Nonfiction Isn't BoringA Blog
Thursday, February 8th, 2001 was my first journal entry. Since then, years of my life have been sporadically scrawled across various notebooks in my almost-illegible handwriting. But even before 2001, I was already gaining writing experience – I just didn’t know it yet.
I had the most incredible luck of living the entirety of my childhood without computers. Instead of Snapchat or iPads, there was outside. Usually, my day was filled with running through sprinklers and neighborhood-wide games of capture the flag that would last for hours. Instead of taking selfies, we were tracing each other with chalk in the driveway. In the winter, we’d built forts, snowmen, have snowball fights, and launch ourselves off of homemade jumps during our sledding fiascos. Any time of the year, if my mother wanted to call me to come home, she used to yell out the back door. If it was my Dad, he’d whistle.
Of course, there are always days when outside wasn’t an option, and for those, my favorite place to go was the library.
On rainy days especially, you’d find me scooting around on the floor, head twisted abnormally sideways, scanning book titles in the Children’s Section, and then Young-Adult. I loved throwing myself into the pages and escaping to other worlds when mine just wasn’t exciting enough. Growing up, I’d have a book with me wherever I went and when I got cranky, my punishment was taking my books away. I swear, I only have glasses now because of years reading by the sliver of hallway light that crept through my door and into my room long after my supposed bedtime.
Not soon before that first journal entry in 2001, I fell in love with a series of young-adult historical fiction called Dear America. Amy Weiss-Meyer writes about how they also influenced her in a great article in The Atlantic. It was a series written to look like actual journal entries from girls living through significant times in history. One was “written” by an Irish immigrant working in the mills in the local town of Lowell, MA. Another is from the time of the Civil War. Another, a girl coming over on the Mayflower (I still remember this one specifically because it was the book that I learned the word “melancholy” from). I remember being enthralled with the historical adventures – and suddenly -I wanted to write like them! I wanted to document my adventures! So, I started to write! I was going to be just like the stories I read about!
It was only after a few entries that I realized – my life was really boring in comparison.
But then, just a few months later, it wasn’t – and I started writing my own Dear America:
September 11th, 2001
“Today two hijacked planes crashed into the world trade centers in new york. On every channel is a picture of one tower already burning and then another plane going straight through the other. It blows up. People running screaming covered in debris…..President Bush just came on the TV and said “These acts shatter steal but cannot shatter the steel of american resolve…
With this turn of events, I was suddenly writing just as much as I was reading. At first, I stuck to my idea of documenting history. I wrote about the news, about the events that were happening after the attack, how it felt to be a girl in the midst of all that chaos. Though this was my journal, my “diary,” I realized pretty quickly that my style of writing wasn’t all that “private” or “secret.” Instead, I was writing as if someone would blow the dust off the pages someday. I was writing like somewhere down the line, my journals would be worth reading. I was writing for an audience that didn’t even exist yet. With this thought in my head, I wrote as if people were reading – and so my writing got better. Soon, writing was as enjoyable as reading to me – and then I decided to do the unthinkable (gasp) and get an English Degree with a minor in Creative Writing. My words then got their first real audience – and I was hooked.
This blog is the digital version of my journal. A place for thoughts and story ideas – this time I’m just stamping them onto digital paper and letting an audience read them. Maybe someday a book will arise from the pages. Right now, I just hope you enjoy it as much as I like writing it.
- In the Shadow of the Duomo: Sometimes, I’ll take the quote’s advice and write about a little vignette on daily life in Italy as a foreigner.
- Street Chic Cooking: There will also be a collaborative effort on here with Rami’s most recent culinary creations – hopefully, complete with recipes, though I highly doubt there’ll be actual measurements involved…because there never are. 🙂
- Banned: An Immigration Story: Immigration is on the back-burner for us right now until the world leaders can calm themselves, though I’m sure a few issues/updates will be brought up along the way.
- Wicked Awesome New England: I may live in Italy but I still miss seasons (Christmas should ALWAYS have snow), lobstah, Red Sox games, and the lack of the letter “r.” Sometimes I’ll write about it.
Over the years I’ve tried my hand at all kinds of fiction (meh), but honestly, since 2001, my life has just simply been too full of crazy to write about anything else. So, nonfiction is usually where you’ll find me – it’s my comfort zone and I’ll prove to you that it’s just as exciting and interesting as anything anyone can think up. If you’re looking for my professional writing, you can find my published work on my Portfolio Page which is updated regularly. Thanks for visiting my little corner of the internet!