Lessons in Movement?

I’m pleased to be able to say that this week has been a week of not simply reading, but making and doing and deciding and writing. Firstly and most importantly, I held the first phone interview for my nonfiction project yesterday. I haven’t yet decided how much of these interviews is appropriate to share online, but the interview lasted an hour — ending when both of our heads imploded and we both blurted a Happy-Easter-talk-soon! goodbye. Here’s a general idea of what we talked about: (size of each word indicates how often it was said…)

wordmap

(Word clouds are the best, I know. You can use them to represent your blog, or to evaluate the focus of the essay you got lost in while writing, etc. I used Wordle. Warning: it’s addictive.)

I’m not sure what I’d been expecting to happen in the interview, but I’d prepared a list of questions and had been quite nervous about directing the conversation, over the phone, with someone older than me who I hadn’t seen since childhood. Fortunately the “interview” turned out to be my subject — Alison — telling her story in an unbelievably articulate way, and me typing furiously. (I didn’t record this phone call, as I haven’t had my proposal ticked off yet by the university.) It was an intense hour, but I came away from it pleasantly exhausted. There rose an urge to go outside for fresh air; an urge also to call my mum. I’m feeling so relieved to have begun this process, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it leads.

Following yesterday’s interview, I now have a working title for my nonfiction project: Lessons in Movement. Why? The concept of movement is something that I felt recurring throughout yesterday’s interview: movement of the ground and the buildings in an earthquake; movement from one country to another; movement of a story through modern communication from Cairns to here in Melbourne; movement of time and how it changes memories and reflections; movement as in a social/political action towards an issue; movement, a self-contained part of a larger composition (music). And lessons, because Alison is predominantly an educator, and also because the events she experienced in Japan led to both uncomfortable truths and new insight for all directly and indirectly involved — this is what I hope to communicate in my final work. Any feedback on this title would be appreciated!

BOOKS READING

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers

Understanding the Essay, eds. Patricia Foster and Jeff Porter

Keep It Real: Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative Nonfiction, ed. Lee Gutkind

Creative NonfictionIssue 47, Winter 2013. (I know, not really a book.)

You: An Anthology of Essays Devoted to the Second Person, ed. Kim Dana Kupperman

BOOKS COMPLETED

Blurring the Boundaries: Exploring the Fringes of Nonfiction, ed. B.J. Hollars

OTHER READINGS 

Pagan feminism: An Introduction‘, Heather Roberts

What is Research?‘, Arthur Berger

‘7 Types of Forgetting’, Paul Connerton

An Exercise in Artifice: On Writing “See Me Slant…”‘, Kim Dana Kupperman

On the “Stealth Memoir” and The Confessional Expectation‘, Steven Church

I’m Just Getting to the Disturbing Part‘, Steven Church

Goddess Worship‘, Russ Wise

‘Earthstar Magic: A feminist theoretical perspective on the way of the Witches and the path to the Goddess’, Rebecca Gordon

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