Dinner Party at McDonald’s

After a writer’s meeting where would you want to go? A fancy restaurant with “bistro” in it’s name? A malt shop reminding you of high school? The Woolworth counter? Or…McDonald’s?

For the four of us, it was definitely McDonald’s only a few blocks down the street in Alton, Illinois darkness. Safety in numbers with more laughs to boot. Lloyd–noted professor and author. George–doctor with creativity to burn in all the arts. Liz–a brave woman who is no stranger to fighting for miners’ rights because she’s been in the mines herself. And me.

The question of the night was: “How do you tell the truth in memoir?”

Here’s what we figured out. Don’t think that the readers will think what you think they will think. Projection, yes. Also, “responsibility entanglement.” As in “Oh, my mother would just die if she found out that…” This isn’t your fault or your look-out. Fret not.

Surrender to the work. Let the work lead you. It’s not about it. It’s a larger story. It’s about the work and making it the best it can be.

You have to own your dance, as a friend taking Tango told me. You have to own your life and how you write it.

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