Very talented modern fictionist George Saunders says in an interview I’m unable to locate for a publication I can’t recall — he says that he didn’t begin to write proficiently until he returned to a voice that most resembled the sort utilized by people in Chicago, his hometown.
For me, I’ve always been skeptical of that tired directive, recited often in creative-writing workshops, that one should “write what [he or she] knows.” I prefer, both as a reader and writer, to be caught up in an experience that is expressly not available to me in my actual, real life. Still, there’s probably some merit to revealing certain elements of one’s own life to the reader.
Pursuant to that point, I present the above image — of my actual birth mother’s actual arm — which arm bears a tattoo of the Boston Red Sox’ cap insignia and which tattoo I know for a true fact she received whilst visiting me in 2007 or -08 (one of those) in Portland, Oregon. As regards the state of her sobriety at the time, I’m unable to comment. That this is a photo of her arm from tonight, however, is a point beyond contention.
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