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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

An Uncommon Narrative

The idea of writing a book is one that I have toyed with for over 10 years. When I was a college student, majoring in biology, I took a few creative writing classes. Partly because I wanted an easy elective I could “Ace” and partly because I have always written some version of my thoughts and ideas. I have poems of teenage angst that date back to when I was 13. I have no less that 3 or 4 diaries completed in various stages. Along with those, loose leaf letters to myself, my parents, God, old loves, friends, sisters; all written, collected but never mailed.

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading and re-reading. Here are a few books I have tackled in the past weeks….Snow Falling on Cedars, Memoirs of a Geisha, Angela’s Ashes, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and a children’s book called Out of the Dust, which is written in a poetic free verse style. The most moving piece I have read in a while is the introduction of the cookbook Le Bernardin-4 Star Simplicity. The introduction is written by Maguy Le Coze about her brother (now deceased). She recollects their past in Brittany, their adventures in Paris and finally their success in New York. These few short pages really touched me. What I consider good writing is detailed, makes you feel something, and makes you think.

About 5 years ago I began writing short stories about my family as well as my childhood. I’ve mailed copies off with good reviews/feedback. The primary reason I began writing was to express myself. I gave the stories away as gifts for Christmas (my dad only wanted handmade gifts when we were children). They represented a bit if my/our past (s), my hurts, delights, hope and most all of my love for my family. I’ve experienced so many things, I wanted to archive the events that shaped me and share them with my children.

On a side note: As a nanny I shared stories of my life with the children I cared for and loved. When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, one the children mentioned to their parents that as a child I was in a severe typhoon but at the time did not realize its severity. As a naive 3 year old, I ran and put on my bathing suit as the water crept into our apartment. Despite the howling winds, my terrified parents, torrential rains, I prepared myself for an indoor swim.

When I told my mom I was beginning to write she asked me what I was writing about. “My life“, was my reply….Before Deme, before Italy. But I also told her that if I was to write truthfully and unabashedly, I would only publish after she and my dad had passed away. She then gave me what my sisters and I call “her evil eye”; a knowing yet disapproving look.

I have no idea how to write a book. Will a collection of old poems, stories, essays, letters and blog entries substitute for a narrative? If they do it will be an uncommon one.


At 6:35 AM, Blogger Ale said...

DO IT!! how exciting! why would your parents object?

At 6:50 AM, Anonymous islandgirl said...

I thnk it is absolutely a wonderful idea to put your stories down on paper for whatever reason. I have thought about it a little too but not sure in what capacity. I purchased the "bible" of publishing called "Writer's Market" recently but haven't cracked it open as much as I wanted to. I love writing and being a former newspaper reporter, I thought I might do a little too. Good luck and I look forward to hearing about your progress.

At 7:03 PM, Blogger PoeticaL said...

You have my vote and my pre-order.....just write it...worry later...

At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Deborah said...

Maybe start building chapters of your life, instead of chronological, just write your memories as you recall them. You can later organize the entries by time frame.

Have you read this?


The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. Fantastic read.

I read Snow Falling on Cedars also, right after it first came out, as I was living near Bainbridge Island at that time. And I LOVED Angela's Ashes. How that man kept his childhood wonderment amazed me.

At 7:03 AM, Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

I think your story would make for a very interesting book. Best wishes and keep writing!

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Mona said...

Enjoyed your notes on the chance of writing a book. It's something I've thought of too. But what would I write about that people would want to read. There seems to be so much crap out today it's like, how would I set myself apart from it?
Also enjoyed the list of books you're re-reading. You must be a bookworm, when I tell people I'm re-reading a book they're like, what for? At least someone understands!

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Sara said...

I agree with Kristy. Write now, worry later.

When you start writing and compiling the stories and poems, you can go through editing phases later and sort through them, organizes, elaborate.


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