pumpkin head

My head is Charlie Brown round.

The rest of my body is not but the organ attic fits my neck. Most of the time I don’t think about its size or shape until I need to borrow someone’s hat or October comes calling.

It is the month of gourds and goblins. It is the season of my head.

Just last week, a doctor “friend” mentioned the shape of my head in reference to brain matter and my birth.

He pointed to my cranium and salivated for science.

“A lot of research could be done on a head like that.”

Since I wasn’t forced through the off-ramp, I left my mother’s uterus with a round, robust hat rack but this should not be cocktail conversation. No one wants to flip the organ donor card over c-sections and canapés.

I am sure the doctor and I had been talking about Alzheimer’s but I don’t really remember. I could only think about my keeping my head.

In theory (unsubstantiated but true), I do have a big brain and therefore need a large carrying case to support it. But with super size comes stupid storage.

My extra headspace contains almost too much room, too many cerebral cells. My daily thoughts range from non-Nobel Prize notes such as lint as a food source to how to iron my knees.

Big heads of the past and present have given us the theory of relativity, a couch to cry on and smizing as a global concept.

Me, I think about wine and quick-dry pants.

When I was acting, my dome was a Hollywood asset. On the set of a loan default industrial shoot, the makeup artist shrieked, “You have so much face to work with!” I took this as a compliment as she applied “nagging wife” spackle to my wide visage.

Now when I look at my big head, I often think of lost opportunities and the eternal pressures of a pinhead. Then I reach for the carving knife and my candy corn.

No hat needed.

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back on the blog (or notes to self)

I am back. My book is almost done. Life is good. Finally. Scraps from my absence include the following:

My father is still important to me. I need to get over that.

Our tiny room in Paris was just big enough for the bitterness.

Why do I not care more about money?

She cannot raise her eyebrows even when the moment calls for it.

Almost every list says, “hair, face, teeth.” As if these items are not in my orbit.

They will thank me later. Or not.

I caught my first fish. He forgot to take a picture but that fish knows what’s up.

Anyone can say they are a writer. Only they know if they are or they can or they do. Maybe.

Even when it’s not a competition, it’s totally a competition. I know that.

I know it is hereditary but I cannot accept the dying part.

Never tell this part. Never talk about this part. Delete this part.

I hate her for saying people who write memoir only have one or two stories. Abuse or they hate their families. She has a family but that is not the point.

When I visit the shark attack website, it makes me smile.

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my writing process blog tour

Lauren Westerfield (@lwwesterfield) and I survived a six-day writing workshop with Stephen Elliott. Her prose on fear and the body kept me reading. The Scotch kept us talking. Now there is this.

She hangs out here: www.laurenwesterfield.com

And then there is me.

What are you working on?

I usually tell people I write humorous essays about uncomfortable things. Most of these involve my parents, slavery or the subway. Currently, I am revising a dad damage memoir. I am also working on a book of travel essays, tentatively titled, The Worldwide Break-Up Tour.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I like concise, fearless, funny sentences; collage with a punch and white space. Is that different? Maybe not.

Why do you write what you do?

I write nonfiction because my world is too weird to make up. Just meet my parents or ask about my need to own a pocket shark. I want a five-inch Great White, alive, not sponsored by Disney, that fits in my purse.

How does your writing process work?

It usually starts with an exchange of dialogue, a snippet of snark, something that has clipped my ears or crushed me in some way. For example, in Charleston, South Carolina, everyone suggested I take the Slave Tour. I am black. My family has already taken that trip.

I then describe the place, the people, the event, the tension until I am exhausted. When it seems stuffed, I take an axe to it. When I can read it to my plants without dry heaving, I call it quits.

Now, I think you should stalk these people:

Tabitha Blankenbille. tabithablanken.wordpress.com @tabithablanken She will make you worship a piece of cheese, burn down your cubicle and run off with the beer distributor. Enough said.

Deirdre Sugiuchi. deirdresugiuchi.com/blog @DJSugi Reform school refugee, Athens rock star. Bring it.

Jessica Walker James. mybriefcrackoflight.wordpress.com We cackled like drunk donkeys on the mountain. For days. That is all.

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Filed under Memoir, Writing