See, Mom, I AM Normal!

I’m taking a break from the regularly scheduled program–One Thing I Learned From Each Memoir I Have Read–to say thank you to a fellow writer and blogger, Ellen Morris Prewitt. She kindly wrote a post yesterday about Writer Site (yup, this blog) on her cain’t do nothing with love blog.

The title of the post is “The Allure of Normal.” In the midst of my gratitude toward Ellen, I did chuckle quite a bit about being presented as the poster child of normal.

After all, I did just write this passage the day before yesterday in a (first draft) scene for my memoir:

The therapist I’d seen years before had pointed out that normal was a setting on a washing machine, not a word associated with people. Maybe my teen hormones had blown things out of proportion.

normal

When I was a kid I lived in the mindset that I was just outside the bounds of normal. Not distressingly weird, for sure. But definitely if-they-only-knew-that-I-am-weird weird. My best friend and I used to call each other “weirdo,” just to reinforce our placement in the universe.

But now I’m all grown up and so normal. 😉 Unless you ask my husband. But that is a subject for a future invisible post.

Let me tell you something about Ellen. She’s got a super impressive bio, including Pushcart Prize nominations and a Special Mention. Her website is found here. One of the many intriguing facts about Ellen is that she has an essay published in Sue William Silverman’s memoir how-to book Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir (which I own!). How cool is that?!

Ellen has another blog, too, found here.

Thanks, Ellen, for your kindness to a fellow blogger!

I hope you stop back Monday to hear about the next memoir on my shelf.

29 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Memoir, Memoir writing theory, Nonfiction, WordPress, Writing

29 responses to “See, Mom, I AM Normal!

  1. Luanne,
    This is such a courageous post. I’ve long understood writers to be of that “other” tribe. The different ones. The sensitive ones. The so-called “damaged ones,” another term I don’t take stock in, bc someone on the “washing-machine” dial of so-called normal slung that term around their neck to make things worse for them. The free writes and bookwork I’ve done this past year sticks a toe into the waters to begin exploring the inherited and cultured “other side of normal” that drove me to Alaska. That drove my father to depression. That drove family members to suicide. That drove me to some fantastic edges from which I’ve learned so much. You can’t know how I respect your bravery in this post. I’d love to know more about how you construct your cartoon images such as the washer above, and I’d love your permission to reblog this. Hugs sister writer, Renee

    • Luanne

      Sure, Renee. This probably sounds “weird,” but I am so happy that you are beginning to explore that stuff. Thank you for your kind words, too. I can’t wait to see you tomorrow. Re the depression, etc., I got the health stuff on my DNA test, and it was astonishing how I lucked out with so many genes for bipolar and schizophrenia, but there was one gene that can be associated with schizophrenia that they think might make someone “at risk” 😉 for increased creativity. I found that interesting not only for myself but for all of us creative types. Re the cartoon: this one I stole, but I gave credit by linking to the blog it was found on. So if you click the photo it should take you to her blog. Re other cartoons I have made: I just use the regular meme making sites–choosing from their stock photos and creating my own text. I would love to explore all that more. Basically, I wish I could sit at the computer and learn new things all day long. Alas. xoxo

  2. PS – I also plan on getting Ellen’s book Fearless Confessions!

  3. What a great post from Ellen Morris Prewitt and response post from you!

  4. I think many of us who are not “groupies” sometimes feel we are weird, but most of the time that turns out to be a good thing. It means we can think for ourselves.

    • Luanne

      Anneli, thank you! That is exactly–I always felt too independent to be part of the “group.” That translated to weird as a kid.

  5. Lol! My girlfriend and I used to call each other “weirdo” and “nerd” when we were young. I believe everyone has a degree of “weirdness” that’s what makes us all unique. Congrats to Ellen on the publication of her essay!

  6. Ian

    Luanne! I thought I must have gravitated to your blog for some reason. Now I know it is your subversive weirdness! 😉 Whether we are covertly or overtly strange, somehow we find one another in the blogosphere! And finding and connecting with so many creative, interesting, and talented people is something I appreciate more and more as I get into blogging. As Jill says, “everyone has a degree of ‘weirdness’ that makes us all unique,” and thank goodness for that!

    • Luanne

      Hahahaha, Ian, you are so right. What a hoot. I had no idea when I first started blogging that the big benefit I would discover would be all the cool bloggers. The community of bloggers. I think it’s one of the main reasons that brings me here instead of working on the book ;).

  7. Sweet! Congrats to you and thanks to Ellen!

  8. Weird is so much more fun and interesting than normal 🙂 Congrats to you!

  9. Reblogged this on unpackedwriter and commented:
    As I work up to more and more brave writing, Luanne’s post hit at just the right time. She demonstrates a way to do that and recommends a book that should show us how… enjoy this courageous post!

  10. I really enjoyed this lively post! What a great photo reference, too! I don’t think creative people (especially writers, artists, musicians and poets) are ever “normal!”
    I just invited you to join my Picnic! What will you bring to share? I thought you could read to all of us, I placed you at the head of the table! You are being nominated for The Sunshine Award! Hope you enjoy the picnic post and will accept the nomination, too! Smiles, Robin

  11. I’m gong to have to pay close attention to this blog to find out if you really are “normal!” That’s if I know the definition of normal . . . Thanks for this post.

  12. P.S. Do you have a Twitter account? I’d love to connect there, as well.

  13. Son of Sharecroppers

    Hi, Luanne,

    I’ve noticed that everyone I talk to at any length will eventually say, “My family is so crazy/weird/strange.” Everyone has some story about the strange things that his or her father/mother/sister/brother/uncle/cousin did.

    As we mature, each of us must go through a process of individuation. That process pretty much requires each of us to define himself or herself in contrast with those around us. If we succumb to “normality,” then we lose our sense of being an individual.

    Now, I say this in regard to people growing up in the United States, Great Britain and its Anglophone colonies (Canada, Australia), and perhaps in western Europe. My remarks may not hold true for others.

    I won’t bore you with my life story. Suffice it to say that I can readily distinguish my biography from those of others. So I sometimes look on others and think, “So-and-so had a normal childhood.” But when I dig deeper? All, all, all of us have been blessed and damaged in individual ways. None of us is normal; and, as a corollary, none of us is abnormal.

    Let me add, finally, that I really appreciate your blog. You know me largely as a photographer. Yet I really count myself a writer first.

    • Luanne

      Well put! You are so right about the way we have to individuate as we grow up and how that plays out with the normal/crazy stuff. I can’t imagine a family not touched in some way by mental illness or addiction or something similar. That would seem abnormal to me ;). I love this: “All of us have been blessed and damaged in individual ways.” Beautiful.
      Yes, I love your photography, but it’s good to think of you as a writer, too.

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