Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pending fiction

I was considering writing about gratitude, this being the week for it, but then I realized this is something I write about a lot. I don't need to delve into gratitude especially for Thanksgiving week because it's an ongoing theme in my life. You can read some of my thoughts on gratitude here. Or here. Or here. You get the idea.

So what to say? What's first and foremost on my mind is the arrival of my family for a Thanksgiving visit. It will be both wonderful and stressful, the way these visits usually are. You know what I mean. Any loving crush of people always has joy and stress associated with it. Right now I'm thinking:

  • Will the bed be comfortable? Will they be able to sleep?
  • Do I have enough food in the house?
  • Are the towels clean?
  • What will we do once dinner's over?
  • What did I forget?
  • Am I a good enough daughter?

I'm sure some large percentage of you can identify with these questions, but that doesn't mean it would make an interesting or useful blog post.

What occurs to me, however is that last year Thanksgiving was immensely challenging. My blog post told only a little of the story and I'm not going to expand upon it here. But that story has now fed other stories. While I don't tell the "true" events, the truth of it has become excellent fiction. The sick friend? Oh yeah, there's an echo of her in a story or two. The potential illness? Of course that's influenced my work. It's certainly influenced my levels of sympathy. My own history with my family? Doesn't our history touch all of our creative efforts? All of that stress and joy has fed into my creative engines and is emerging as deeper, richer, truer fiction.

And that's what I expect to happen over the next few days, though I hope with less drama than last year. I need to remember, when I'm clenching my teeth and thinking I am not carrying on my family traditions or I'm not patient or... my life becomes pending fiction. So does yours. Enjoy.

(c)2009 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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