Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mental Eye Roll Through Hipster Horn-Rims

For those of you out there who may not know me well, or at all, I suppose I should give a minute amount of background information as to why this blog is what it is—or will be.
About 5 years ago Thing One was born. She was a beautiful, pudgy faced delight of a baby who kept me occupied all the time doing very important things, like baking, taking walks, visiting other people who oogled over “the baby.” And then Baby became mobile. I started watching Sesame Street again, drawing pictures of animals out of crayon, all with the exact same body but different ears, this distinguished cat from dog, different nose for the pig, etc. I learned to count to 100 all over again. Then one day I realized that staying at home with my daughter, although a gift considering how hard my husband worked to make it possible, was not the most intellectually stimulating thing I could do with the end of my 20’s. So I found a graduate program that accepted me that was what they call “low residency” for us mom’s who don’t have the daycare funds or the nearby grandparents to go to a class every day. Pretty soon I was immersed in writing, working on my MFA with an emphasis in creative nonfiction.
Who knew there was such a genre? A genre completely defined by what it is not. When looking for a book of essays at Barnes and Noble, I bravely questioned the customer service as to where I could find the nonfiction. He gave me what I took to be a mental eye roll through his hipster horn-rims, and said, “Anywhere in the store but the fiction section.” And he wasn’t kidding, and neither was I, so the whole situation was not funny at all. Turns out they actually have a section for essays; it’s located on one bottom shelf below literary theory, below mythology, and next to Westerns.
I have maneuvered my way through all that genre blah blah, and come to realize that the record of the present is really what creative nonfiction is about. Some people call it memoir, it’s blogging, it’s a little bit journalism. But really, creative nonfiction is just telling the truth in a literary way. Starting this blog is a by-product of fitting that creative nonfiction into my daily “art” regiment. But sometimes I still draw animals with crayons. . .
Immediately after entering into the graduate program I was surprised to find someone tagging along—Thing Two, the next edition to the family. Someone told me that pregnancy cultivates creativity, and perhaps that’s true only in the sense that after a baby is born you spend the next two years trying to sleep standing up. It’s been a fairly long path through the masters program, but in about one month I will have finished my collection of essays, been married for 5.5 years, had two kids, and managed to start working again to afford this amazing art filled life I lead. It’s almost all working out.

No comments:

Post a Comment