Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Places You Don't Walk Away From

Thanks so much for reading sections of my memoir-in-progress, Second Day Reported. I've enjoyed having the feedback and would like to answer Mark's (aka -- the walking man) question about what the title means. Second day reported is an old police term for rapes that are not reported on the day that the event happened. In an old crime book I read, I saw a police officer as being quoted that most second day reported rapes were not real, that the woman had "changed her mind" about the sex and so on. It pissed me off enough to think that I should use it.

But beyond the persistent ignorance of certain beliefs, I like the title because all of writing fits under the title of second day reported -- even the most scrupulous writer of nonfiction finds herself in the dilemma of lack of memory, detail, and questions of tone. I'm not one to take the whole nonfiction thing lightly -- I don't like it when someone makes shit up and tries to pass it off as memoir; that's what fiction is for. But I understand the limitations of memory and the way it mimics fiction in its presentation. After all, we pick and choose our moments to create a world that mirrors what we believe. My memoir is turning out to be a lot more scatter shot than even I thought -- the structure is still (please God!) emerging. But I suppose knowing that you don't know something; there's a start.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"You have to pick the places you don't walk away from." Joan Didion

Cocktail Hour
Drinking music suggestion: I Put A Spell On You Nina Simone

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Thursday!


laughingwolf said...

i was curious about the title, too... makes sense now :)

Charles Gramlich said...

I didn't realize that was what the term was for. And you're right. Memory and experience are like that. And yes, every experience is sifted and edited and changed. History is memory, not actuality. but I do appreciate it when folks make the effort to stay with what they remember rather than make up stuff they know isn't true.

Cheri said...

That bridal shop used to be "Once Upon a Dream" and my friends family owned it all throughout my public school career. When he and his wife got divorced a few years ago his parents sold it and the ex-wife got a job at a different bridal shop- where my best friends fiancee got her dress. Small effing world.

As far as the title, it's fitting and what that police officer said is bullshit. Men will forever be putting down women, no matter what.

Lana Gramlich said...

Nevermind the problems inherent with memory...oftentimes we can't even trust our own eyes. Optical illusions are a great illustration of this, of course. The brain will "fill in" things it thinks should be there in some cases. Damned brain! *L*

chris said...

Easy there Cheri, nobody putting down a woamn here. I am one of the freaky guy's who would love to see his wife tell the boss what she really thinks. If a man trys to hold back a woman,it is only because he is intimadated by her.

Michelle, I remember reading that title on your Website somewhere. I was guilty of not remembering what it was as well. My memory still serves me well for a possible non fiction in the future.

Cheri said...

I wasn't being mean about her- she got me a discount on the alterations on my bridesmaid dress!

the walking man said...

Authority what is it good for? Oh yes casting shadows of doubt by clasifying degrees of trauma.

Thanks for the explanation M, 'preciate that.

As I get older and try to go back down events in my own history i find that it is harder to place things in their proper order, much less remember specific details. That is why I will stick to fiction, rather tell a big fat whopping lie then report the misremembered truth.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I see anything on brides I recall my "Brideshead Revisited" novel. Catholicism was one of the highlights of my life.--E. Waugh

Anonymous said...

"Brideshead Revisited"(the movie version) will show at select theaters starting July 25!!--Oscar Winner

Raelin Brianna said...

Hey the place in your picture isn't to far from my house :)

Miss ya and hope you enjoyed reading Midnight!