Today is a big day in a journey I have been on for a few years. The cover of the novel I have been working on, Cassandra’s Daughter, is finished!
When I was only a year old, my mother had electric shock therapy. It was the 1960s. She blurted this news out to me when I was assigned to read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in high school English class. The information was delivered matter-of-factly, with no detail or further explanation. And it was never brought up again. I certainly didn’t feel comfortable asking any questions.
But as my mother came near the end of her life, I thought about what that experience must have been like for her. This was also a time that I was doing a lot of writing, mostly essays, op-eds, and narrative nonfiction articles for newspapers and magazines. Between articles, I challenged myself with writing exercises. I wrote about my experience getting a filling while at the dentist, doing my best to capture the sterile environment and the horror that all my senses were going through. I detailed a ride I took on a city bus, describing the indiosyncrasies surrounding me. And I thought it might be a good exercise to try to climb into my mother’s skin and “feel” what it was like for her in a hospital room in 1963. Twenty-five pages later, I was horrified at what I imagined she had gone through.Continue reading “Something a Bit Different!”