Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Serendipity – an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident

That is the name of the game for today’s blog post. It started out with me wondering, in the back of my mind, if I couldn’t find something to write that would only encompass the 15 minutes spare minutes I have of my lunch hour (OK, technically it’s a lunch half-hour but that sounds so awkward). I tried haiku but honestly, stuck in a room with no windows I just can’t connect enough with nature to get out a decent haiku. That’s when an email showed up in my inbox. I am ruthless with trashing unwanted emails so the fact that I read it at all was miraculous.

Turns out Jane Herenstein is having a special 99 cent sale of her ebook Freeze Frame: How to Write Flash Memoir starting tomorrow. I read a lot of memoir but don’t necessarily write it. But 99 cents? I decided to give it a try. (And ordered it early so I could tell you my thoughts).

Freeze Frame was an interesting book and taught me so much about memoir I didn't know. It included a discussion of what memoir is, addressing the truth vs. fiction question, dialogue and composite characters as well as the definition of “flash”. Seems flash can be as little as 100 words. There were plenty of writing prompts that I was just itching to try. I was mentally composing flash memoirs as I read Freeze Frame. Read this book ready to write because flash is addictive! There were lists of memoirs to read as well as several excerpts. Finally there were lists of publications that are friendly to flash memoir (as well as other genres of flash). It was the writing prompts and the explanations that preceded them that really drew me in. Definitely worth more than 99 cents – and enough “assignments” for quite a few lunch hours.

Then I had an email from a friend of WOW, Barbara Barth who is on a WOW Blog Tour for her romance/suspense Danger in her Words right now. But Barbara is a memoirist at heart and is going back to her roots with a creative non-fiction about her many dogs. And she’s inviting writers to submit blog post (flash memoirs if you want another name) about the dogs in their life to her blog Writer with Dogs. My furry friend Daisy and I are already signed up and would love to meet you there.

So how’s that for serendipity:

Extra time at lunch + unwanted email +  dog memoir = today’s post

When was the last time serendipity showed its surprising face in your life?


Sioux Roslawski said...

Jodi--Thanks for the information on flash memoirs. I write true (most of the time) but I don't always write short. ;)

I think it was serendipitous when a colleague was workshopping a poem. It was about how the worries she had for her son (who is white) differed from the worries her friend has for her son (who is black).I suggested thinking about doing it two-voice style. She wasn't thrilled about completely overhauling it at that point, but it spurred ME to write one, since my closest friend and I have sons who are the same age, and yet her son was paralyzed when an intruder came into his house and shot him.

The fact that she shared her poem at that exact moment--when I was ready to write something else--was a bit of serendipity, I think...

BECKY said...

Hi Jodi! I'm a frequent reader of The Muffin and have it listed on my blog roll, AND I love the word Serendipity, and its meaning because it seems to happen to me in spurts...and I'm kind of in one of those spurts right when I saw the title of this particular post...Well, here I am! (Gosh! Is that the longest "intro" for a blog comment you've ever read??!!) I'm a memoirist and the idea of Flash Memoir sounds really interesting. I don't have an e-reader, but for 99 cents, I'll buy it and just read it on my laptop! I also love the idea of submitting to the Writer with Dogs. So...thank you for your fabulous, serendipitous blog post! :)

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