"Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”
– Robert MacAfee Brown

Some  time ago I was approached by several published writers that I greatly respect. Each one of them, separately, encouraged me to submit some portion of my adoption experience to two separate anthologies that are planned.

I hemmed and hawed and discussed with them and I have come to the decision that I will indeed submit some part of my story to these anthologies. With some luck, they  might even be  selected for publication.

My challenge now that the decision making process is over is to determine what part or parts of my story I should write and submit?

One of my supporters (you likely know who you are) suggested I could consider any number of blog postings here and expand on it. Supporter said I have good material right here.

I tend to agree but what is exactly is the best material?  What is most impactful? Knowing that there is so much to my story I have not shared, is there something unwritten that would be a better candidate for submission? How do I begin now that I have, well, begun?

Is it The Nose, or Telling Children,  Care To Play a Game, or pieces and parts of many posts stitched together into a short story?

7 Thoughts.

  1. I would look at those that were the hardest to write (not that any of it is necessarily easy) and those that got the most heart-felt responses, which may not be the same as those that got the most responses. Then pick whichever one you really WANT to work on further.

  2. I agree, you material is at your fingertips. Do you have your blog printed out? Maybe you could go through and look at the running themes throughout. You have material for a full length book, not just an anthology contribution!
    My favorite technique of yours is how you start out with something ordinary and then seamlessly tie it into your personal experience.
    Good luck!

  3. Do you worry about the impact telling your story has on your daughter? I ask because I am in the process of publishing something that will deal quite honestly with the relationship I have with my son’s birthmother, and the days after my son’s birth. Yes. It is my version, so my story to tell. But, it is also his story, her story. I wonder sometimes about the line.

  4. Kelly – Excellent question and the answer is ABSOLUTELY. It is not easy however if I use what is already in this blog, it is in information she already knows and has access to. I also believe that I can tell MY story without encroaching on hers or suggesting it is HER story.
    For example, how would my telling of my experience of being sent away and living in a maternity have much to do with her? How will telling my story about getting pregant, how my family handled it effect her? How will telling how the brokers who took her from me manipulated me effect her?
    There are part of this story that are uniquely mine before she was born. Sure, if I tell the story of my reunion, I may cross the line into her territory but somehow I think I can even do that without violating her privacy.
    There is more to this explanation but the bottom line is you should not think for a second I havent considered this or that I am not willing/able to live with the consequences.
    She matters for sure but so do I.

  5. There are undoubtedly a gazillion posts you could use as the foundation of your entry, but if you’ve already zeroed in on these three, then my vote would be for Telling Children.
    Everything you write is powerful, everything touches your readers deeply. But what stands out about this particular post is that it talks to the complexity of your adoption experience – the effect it has not just on you and your daughter, but on your sons and husband. That’s a point of view that has been almost entirely lost in the mainstream’s mind – most people think of adoption as the transfer of one child from one family to another, lock stock and barrel. Most people don’t stop and think about it rationally to consider the ongoing affects it has on everyone involved, including future immediate and extended family.

  6. Suz: You have a gift and I am so happy to hear that publishing your truths are finally recognized. “Want to Play a Game” is the most sensitve, gut thrashing I have ever read. It should be on the first page. And the one I will never forget is Graduation. How you bring out those emotions and have left me crying as I imagine how you are when you write them.
    Good work as always, And the very best to you.

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