Friday, February 17, 2006

My memory of Memory

Well, it's been a year (or there abouts) since The Memory of Breathing was published in ASIM 17. Now, if you believe one source, you'd agree that I should be ashamed of producing such rubbish.

But I'm not.

Memory has been very kind to me.

I'm a new author. Prior to Memory, I only had one publishing credit to my name. I'm sure that if you asked anyone what that story was, only about 4 people would be able to tell you, and two of them published it for me. Memory entered the public consciousness and there it has stayed.
TMOB was written as a coping mechanism. I'd just lost three of my children in a terrible custody dispute and I couldn't face a life lived without them. I had two choices. Put my head in the oven, or work out my grief through the process of writing. Our oven turned out to be an electric one, so I turned to my laptop instead.

Memory is raw grief. It is about having someone else make the big decisions regarding the life of your child. It's about standing by and watching a third party take them over and tell you they can't be with you anymore. It's about doing the best to hold on to the people you love, and losing.
Memory was written at a time when my belief in myself as a mother had hit an all time low. I'm not going to explain why I lost my children. It no longer matters. What matters is that, because of Memory, I survived the ordeal.

A lot has happened since I wrote Memory. I recovered my self-esteem enough to decide to have another baby. I recovered my self-esteem enough to decide to adopt Lee's child (I can start proceedings in November). I recovered my self-esteem enough to fight my ex-husband for Aiden's return AND I won! I recovered my self-esteem enough not to bother retaliating to the recent bad review (which I saw only an hour after I'd been called a bad mother by my daughter). I still suffer from terrible depression and panic attacks, but I no longer feel that I want to die.

I'm glad I wrote Memory. Good press or bad, it's still being talked about one year after publication. It has been nominated for multiple awards and has received excellent reviews. Rich Horton has mentioned it on his 'favourite stories' list. Twice! He also put it on his recommended reading list when it appeared.

Yes, Memory has been wonderful for me.

I just hope the next story I write does even better.

While we're on the subject, Borderlands Issue 6 is out and Lee and I are in it. My story "The Hanging Tree" was actually written and submitted to Borderlands before I'd even thought of writing TMOB, so don't even think of making comparisons :)

No comments: