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Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Snippet

Well, I have been writing these last few weeks, but not much on the blog. Mostly, when I get a chance to write, I am working on the manuscript and so at the moment feel a little dry with the blog.

And so, as a way of keeping the juices flowing, I'd like to share with you just a few paragraphs of what I wrote today on the manuscript. I've got 13 chapters done so far, but am going through and doing a second draft of the chapters that exist in order to adjust the arc and pacing of the book to complete the last three chapters.

The book deals with the metaphorical shipwreck that happens for so many young adults once they leave college. See my website:, for a quick overview of the book's theme and my first chapter.

This is the beginning of chapter 6, which is all about the genesis of my relationship with Dwayne. Because my metaphorical shipwreck effected my sense of identity, my spirituality, my vision of career, and my marriage, Chapter 6 establishes my relationship with Dwayne so that the readers will understand later on in the book the implications of my metaphorical shipwreck as it pertained to my marriage.

I wrote this from a writing Prompt in Brenda Miller and Suzanne Paola's book Tell It Slant. They ask you to write about a family member, envisioning their life before you met them.

Enjoy! And remember it's a rough draft! :-)


I have, in my mind, this enduring image of Dwayne as a little boy. I see him swinging from vines, in bare feet, little face red with the Haitian heat, sweat beads glistening his freckles. I’m not sure how this image can be true, although I formed it somewhere along the line, perhaps during the tales he regaled me with when we were dating.

I don’t know how this image can be true because I also lived in Haiti as a little girl, and I remember no vines, or jungles. Only dry, dessert heat, brown grass, a single mango tree bent at the knees, arcing over our lawn in a pant, as if the heat was too much even for it. I remember running around bare-foot though. This much I am sure of, in my mind’s eye. I am sure that Dwayne is barefoot because I remember running barefoot in Haiti with a little friend, who was also barefoot and I remember him stepping on a slab of wood with two nails piercing through. And I remember holding his foot between my knees and pulling on the piece of wood with all my might until it released his pink flesh.

And so in my mind’s eye, Dwayne is swinging from tree branches on vines, barefoot with another little barefoot boy.

I ask Dwayne over and over again, “Is this true? Were there vines?” And his answer is always the same.

“No. It was a rope.”

“Oh, so were there lots of ropes, hanging from the trees that you would swing from?”

“No, just one rope, from one tree.”

Though I know this image of Dwayne swinging from vines, barefoot through the jungle isn't true, it remains engraved on my mind, because something about it captures the essence of my husband: who he was before I met him, and who he is now, embodied though he is in the frame of a man, and no longer barefoot.


Blogger Gwen said...

I've heard it said that it's good to have a photo of your husband as a little boy displayed around the house somewhere. I think it's meant to be endearing. I know I love to see Dennis' school boy pictures :).

Sounds like you have a wonderful image of Dwayne to carry with you wherever you go! I'm thinking of a little Tarzan. How fun!

3:21 AM  
Blogger tfritter said...

I love the imagery. It is hard to put down a discipline (like a blog) even for a little while, and not wrestle with defeat. But you and I both know there is a season for everything, and your heart and mind have been wrapped up in much more pertinent endeavors! Blessings to you all. See you soon.

2:50 PM  

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