Sunday, April 15, 2012

Update to Googling old friends...

It's been great seeing my article about googling old friends published on the very cool Mamamia site. If you haven't seen it yet, here's the link. If you have, you'll know that many comments have suggested that I contact my friend's family, despite my misgivings. Many readers felt that having lost their daughter, my friend's parents most likely would want to hear about how she is loved and missed even now, three years later. And I guess I see that now. I have attempted a couple of times to write the letter I'd like to send but have decided to let it sit a while first because, frankly, I want to get it right. There's so much to think about, and still some measure of shock at play. I have lots of questions and very few answers, many of them simply about what to say. And what not to say. Should I mention the article and blog, or shouldn't I? Should I reference the years apart or simply remind them of our time together? How much or how little should I say? These are the questions that hold me back from sending my letter right away, but won't, I assure you, stop me from sending it at all.

(The questions are rhetorical, btw. I'll find my own answers soon enough. :-) )

In the meantime, I just want to say how thoroughly overwhelmed I've been by the generous and candid responses provided here and at Mamamia - I had no idea this piece would generate such a warm reception, so I'm taking the moment to thank you all for your thoughtful consideration and your moving responses.

I'm working on a new novel as I await word on the current one, but will try to blog more often than I have recently, as much because it's been such a lovely experience getting to know all of you readers as because, frankly, I need the exercise.

Look forward to seeing you around here and will be sure to update you when there's something new to read.

Cheers.
Nic

4 comments:

  1. I always find it hard to go back to the past. When the past enters my present, I find it unsettling, even when it enters in an innocent way - like an old colleague contacting me on a business matter. This will be nothing like the misgivings you experience, Nicole. The past, for me, is a dangerous country. It contains a me who no longer exists. In revisiting it, I have to recall that former me. And also, moving forward, ever forward, has been my way of rescuing myself from relationships I don't know how to deal with.

    This must sound mysterious. I want to avoid being specific, using specific instances ot illustrate my meaning, because I have a fear of exposure. We all do. I know we all do.

    OK, here's something. My memoir is coming out in June. It deals with horrendous family issues, and has been called "honest" and "candid". These are curious terms to use. What the writer or speaker means is that I disclose scenes that other people would rather conceal from the world. Honesty and candour in this context is always the humilations and terrors that another person would rather not divulge. But I have gone over them again and again in the therapy room and in doing so have robbed them of their power to mortify me.

    This is a long way from your blog, Nicole! My mind is a chessboard and I often make knight's moves.

    Cheers, Sydney

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  2. I encourage Knight's moves. And rooks, too for that matter. :-)

    Honesty is important in writing but I'd place one caveat on that: sometimes it might just be emotional honesty, with the facts altered. That's OK too. Our stories need some sense of universality for us to connect with our readers - specifics are less important than the broader space of the emotional journey.

    Your memoir sounds fascinating. Will be sure to look out for it. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
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