30-Day Writing Challenge: Day TEN. On Memory.

These last few days have been busy for me, so busy, in fact, that I haven’t had the chance to post any new exercises on here. I’m applying to three fellowships and also still hunting for work, all of which eat up a significant amount of time. I’m happy to say, though, that despite my busy schedule, I’ve been writing every day without fail.

Today has admittedly been one of those quiet days where I prefer the company of my own thoughts to any interaction with anyone else. Part of it has to do with the fact that I’m gearing up to write a new story (it’s about time, frankly), but a lot of it also has to do that today, for whatever reason, I find myself in what I like to call a memory vortex, and this is what I wrote about for today’s writing exercise.

Joan Didion, in her memoir The Year of Magical Thinking, referred to those moments when you find yourself lost in a memory as a vortex. Little things- a color, a scent, the honking of a horn – would trigger a host of memories, sometimes crippling in their power. While she was writing specifically about the emotions she dealt with after the sudden death of her husband, the term is an apt one for anyone who has experienced moments of recollection so vivid they border on hallucination.

Memory has always been a subject of interest for me. For today’s writing exercise, I chose to focus on the idea of memory and what it meant to me, specifically in the area of disappointments. Although it was difficult to write about, I found it to be quite an interesting exercise in that it forced me to reflect as I composed. It might also serve as an interesting jumping-off point for a story in the future.

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