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Entries below appear in order of publication.
For specific topics - like Memoir or Narcissa or whatever - please see Blog Subjects in the sidebar.

Memoir

Barbie Doll and Missing Body Parts

Barbie Doll and Missing Body Parts
by Brenda Wilbee
AFTER BREAST CANCER and mangled attempts at reconstruction, I was looking a bit like Birch Bay Drive of WA State after a vicious storm took the road out. My friend Judy was a buoy during the storm, keeping my head above water. But she wasn't a lot of help when the tide went out and it was time to face the damage. No one was. And I wasn't about to take my clothes off just to show folks exactly what we're dealing with here.

Here's the truth, and trust me. . . 

Memoir #2: Reflection vs Documentation

Memoir #2: Reflection vs Documentation
by Brenda Wilbee

MEMOIR #2: REFLECTION Vs DOCUMENTATION
TO WRITE ABOUT OUR "UNRULY PAST" (as Laura Kalpakian names her own delicious memoir!) is by necessity a distortion of "fact" in order to name "truth." Away back when, we didn't have the words needed to name our experience. It's only time, education, and perspective that gives us the articulation we now need to make sense of what was. A memoirist therefore revisits her past with tools to reflect truth rather than document it. Except we run into a few dilemmas.

A first is . . .

Memoir #1: On Making Stuff Up

Memoir #1: On Making Stuff Up
by Brenda Wilbee
MEMOIR #1: ON MAKING STUFF UP

"Your writing strength is scene, Brenda," so says Laura Kalpakian, a mentor of sorts. "Play to your strengths. You've zipped right through this narrative. What does the courtroom look like? Who's there? What is being said?"

The thing is, I didn't want to overly dwell on my great-great-grandfather and his day in court. I only wanted to establish the faith of grandfathers as a long-standing heritage that both helped and hindered me. Besides, Sarratt, England, doesn't and didn't have a court house. The village is a hole-in-the-wall about 30 miles NW of London and I'm not really sure where the hearing took place. More to the point, do I really want to make a scene of it?

i am engaged

i am engaged
by Brenda Wilbee

FIFTY YEARS AGO, flu had been going around the small Southern Baptist college I attended. I was ill, running a temperature; nonetheless, I’d been dragged off to church. Sunday night. Halloween. Full moon. Service finally over, the man I’d reluctantly been dating turned off Camelback Road of Phoenix, Arizona, onto the college campus. But instead of driving straight on and taking the road that ran out to the girls’ dormitory, Norris made an immediate right and came to a stop outside the library—a hunkered down building of stone that sat square on its haunches to stare through blank windows onto a circular fountain eerily stark and empty. Water turned off for winter.

“What are you doing?”

Justice and Silence. An Unintentional Lesson.

Justice and Silence. An Unintentional Lesson.
by Brenda Wilbee

“Why did you make Santa’s nose that color?” Jerry jeered.

My six-year-old self stiffened, helpless against the red-headed, freckle-faced boy who sat in the desk ahead of me. Daddy had told me Jerry taunted because he liked me. A terrible worry. If boys made fun of you when they liked you, what did they do if they didn’t? I stared at the cherry red crayon in my hand, fire in my cheeks.


“Santa’s nose isn’t cherry!” he sneered. I instantly felt everyone turn to stare and fell to my usual frantic prayer: Jesus, open a hole so I can fall in.


Invisible, no one could hurt me.