What Monica Wood TRIED to teach me

On the record, I LOVE Monica Wood. I think that is abundantly clear. When she gave her talk at Orono, I knew it would be on Memoir, since that is her new passion in writing.

She tried to convince us that we all have a story to tell. That no matter how boring we think our lives our, there IS a story worth telling. And I almost believed it. Almost.

She gave us several writing prompts to prove her point, and after reading what I wrote, I can confirm, my life is dull. Ha!  Don’t believe me?  See for yourself:

Prompt 1: Make a memory list of a time you were in high school listing ten memories about that one time. And you only have 5 minutes. Eeek!

This was my list:

1. I just found out that my grandfather had died.

2. I was in the house alone.

3. I was wearing my prom dress.

4. My date was a foreign exchange student and tennis pro that I really didn’t know well. (Irony would be that his name is Tobias.)

5. I didn’t want to go to the prom with my date.

6. I only wanted to go to the prom so I could see another boy that didn’t ask me to prom.

7. My ‘date’ arrived hours late (he was stuck in a tennis match).

8. We didn’t have time to go out to eat.

9. By the time we got there, we only had 20 min until the prom ended.

10. I got one dance with the boy I wanted to go with. He told me I looked beautiful.

AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW, ain’t that corny?

Need further proof?  We had 90 seconds to write about a place.  I was tired, and there was a bit of a draft, so of course I thought about a warm bed.

The room is warm–too warm, but I’m too tired to turn the thermostat down. Too cozy on the large soft bed. Too lost inside a dream that isn’t real. Too afraid to pull the sheet off and expose my nakedness. Too afraid to be cold.

Woe is me
Woe is me

Oy. Must everything I write be so melodramatic? Honestly! Ha! I blame the actress in me needing things to be higher stakes than they are. And that’s what writing my ‘memoir’ would be, I think. Me whining about the pretty darn good life I had.

Nope. I’m gonna stick with fiction where I can mess up peoples life for fun. 🙂


Sorry, Monica, I love you, but I’m not ready for memoir yet!


Danielle Bannister



2 thoughts on “What Monica Wood TRIED to teach me”

  1. I think what Ms. Wood is trying to say (and forgive my presumptuousness) is that what you write about is not important. How you wite about it is crucial. If you were to tell YOUR story the same way you tell Jada and Naya’s stories, the reader will be just as engaged, regardles of the fact that it really did happen. The truth told well can be just as interesting as the wildest fiction.

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