Aimee Anderson

Apr 14, 2010

Entry 2: Words from Mom

Hi, followers, late night blog rollers, friends and family--here's the second installment of my self-started saga. I have to be honest, I started this to get my name out there, give agents and editors something to google at as they scan my manuscript pages. But as the launch date approached, I felt extremely anxious. Why couldn't I have chosen a more neutral topic such as "How to overcome Writer's Block" (but then that would require an answer, or suggestions...) or "How to Teach and Write and Not go Crazy." The later would also be difficult since I'm crazy (as my students, colleagues, friends, and family can attest to). But I longed for a platform that could grow, and eventually lead to resolution. Not to mention, the search for my father came to mind over and over again like debris from a dream--no matter how much I wanted to will the idea away it kept coming back.

Now that I've started, I do feel brave, and vulnerable, and exposed, but hey, that's what being a writer is about. If I protected myself from exposing my insecurities then my readers would feel shut out, not pulled in. Virginia Woolf writes, "A good essay must have this permanent quality about it; it must draw its curtain round us, but it must be a curtain that shuts us in not out." But how much of our self exposure is fair? In memoir we must constantly address this issue as we explore our relationships with family, partners, and friends. This blog doesn't just expose me, it also leads my Mom back to a time and place she would often like to forget. But as her last e-mail stated, she remains the "proudest mother on earth."

Even though we live close by, most of our communication is handled through Face Book and e-mail. A few days ago she went in depth about the particulars of my dad. She said of my search (and she's allowed me to quote her), "It does go back to chapters in my life which for me are best left behind, but those choices way back when were yours as well, I see now." As you can see, she's a pretty great mom. While she accepts my choice, she admits to her hesitation, but manages to place me before her own insecurities.

She goes on to say that, "I hope he [my dad] is still charming, witty and handsome in that Robert Wagner way." Who's Robert Wagner?

Hmmm...So that's what he looked like? Interesting. On to more specific details: His first name was Tommy. He had been separated from his wife, Mom can't remember her name. He had a four-year old son at the time of their affair. Their son's name is Chris Ward. Apparently both mother and son moved to Jersey around the time I was born. Tom stayed behind. Mom remembers his good friend John Letts (who had won the lottery) and may still be in touch with Tommy.

I sent a message to Uncle Mike with my updates, and will keep you posted.
Thanks for all of your support!

Best, A.E.


  1. Hi-- we've posted close together on the blogger's group at She Writes. I think you are adventuresome and brave. Good job and great project. I am a poet. My story and my work might interest you. I blog at Loquaciously Yours-- . all best-- Jenne'

  2. Let's hope some name dropping will help pick him up from the internet.