December 20, 2007

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Hi Oprah, it's Val. So I’m about to turn the ripe age of 23 and my mother’s cancer just closed up shop. In technical terms I’m a motherless, illegitimate, only child. But sincerely, the whole experience was quite transcendent. All of a sudden I have this spiritual story to tell and I want to share it with everyone I care about. However, no matter how badly I want to relive my tale for friends whom will appreciate it, it’s pretty exhausting to tell it day after day. So my long- term goal is to put the whole thing on paper and ring up Oprah when I’m ready for a book tour. I thought I’d tickle two birds with one feather by jotting down vignettes here on this lonely little blog {that I pay for and seldom make use of.} Not only will I be able to sketch the chapters of my “highly anticipated” novel, perhaps I can speak to those of you that just can’t wait to hear all about it. First let me say, I’ve only got a handful of English courses on my resume- all I am sure of is that I know a story that's itching to be heard. If anyone knows the first thing about writing books or knows someone who does I’d love to hear from you/him/her/Oprah. Here it goes: Titles– #1– Teenie’s Big Gift {a ‘lil contrived I know, but I never pass up an opportunity to sneak in an oxymoron} #2– “The Happiness That Attends Disaster” from Jeffrey Eugenides’, Middlesex {not sure about the legality of using a quote from another novel as the title of yours, plus maybe this one’s a little scary} Ok I obviously need to keep that on the backburner. I’ve decided that the ever-present theme of my story is simply this: my mother left my family and I with a super, special gift. Believe me when I tell you it wasn’t a monetary inheritance whatsoever, rather a sneak peek at what life (and death) really have to offer. In life, Teenie (mom) was known to all as the ultimate gift giver. She’d give you ten trinkets for one occasion and be content if you truly liked one out of the ten. I must confess that while she was on her deathbed, I told her I loved a certain shower curtain she gave me even though I didn’t, but that’s not something that a bit of professional counseling can’t help me get over. Anyhow, at first I thought that being front and center during her transition out of this world was ONE BIG GIFT. Upon reflection I came to appreciate that even in death, she doled out not one gift but dozens. This is where the structure (if any) of my story comes into play. Each person involved during her dying process proved to be one of Teenie’s Treasures. I’m thinking of forming each chapter around one out of a dozen or so of those people. A natural person to start with would...

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