A Teeny Sample of My Memoir

River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative has published a piece I wrote in their weekly “Beautiful Things” column. One of the beauties is that each essay has to be 250 words or less. As you can imagine, it’s quite a task for me to keep anything I write that short.

I hope you enjoy reading “Patterns.” You can think of it as a little introduction to the memoir I am writing. Find it here. Please feel free to comment over there, too, if you have time.

Sorry about the shadows and lighting !



Filed under Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Memoir, Nonfiction, Research and prep for writing, Writing

27 responses to “A Teeny Sample of My Memoir

  1. This is a lovely memory. Your father must be a very talented artist. I love seeing art created from unusual objects.

    • Ruth, I do too! I think my father thinks of himself as a pragmatic craftsman, more than an artist, but he’s tickled when someone “mistakes” him for one. Thank you so much for reading and comments here and on the piece itself. xo

  2. Inspiring to read about the intersection between your art and your dad’s.

    • Isn’t it interesting, though? I used to do stained glass. And scrapbooking. And my writing is like those things and like the pieces my dad makes.

  3. Beautiful, Luanne! That’s tough, only 250 words, but you did a great job. I felt as if I was the one sifting through the metal.

    • Ah, thanks, Jill! And thank you for commenting over there, as well. Now you have a little flavor of this book I keep going on and on about ;).

  4. Beautiful language!

    • MMCC, thank you so much! I love that you, with your talents as a photographer and a poet, like the language of this “visual” piece!

  5. Wow, this brings me back to visits to hardware stores with my dad, when all the nails, screws, and other metal bits were out in big bucket to touch and see and smell (as you call them ‘riches’). I spent hours in these places with my dad, and still get an emotional reaction when I find one of these old places. You captured it perfectly.

    • Ooh, I love those old hardware stores! I get depressed every time I have to go into a Home Depot or Lowes, but now I live near a close approximation of one of those real hardware stores. They sell everything including the kitchen sink :). We had one in the town where I grew up that was just fabulous. Thinking of the brass nails and the light switch plates and the coffee pot knobs and all . . . .

  6. Thank you for sharing this!

  7. Beautiful writing Luanne. You set the sense of place so well, appealing to all of the senses. Your Dad is a fine craftsman and your a fine photographer. I don’t think I would have noticed the shadows had you not pointed them out.

    • SK, thanks so much for reading and for your kind words! Haha, re the shadows, every time I go out to take a pic of the durn thing (it’s my favorite piece my dad has given me) there are shadows! Morning, noon, and afternoon. It’s crazy. I guess it could have been put in a better spot, at least for taking pix of it!

  8. For someone who likes silk blouses and almond orchards in full bloom, you did a pretty amazing job describing the metals you found, turning the junk into literary treasures.

  9. I loved your teeny sample, Luanne! What a great eye both you and your father have. I felt almost as if you were sifting through fine lace, not metal. Looking forward to your memoir 🙂

    • Marie, I’m thrilled that you loved it! It’s so amazing to see the shapes and what “can be” when you look at the pieces nobody wanted any longer.

  10. Loved it! Completely intriguing and now I want more. I left a comment for you over on that site as well 🙂

  11. Such a delightful story. I thought the shadows added interest to you picture.

  12. You started this perfectly. You set the tone, you love silk blouses and lovely almond orchards. You find beauty in their patterns and their intricate designs. Then, while you are so ‘not into’ the whole experience of looking at rusty old metal objects, you find faucets and heart brackets. Suddenly making the connection to beauty in found objects. Great job, Luanne! I wrote my comments over there, too! Smiles, Robin

  13. I think I found your site via Jill Weatherholt…no matter, I’m sticking around for awhile as there’s plenty to absorb here. 🙂
    I especially love how you state in your ‘about’ that you are a ‘daughter of a garbage man’ and how that has influenced your life-path and artistic journey.
    I read the original piece in the “Beautiful Things” column…lovely.

    • Hi Laura, I checked out your blog and saw that you’re a musician. I wish I were a musician. One of my “fake bucket list” items, as in, what I can never achieve. Thank you so much for visiting and for your kind words! I am so happy to meet you.

  14. Ellen Morris Prewitt

    So enjoyed this lovely essay, and I can relate to both your dad’s impetus and your discovery of beauty in spare parts. My nonfiction book is about making crosses from broken and found objects – I made one with a plumbers elbow and had a plumber come to my house and say, “That’s an elbow.”

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