• Mark Iles

Ten Years In The Making – My First Blog for The Scribe, By Tracy Love

For ten long arduous years I've been writing my memoir, and it's still not finished!

It first started nagging at me when I attended the University of Sussex, when I was undertaking a Creative Writing Certificate. Every exercise we had led me to my dead friend, Amy.

Amy was a young lady I had the pleasure of working with, during my time in the States. Hers was the largest family I 'd ever met in my twenty-one-years of living, she was one of eleven children. Unfortunately, Amy had been shot in the head and the neck by a teenager on Halloween, in Kansas City 1986. I'd spent the last six months of her life with her. We'd laughed and cried, I'd been covered in mucus as she lost control and projectiled it through her trach on to the slowest part of my body, which every that happened to be that day. We'd sung and she pranked called me muttering the words, "Redrum, Redrum, Redrum", straight out of The Shining. Her family took me in as one of their own. I grew as a person the day I met them. I continue to grow, just for knowing them.

I tried to write a "story" using a narrator's voice, Amy's Story, but I didn't really know it. All I knew I'd read in the paper cutting the groundsman had given me, the snippets the family told me, during times of sharing. I wasn't in touch with the family by this time as these were pre-internet days, and I'd moved so many times, we'd lost contact. That attempt failed. I put the clipping back in their envelope and put them in a drawer.

A year or two later, I got the clippings out and tried to write the story from my POV starting the day I met her parents. From the day they'd interviewed me to be her PA, once she was out of the hospital, after having her jaw reconstructed. But I was still fabricating information which just didn't sit right. I put the clippings away again, by this time I had found letters sent to me from her family, so I grouped them all together and put them in a bag and slid them under my bed.

I wrote aimlessly for years, prose I knew would never see the light of day, but at least I was

writing, right? Her mother came to me in my dreams, she'd tell me off for giving up. "I'm disappointed in you Tracy." she'd say "I was sure you were the one who was gonna keep her memory alive."

I pulled it all out again, bought a pretty box to put all the memorabilia in, put a picture of Amy up on my wall, and sat at my computer. For hours, chatting on Facebook, MSN, internet dating, anything but writing. Sick of falling over the box I shoved it back under the bed and left it there.

Three years ago, I tripped on said box, as I got out of bed. I thought nothing of it and shoved it back in. That night I tripped on it as I went to bed. I pushed it back in a told my son off for playing under my bed, which he denied. By the third time of tripping on it, I figured it really was getting impatient with me and was demanding to be written.

What a rollercoaster of a ride it's been. I'd love to tell you all about it and I'll post more next week, if you fancy it.

Until then, thanks for reading.


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