essay ideas

Now I’m back at work I’m determined to carve out time to continue my blogging –> essay writing. I’ve set aside Thursday afternoons but want to begin getting some ideas on the page so I don’t fall into staring at a page during those chunks of time. I’ve had a bunch of ideas but neglected to write them down…why do I carry around all those little notebooks if I don’t use them?

I read a disturbing yet fascinating essay on Full Grown People about same-sex domestic abuse: Never Say I Didn’t Bring You Flowers. My curiosity piqued by the author’s biography, I looked for information about her and her partner online and, since they were part of a lawsuit in Canada, found some. Plus photos. This got me wondering about the author’s decision to go public with her story. After publishing the piece everyone would know exactly who she’s writing about and would know that this well-known physician in Vancouver had abused her wife. Is she afraid of repercussions? What made her decide to reveal the truth? I guess I’m not there quite yet…still responding to my fear and the fear of others by not disseminating my own writing more widely.

But it also made me wonder if I could try (again) to write something about my “two years as a lesbian.” I kind of started but stalled out. Maybe time to re-boot that.

Fear might just be the next topic. It would connect both of the above. Fear of publishing, fear of telling secrets (my own and others), fear of failure. Begin with the “650 words” blog post then flash back to 1981 and work up through 1983 then forward to 2012? Dunno. But will start there.

Helpful essay: Today, I know I am worth of respect, friendship, and love

About BJ

living the dream in northern Utah
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1 Response to essay ideas

  1. Linda Nowlin says:

    Hi Becky Jo, I just found out about you through an old friendship with Debra Monroe (I was working on my MFA in poetry) while she was busy getting her PhD at the U of U. I got married shortly after my MFA and worked as a poet-in-the-schools for the Utah Arts Council. Debra and I lost touch over the years and I, feeling hopeless, embarrassed, and like a failure didn’t contact Debra or any other friends (barely family) after my divorce. I worked my fingers to the bone as a public educator and did other truly “menial labor” just to get by and raise my son. Finally, hopefully, after leaving public education, with my son in college, and having remarried, I want to and have time to face my OWN fears (of which there are many similar and some additional and different those you’ve braved to admit) and begin to publish again.
    I published two poems in “The New Republic” while getting my MFA, along with other small literary journals, but I lack soooooo much confidence and “follow through” based on my upbringing and family secrets.
    I’ve been in Italy this past year, but when I return in a week or so (after surviving a nearly fatal accident in which I fractured my pelvis in five places, I’m moving from SLC to Phoenix (and know no one except my husband and my dog), but I wanted to ask you if you had any great advice to share with me, things to read, what helped you besides the Taos Writers’ Conference, etc. I would really appreciate it.

    P.S. I really admire the way your essays are so artfully woven together. The way you move from things you’ve read and research, to the present, through the past, etc. It’s really wonderful. Congratulations on your teaching career and writing career!

    My best!
    Linda M. Nowlin

    Please, if there is a way to keep this private, please do so.


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