A few weeks ago, I released my first memoir, moon lost her memory. To celebrate this accomplishment, I am going to answer a few questions about the book and its writing. It might be a while until there’s a new book. So I’m excited to dive in.
Why didn’t you write a linear memoir?
The first thing many people notice about moon is that it’s in a general chronological order, but tends to skip around and go story by story, rather than following an exact timeline. The most simple answer to this is that I have an absolutely awful memory (hence the book’s title) and if I truly tried to remember how these isolated stories were ordered on a timeline, I’m afraid I would have no idea.
Additionally, a lot of my memories, particularly of childhood, feel as though they happen on different planets. As a trauma survivor, I’ve learned this can happen to children under a great deal of stress and although it’s frustrating, there isn’t much I can do about it.
A lot of the memories are negative. Did you do that on purpose?
I didn’t. Unfortunately, it seems that most of what I remember from my past is what had a negative impact on me. I can remember good times, but most of it seems to be lost under a veil of depression. Even the good times were only good at arm’s length.
Did you write down every single thing that has ever happened to you?
I must admit, after I published the book, I would randomly think about a memory I could add or a story that would fit in with the rest. Sometimes I would think to myself, did I mention any of this event in the book? But as much as I love tinkering with my writing after I’ve declared it finished, once it’s published, I conclude there has to be a stopping point.
So I like to think of this book as a slice of life, rather than my life as a whole, unfiltered. There were times when I thought of adding one memory or another and realized the memory was boring or ultimately meaningless to the greater scale of my life. I didn’t want to keep writing things that didn’t truly matter for the sake of thoroughness.
What do you want people to learn from your memoir?
While my life has taught me so much, I really wanted it to show others that trauma and mental illness are not a death sentence. Even less than stellar beginnings do not mean there’s only one way the story can end. Things can get better and situations can improve. Hope might seem overrated sometimes, but it’s the only way to keep pushing forward.
Is this going to be your only memoir?
Probably not. Although I can’t say for sure what a future memoir would look like. One thing I know, it’s going to be a great time getting all of the material.