>Life is an Audition: One Little Song

>Tuesday I watched Barbara Walters on Oprah, talking about her new book/memoir, Audition. Barbara says the title of the book comes from her sense that her entire life has been an audition. “As a child, I felt that I didn’t belong—I was auditioning. I kept going to different schools—I was auditioning. Most of my professional life, I’ve been auditioning,” she says. “I think for a lot of us, life is an audition.”

I remember telling someone, quite a few months ago, when they asked me if I felt that I had something to prove by my writing/publishing, that yes, I do feel that way. It was both sad and heartening to hear someone of Barbara Walters’ reputation say that she felt that she was always auditioning in her life… for acceptance. Her book is now on my “to buy” list.

With the plethora of memoirs on the market, a writer like me, with a memoir-in-progress, can either get discouraged and think, like the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes, “There’s nothing new under the sun,” or choose to take encouragement from the popularity of the genre. One of the literary agents that I’ve queried recently replied to my email today, requesting to see the full book proposal, so here’s hoping he finds something original, something new, in what I have to say.

One of my Goddaughters, Katherine, gave me a Gillian Welch CD as a Pascha gift. I’m loving it. It’s called “Soul Journey.” My favorite song is called, “One Little Song.” You can listen to it here, or watch the video here.
The lyrics are yummy:

There’s gotta’ be a song let to sing

Cause everybody can’t of thought of everything
One little song that ain’t been sung
One little rag that ain’t been wrung out completely yet
Gotta’a little left
One little drop of fallin’ rain
One little chance to try again
One little bird that makes it every now and then
One little piece of endless sky
One little taste of cherry pie
One little week in paradise and I start thinkin’
There’s gotta’ be a song left to sing
Cause everybody cant of thought of everything
One little note that ain’t been used
One little word that ain’t been abused a thousand times
In a thousand rhythms
One little drop of fallin’ rain
One little chance to try again
One little bird that makes it every now and then
One little piece of endless sky
One little taste of cherry pie
One little week in paradise and I start thinkin’
Gotta’ be a song left to sign
Cause everybody can’t of thought of everything
One little song that ain’t been sung
One little rag that ain’t been wrung out completely yet
Till there’s nothing left.
So, as I continue reading memoirs and querying agents, I choose to believe Gillian Welch, that “everybody can’t of thought of everything,” and that there’s gotta’ be “one little word that ain’t been abused a thousand times”…. Even in the world of the memoir.

Two of my recent favorites are:

The Mistress’ Daughter by A.M. Homes and The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr. You can read a great interview with Karr here. I’ve just finished this first volume and am about to begin her sequel, Cherry. Great stuff.

The Mistress’ Daughter is about an adopted woman’s journey to her past, and her efforts to heal her brokenness by embracing both her birth family and adopted family. The Liar’s Club is about Karr’s childhood in southern Texas… an often rough and tumble ride through lots of craziness, but also tenderness.

As I continue with first drafts of the next chapters of my book, it’s so enlightening to see the courage and the craft of these talented women. With Gillian Welch’s earthy tones playing in the background…. reminding me to find that “one little word that ain’t been abused a thousand times.”

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