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Memoir Class 1

Yesterday I went to my first ever writing class.  I had been to a class previously regarding writing and submitting a book proposal.  But this was the first class that consisted on actual writing assignments as well as in class discussions after writing prompts.

Our class consisted of only 5 women plus our teacher (also a woman).  The 6 of us all had something in common.  A traumatic experience in our lives that we wanted to write about.  All of the women are very nice and very inspiring.  I was terrified to go in the first place but I definitely am glad that I did.  It was refreshing.

We started off class talking about the six word memoir.  If you could sum up your life, or an event in your life with 6 words, what would it be?  Think for a second and at the bottom I’ll tell you what I came up with.  This is something I think I might do on a daily basis, they can be helpful and insightful.  It would be nice to see over the course of the year how different they might range, and makes you wonder if you’d have any duplicates.

After that we talked about a statement made by T.S. Eliot, “I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.”  We were told to write for 10 minutes uninterrupted answering this question.  What have you measured your life in?  Below is my response.

First my 6 word memoir-
Exuberant girl in a skinny world.  (they loved this and told me it could be a working title for my book!)

And now my response to the question-
My life has been measured out not in moments, not in loves, not in experiences, but instead in calories. Every day, every meal, every bite. Food was no longer about enjoyment it was strictly about that number. Breakfast was no longer about that savory omelet with eggs whipped light and fluffy to perfection, richly sweet caramelized onions or sharply smooth Gruyere cheese. 350. That is what it meant to me. 350 calories. Life became a chore, not only in the act of eating, but also in all of the things that went along with it.
     Hiking, dancing, running. All things not only fun, but things that I actually enjoyed doing weren’t thought of that way. Instead they were the 400, 500, or 600 calories they erased from my body. There was a minimum, and a maximum to each and everyday. Everyday. Everyday. Everyday the minimum to burn was 400 and the maximum to eat was 1250. Determining what I could or couldn’t do, like a prison cell.

After that people would repeat words back to us from our writing that resonated with them for me I got : Sweet caramelized onions, erased from my body, like a prison cell, every day…, numbers…, life became a chore, Calories every meal.

Overall it was a great class and fun to see what other people’s writing styles were.  Our homework for the class is to write a personal essay every week right around the 750 word range, double spaced and bringing in a copy for everyone in the class.  Then we will do the same say back afterwards.

I am working on my essay currently, I have 1 done, but I would like to do more.  Its kind of a fun exercise.  I will keep you guys posted on what I come up with!

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