Wednesday, February 20, 2008

that novel...

...that I've been planning to write. Intending to write. I know it will be fantastic! A work of art! A bestseller!

Okay, how many people who maintain blogs are novel-writers to be? Millions, I'm sure. Makes me feel less special.

The inspiration for my memoir/novel thing (oh, I am so clear on what I am doing here, no?) is my mother's novel, The Tempest of Clemenza. Before my mother died, even before she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I have been jotting things down. But her death -- and her wishes for me to write -- have compelled me to do more.

I re-read The Tempest of Clemenza, my favorite of her novels, soon after she died. It is fiction, but the frame story is about a single mother and her only daughter, Clemenza, who is 13 and has some unnamed terminal illness. Clemenza has a lot of me in her, my fashion sense (wearing gold, high-heeled sandals on a hike) and my stories (that friend who lost her virginity in a sandbox in Washington Square Park). And I am the only child of my single mother.

The mother-daugher relationship has inspired me. Though my memoir will be about much more, that relationship will be my frame. The idea that my mother knew me better than anyone, while I ran around trying to define myself (I still run around trying to define myself), is the one I want to carry through (without being too heavy-handed about it, of course).

All very concrete, right?

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