Why I Write

I started writing because I couldn’t not.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t one of those kids writing poems and stapling together little books I’d written.  I was the kid taking ballet, tap and playing field hockey, softball, and whatever else was offered in my dinky little copper mining town in Zambia.  My thoughts were too scattered to capture on the page.

But all that changed in the 90s.  By then I’d been following an inner path for twenty-five years, studying The Wisdom and journaling insights I received in meditation. And then all of sudden I found myself impelled to write about my family and Africa.  The result was a 500-page memoir of flashbacks that took three years to write. The poor volunteer reviewer from the National Writer’s Association penciled these little faces with downturned mouths in the margins, complete with dialogue, “Oh noooo, not another flashback.” It took another five years of writing classes and rewrites to turn my monster memoir into what would become two coming-of-age novels: Monkey’s Wedding and Mine Dances, about family, courage, loyalty and the soul of a country in transit.

My next project was to get to that memoir I thought I was writing in the beginning.  Instead, my husband of twenty-five years started disappearing and I had to write about what I was going through. This became my memoir, Loveyoubye, a portion of which takes place in Africa. Since then, I’ve been blogging and writing essays, which include stories about my childhood.

You can read the first chapter of my memoir, Loveyoubye: Holding Fast, Letting Go, and Then There’s the Dog on Jukepop Serials.

23 thoughts on “Why I Write

  1. Rossandra,
    Gorgeous blog! I, too, love your voice. Sure hope you write that memoir of Africa. Maybe now that the other big emotional memoirs have cleared the clutter :), you can dig in? Glad I found you through SheWrites.
    Carry on!

  2. Just visiting you back. I like what I see. So you’re from Laguna Beach? You wouldn’t happen to be familiar with an artists who was quite active in the scene there in the 70s and 80s by the name of Sherry Andrens, would you?

  3. I love your stories. Is that the correct word? Have been trying to put my thoughts/brain, into writing about my life and experiences, in Africa, and think that you have put me on that path. Thank you

  4. Hi, Rossandra! Just thought I’d come find out more about you. It’s interesting that you’re living in Laguna Beach. My grandparents were ‘Snow Birds’ and vacationed there every winter. I was down there with my family in 1975, where we visited friends of my grandparents living in a retirement community. I look forward to interviewing you. 🙂

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