We have a relatively new addition to our extended family. No, not a dog. So many people describe a pet as a ‘new addition to the family’ and so it is when you think how your grocery bill increases after it arrives. A dog or a cat would be fun but I am talking about a delightful, energetic and lovely, little boy who has just turned two.
Being a writer I couldn’t resist the chance to write his ‘Life’. It is in the form of a diary. When I come home from spending time with him I write the experience up.
A few weeks ago I started to work at putting these random jottings into book form. I didn’t find it easy. There are so many ways I could do it. I could start ‘E was born…’ that seems logical but I didn’t want a narrative that was linked by dates and milestones. I was stumped. Nothing worked for me. I put it all on hold. Then I found this wonderful book…
‘Dora B a memoir of my mother’ by Josiane Behmoiras.
The book is made up of vignettes of Josiane’s memories of her life with her mother. Some are of her very early childhood, some from her school days and there are recent ones leading up to her mother’s death.
As I read I knew that this was the style I wanted use for this book. It frees me up. E’s stories, antidotes and mile-stones don’t have to link or be in any particular order to paint a picture and bring him to life. Josiane’s mother slides out of the pages and into my consciousness. These short pieces give an insight into her that I doubt a chronological narrative would do so successfully.
So, Josiane Behmoiras, thank you for the wonderful read, the inspiration and setting my feet on the right path to make a record of E’s life. A life that I know will take shape and grow as the person who owns that life comes through the words. A big task but thanks J B for showing me the way. I have begun. I would like to think my book stayed around long enough for E’s own children and grandchildren get to know him as a child and a young man. It is hard for us to imagine own parents as children and even harder to think of our grandparents as young twenty year olds starting on life’s journey.
Josiane Behmoiras if you ever read this thank you for sharing your mother and setting my writing on the right path.
You can learn more about Josiane from this Victorian Writers website