Revolution House Magazine Volume 1.3

Page 7

Thesis CL Bledsoe

Take 1 We get the phone call that Mom is dead just after 2 a.m. She had been in the hospital for a little over a week, two days before anyone called me. Huntington’s Disease had made her more a ghost than a mother most of my life. Every time she took a turn, my brother called, advising me to buy a suit, arrange a flight; this was it. This time, the doctor hadn’t expected her to make it through the night. A week later, they hadn’t expected her to make it through the morning. “I think they’re wrong,” my brother said, “I think she’s going to pull through.” Take 2 Jillian makes travel arrangements while I try to write an obituary. I’ve been volunteered for this because I’m a writer, even though my mother is a stranger to me. My first draft is 1000 words. Revision: I can’t write it. I stare at the computer screen for hours, and finally call my brother under the pretense of finding people to contact for information to plug the gaps. We talk, and he takes notes of pertinent information on a form provided by the funeral home. This becomes the obituary. I type it as he talks and carry this with me so I’ll have something to show, just in case.

CL -I’m not sure I see the methodology here. What is the formula for “revision?” It seems to go into speculative or idealized moments and scales back, correcting itself. I wonder, though: Is this nonfiction? And will it fit with the rest of your thesis? -Skip Notes on various scenes of alienation: —Jillian laughing with her parents in the other room while we stay at their house, the night before we fly home. —The reading I was supposed to do that night going on without me. —My brother on the phone describing the food people have brought. —Wondering why she fought so hard. —The quiet drive to the airport in the morning.

CL- why the vignettes? You’re distancing yourself from the reader. Also, I’d like more back-story about your mother’s illness, the long deferment of grief. There’s missing info here. Maybe add