Tuesday, April 11, 2006


On Saturday I went to a super workshop on writing memoirs. Prodded by the instructor, Beth Powning, I was surprised that my head clicked onto something new about the memoir I have been writing in trying to figure out how I became the person I am now. I realized that the most influential period of my childhood was from the age of 6 to 8 when we moved to the house at the end of Wilson Lane. It ran off the main street of our village, finally ending at the canal and Stony Brook. There were three houses on the lane, the first being my paternal grandfather’s. My aunt, uncle and cousin lived with him. Between our house and theirs was a house that had kids my brother’s and my ages. Benny became my brother’s best friend. He had an impediment in his speech, and my brother was the only one who could understand him. Across the lane from our house was a barn. A path led into the fields and woods. Further down an incline was Stony Brook and the canal that flowed out of it. The canal had a house we called the Red House, which must have controlled the flow of water out of Stony Brook. Where the canal began, we could see a whirlpool, which we were much afraid of. There was a bridge over the waterfall at Stony Brook and up over that was the railroad track. Across the tracks, a hill led up into another woods and finally onto the ball field. I have been writing furiously under this inspiration, but now stop to post this explanation for my silence of the past few days.

1 comment:

Miriam Jones said...

I saw Beth Powning read last year as part of the Lorenzo Reading Series on campus. It was a powerful reading. I can imagine that she would be an excellent resource at such a workshop. She read from her novel, but it itself has a strong sense of the memoir.