As I finish research for a major project, I'm keeping my writerly chops loose by writing a series of connected family memoirs, and it's proving to be an interesting exercise in history, memory, and creating nonfiction. But the memoir that's proved the most challenging is one in which I'm center stage – a selective chronicle of my own life.
In writing me into memoir, I chose to focus on a singular aspect of my life – my father and I and my brief military career, how that affected our relationship, and how my service years seemed to have affected my subsequent life.
The reason I chose early on to write fiction was to avoid such self-disclosure – at least overtly. But as my fiction kept creeping closer and closer to real life, I decided I had to give my best shot to my own life – sort of a creative exorcism.