Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Weight Lifted. Baby Elephants Are Heavy!

A few posts back I shared that I started a new book. The memoir of my sister's divorce through my eyes. A true story in every sense of the word - even though it is a mindblowing true story...true it is.


I got to page four and realized I couldn't write it. Trying to write that memoir was the equivalent of me dragging a baby elephant up a San Francisco hill, by hand, alone, in the dark, blindfolded, in the rain, with no shoes on...




Is that a mental picture, or what?


Anyway, it was HARD. But I promised my sister I would write her story. She's my little sister and I promised. I don't break promises (unless they involve me and exercise - then and only then are all bets off). I had a genuine dilemma on my already tired hands. Remember, I drug that stupid baby elephant up the stinkin' hill? Alone? In the dark? No shoes?


But guess what? Something hit me while I was wrtiting page 5 - like an elephant's trunk slapping me right across my face (it was propbably pretty ticked off about me schlepping it up the hill in the rain). I realized something. A big something. As big as an elephant something.


I could write her story but tell myself it was fiction. I could change all of the names of the people. I could semi-fabricate actual conversations and manipulate timing and write it as a 'fiction' book.


And I did.


I made it all the way to page 20 in less than two hours. It started pouring out of me. The weight lifted. The elephant left the room. The pressure of 'realness' was replaced with my creative thinking and desire to tell her story - from my point of view. Which was really my whole intention in the beginning. Before I lost my shoes, and the rain came, and that needy baby elephant knocked on my door.


I don't even live in San Francisco, which is weird.