Maybe it was things winding down for Easter, maybe it was the theme of the challenge, but this week I decided to plunge in. But boy, was it hard! Much as I relish pruning back redundant words, this was like growing bonsai. But I persevered in the knowledge that limits can be liberating for writers, and Charli’s introduction had already drawn me in.
She writes about how a glimpse of the world can spark a memory, and that memory can lead us towards a choice of creative paths. One leads to memoir, another to fiction: why someone might follow one route rather than the other to tell their story is something I’ve been pondering lately, as I’m looking forward to hosting a post from a memoirist here later this month.
Charli’s 99-word challenge is to “write a biography for a character, alter-ego or you”. Well, I struggle enough with the bios editors request to accompany my short story publications, so you can guess which way I was going to go. And I thought it would be useful to tighten up my thinking about a character I’m musing on. So it’s over to Bernie, in her ninety-nine words:
Winning the TV quiz show, Family Challenge, assured me a rosy future. My encyclopaedic knowledge would fuel my teaching career. I hadn’t bargained for a pregnancy midway through the training. When I surrendered my baby for adoption, I lost my sense of purpose too.
Can’t complain, though. I work in a school, albeit in admin. I’m extremely popular on quiz nights down the pub. But, if people ask if I have children, I don’t know what to say.
Everything’s changing again, as Jason has made contact. Given he’s about to become a father, can I call myself Grandma now?
After reading some of the beautifully poetic contributions already up on the site, I think I might have fallen into the trap of prioritising information over style. Clearly, more practice is in order, but at least I’m getting to know Bernie a little better.