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The Nucleus

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I was given an assignment in my 406 Workshop, write the nucleus.  Here I am, out of college, and now I have an assignment!  My workshop khaki baseball capped instructor (you know… the kind cool fishing guides wear) and I met at the University for a one-on-one, to discuss whatever I wanted to talk about.  I decided the best way for us to utilize our time was to discuss the structure of my book.  He asked if I’d written that central part of the story, the part that everything else revolves around. You know–the nucleus. I was very quiet at first, thoughtful, and I realized for what the book needs to be, I had not written it yet.  I looked up at him and told him I had not.  I started the story January of 2011 and I DID write the center of what the story was back then.  But…the book is taking on a new life…enter LEISA.  It was only going to be about my son’s and their experiences, keeping myself somewhat removed from their story, and my lens looking through other characters.  It was not working.  My readers wanted more of me, the boy’s Mother.  Kahki Cap asked me if I could do it, you know, write that nucleus.  I swallowed, my heart pumped as if I’d just ran up the “M” and back down, only to go up it again at the same running pace.  Which by the way….I think is insanity mixed with torture! I said I could and that I would. Kahki Cap said he didn’t care if it was a moment between Dustin and I, or my ex-husband and I, or just simply an inner monologue of my own running in my head.  “Just sit down and write it” he said, “when you’ve written it, you will know if it is the center.  It will hit you hard.”  He told me after I write that ONE piece then I can easily structure the book. photo-4 I left the University and my mind started racing.  I thought about what that moment would be, I cried, I thought, and I cried some more.  Suddenly, I thought I knew. I knew where the heart of my memoir was at, the moment where everything revolved and worked around what happened with our family, It was stabbing me in the heart over and over and poking at my mind with the same knife.  I did this for days.  I began to realize that I kept coming back to the same part in my life repeatedly in my mind.  One day, a few photo-1weeks ago, I went to the place where this moment occurred in my life. I wanted to be certain this was what I needed to write. (Without writing a thing yet, of COURSE!) I sat there, took pictures, closed my eyes,  listened, and observed.  I went home and then began to write.  When I completed, I could not read what I had written because of my shaking body, stretched out heart, and constantly pooled up eyes.  This was it.  The center.  The nucleus. The revolving factor which other parts of my story is gathered.  The core.  Kahiki Cap was right, now the structure is smooth, I see the story unfolding more easily now.  It’s spinning around this one piece.  This one piece, my nucleus, has to do with change. It’s the only thing I can count on. ~ Leisa Greene

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Category: Indie It Blog

About the Author: Leisa Greene’s passions include writing about music, theater, film, food, art, family and friends -- all of which are supported by the community of Missoula and an IV line of dark-roasted iced coffee. She is the English Department’s Administrative Associate of Graduate Admissions at her alma mater, University of Montana; the editor-in-chief of Indie It Press; and the author of a memoir manuscript currently titled EARLY OUT. Her other writing consists of short essays (Brother Townsend and A Jamboree Family), playwriting (The Beckett Syndrome) and screenwriting. “The only regret you will ever have is if you never write it. So, go write it Mom. “ – Dustin Nelson, my son

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