Just to Clarify

Posted on 13 February 2012

Since Living Arrangements was published, I’ve been asked some amusing questions that largely revolve around whether or not certain stories are autobiographical. I’d like to clarify some of them here:

No, I have never been a competitive figure skater. Or any kind of figure skater. I do like ice skating (though I can count on one hand the times I’ve been skating in the last five years), but that’s the only truth in this one.

No, I don’t have a terminal illness. Phew!

I was not a musical prodigy. I’m sure my junior high chorus teacher or band director would be willing to back me up on this one. Oh god, can still remember being forced to sing “You Are the Wind Beneath My Wings” in chorus.

No, I have never worked in a bagel shop. This one is probably the most likely possibility, but even so, it’s still not true. Based on my love of bread, it’s probably a good thing for both my BMI and the hypothetical bagel shop’s inventory that I never held this particular job.

No, I have never been a lingerie model. This one cracks me up every time. There’s really nothing to say except “Um, no.”

I hope that helps. Any questions?

Photo: ma_shimaro


12 responses to Just to Clarify

  • You know what all this tells me? You’re imagination knows no bounds.

  • Sarah W says:

    So, writing what you know is far more than mere details?

    (and I’m really, really glad about the terminal illness, by the way)

  • Lyra says:

    It didn’t even occur to me you’d have to answer how close to the truth these stories were. How terrifying!
    My money would have been on you working in a bagel shop though. And that you went out on Halloween as Sylvia Plath.

  • Averil says:

    But have you ever been a boy? Inquiring minds want to know.

    (As Lyra has mentioned, this line of questioning is terrifying.)

  • Downith says:

    So, since you didn’t deny it here, I’m guessing that you did in fact write to Elizabeth Bishop???

    • Teri says:

      See, this is where I’m a fool and I figure Sure Laura wrote to Elizaberh Bishop! —– but it just reminds me, in the end, how invested I am in the story.

  • Ha! I need to reread Living Arrangements in the next week, so I can hit you with a barrage of crazy questions on the Megabus…

  • Just ordered a copy of your book from Amazon.

    And, a whittling pocket knife.

    Not that the two are related in any way, because they aren’t.

    Just thought I’d share that.

    • Thanks so much for ordering the book! You’re the best.

      At first I thought your comment meant you were whittling a pocket knife. I was seriously impressed (and also a little confused, but mostly impressed). So what are you going to whittle? And isn’t “whittle” a very strange-looking word?

      • I never thought of that… I suppose you could whittle a pocket knife. What would be super-impressive is if you could whittle a pocket knife using a pocket knife that you whittled.

        Honestly, I’m not sure what my first attempt will be. I was inspired last summer when I found whittling remains at an abandoned camp site. There was a piece that the whittler must not have been happy with and tossed, but I thought it was the most awesome thing. It didn’t really have much form, but you could tell her spent some time on it. Hundreds of cuts on this thing, yet it was perfectly smooth all around. Zero splinters. It was faceted similar to a diamond. I kept it in my car for the past 6 months or so, within arms reach. I liked to pick it up and hold it sometimes while waiting at traffic lights.

        All this, from a former city boy.


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