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January 18, 2010


"We cannot have a different past."

That's a profound thought. I've spent far too many hours dreaming up a different past for myself: sometimes a better one, sometimes a more horrific one. I'm learning to stop making my wishes for a different past and my fearful fantasies about the future about ME. Instead, I twist and manipulate these weird dreams, combine them with my own story, and create a new story, new characters, new images that become the basis for my fiction. That's how my novel-in-progress was conceived! But first I had to face my own story--all its ugliness and glory--before I could turn it into fiction.

I just found this blog via A Nun's Life. It is very interesting. I am particularly interested in taking your own story and embracing it for what is is, YOUR STORY! There are no two people with the same lives. Even if they lived through the same experiences their perceptions and reactions to these experiences would be different. Being a new writer (I have written my whole life, but have just mustered up the courage to actually share these writings) I feel that writing is so personal because even though my works are fiction, they are a part of my story. My writings are deeply connected to my life and my spirituality and therefore very personal. Thanks for the insight. Just by having read this is kind of gives me "permission" to include my story in my fiction. Happy writing all.

I wrote many notebooks like verbal diarrhea in 2000/01 , while going through a horrific time of my life and marriage. I want to burn these books but a coworker told me not to awhile ago..and now I am feeling the thought of burning them again. Because what if I die and my kids see what I wrote..etc and so on. IE: very personal stuff. About me , their dad, etc.
Any advice?
I guess what got me thinking re. burn again, is reading Velma Still Cooks in Leeway (just finished it), and about how the woman "Len" ordered her granddaughter to burn her personal writings. I got the feeling she felt she might have waited too long to do the deed; now she was physically unable to do it, and fortunately had a trusted person available and willing to do it for her. Len's watching Velma do the burning from her window shows that she wanted to see this necessary task through to its completion, even through a proxy.
So I don't know: am I "waiting too long?" Been 10 years now...since it all happened.

I certainly can't tell you what to do, but my question is, have these journals outlived their usefulness for you? Will you need them to continue dealing with all that happened before? If so, perhaps it's not time to burn them. But if your gut tells you it's time for them to go, then perhaps going with your gut is the best. If it were me, I would pray for discernment--that's the best advice I can give.

Peace to you,

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