Busted! When I wrote about the Tapestries training last week, I didn’t expect Elizabeth Vega to find it. Always a little disconcerting when someone says "I read your blog." More so when she’s a writer!
Did my interview Monday night (and was interviewed in return), wrote it up and emailed the victim for review Tuesday, then took it to the training session tonight. Felt good to get back into the routine of write, wait, re-write and cut, then final review. Then another review to pull out a repeating theme of streets in France. I keep picking at a piece until I’m happy with it.
Interviewing a real live person was nerve wracking! Even though I know her a little and had coffee to hide behind, it’s hard to delve into someone’s life. The first question was worst ("what was your most memorable vacation?"), follow up ones were easier, prodding for details. Grabbed a couple of good quotes and used them in the write up. Surprising the details that emerged, the significant events from something seemingly insignificant. Everyone has a story to tell.
The tricky part was making the resulting story sound like her, not me. We have to write in first person and use the interviewee’s "voice". I don’t write like an American, had to make a conscious effort to subsitute American words, to write "sidewalk" where I would have used "pavement", and others. Did some filling in of details that should have been there, supposition, and a little research (the first level of the Eiffel Tower is 57 metres above ground, second level is 115 metres, the top is 276 metres). I think it came out OK. The three completed stories were read out, which makes me nervous, but the others said they were good. And it was fun to do! Seeing Kerri when I read out her story was great, making people laugh with the little details, blending my extras with her memory to get a complete story. It all worked!
I didn’t have an idea for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year, I’m hoping to be working with a resident of the nursing home by then. But until they’re ready, I might write some of my own stories down.