JED's Memory Garden
Link to Original Story: Memory Garden - JED
This story is the exact opposite of last weeks story. Or on second thought, it's not. Like last week I waited to the last minute to work on this. I put it off until noon Friday, mostly because I was able to come up with excuses, and convince myself that there was plenty of time left (this is a disturbing pattern in my life). While I was working I was thinking of a couple of ideas – Alzheimer's, family bibles, memorial gardens, etc. But I didn't even have a precise theme until the last minute. The first thing that came to me was the first sentence. And I think I wanted it to be in first person because JP does so well with voice – partly to show him that I could do it, but mostly to prove to myself that I could do it. But I ended up being pretty fortunate in that it just flowed. I sat down to write and the story just unrolled itself like a red carpet. I really like it. I like the integrated themes of bible and memory loss. I like the overt garden metaphor and the flashbacks. It might not be the best story but I'm really quite happy with the way it turned out. Again, I went over and then had to cut it back, but I think so long as it's just a little over, that method works well. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the last sentence or too – bit cheesy. JP and I discussed how it's interesting to "find your place" when reading these stories. In the beginning he wasn't certain who the narrator was, thinking her to be a little girl, then a young woman, and finally realizing that she was an elderly woman with Alzheimer's. I think that could work against you because you could end up spending too much time trying to find your place and miss some of the theme and beauty in the first couple of paragraphs. But it isn't always a bad thing, the feeling of everything snapping into view can be very pleasing. Like a lot else, I guess you just have to balance one against the other. JP and I also agree that it's neat to see the extended world of the stories. I hope (and think) that anyone who reads this can see that this is only one part of the character's lives and stories. For instance, Henry is a big part of the main character's life, though he isn't the point of this story.
JP says thusly: