Posted by: M.C. | 3 September 2010

Works in Progress

At the moment I’m turning over several ideas in my head: an academic article about forming a professional identity, a possible conference presentation about the relationship between writing and peacemaking, and a couple of ideas for long pieces of fiction. One of them I did some writing on a year or more ago that I keep liking every time I go back to look at it. Time passes and I almost forget about it, then I read a page or two and I want to start working on it immediately again. Within the past week or so, though, I’ve started on something else. Autobiographical but fictional as well. It’s set during my childhood about 40 years ago, and for the first time I’ve begun a piece of creative writing by doing research since I want to capture that time and place. The idea started about a month ago during a conversation with my two older sons and my mother. My 16-year-old was talking about the range of problems we face in the 21st century, about how difficult life has become, and as we talked and I told him about the major issues of my childhood (the Cold War, nuclear destruction, diseases we no longer consider problems now, much more virulent–and legalized–racism and sexism), and it occurred to me that people of younger generations don’t really understand what it was like to be alive, the emotional experience of being alive, in the few decades of my lifetime. I thought it would be interesting to write something from the point of view, in that world, and I like the idea of trying to recreate that experience, no only to revisit my childhood but to peel back the past in a different way. We’ll see how it goes. Now I just need to chip away at each of these projects. But it feels good to have at least a clear concept of several pieces.

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