel. It's great for the writer you are, and certainly great for you the person. You'll find many, many wonderful things to say the deeper you go. You'll rediscover so much of what you've put aside and forgotten. I envy your journey, and hope to follow in my own way. (stellar word count, indeed!)

Fri Nov 09, 02:46:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

I'm so sorry about your mother, Mel. Aging can be so cruel. Writing a memoir is a wonderful way to honour her and try to make sense of your feelings. Not even two weeks into NanoWriMo and you're at 20,000 + words. It's obviously a story you're meant to write. Congrats and continued success.

Fri Nov 09, 03:14:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Chumplet said...

Sometimes I think that is the greatest gift writers can give themselves: their memories.

What a wonderful way to give yourself that gift. Keep it up, Melissa!

Fri Nov 09, 08:37:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger T. Lee said...

Mel, I'm sorry to hear your mother is doing poorly. But what a lovely thing to do for her. Wishing you and yours well.

Fri Nov 09, 09:20:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

That's such a great project!

Sat Nov 10, 06:49:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

If your NaNo work is anything like this post, it'll be a winner. Keep it up, Mel

Tue Nov 13, 04:12:00 pm GMT-5  

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