I’m not a very emotional person, but Sarah Manguso picked up my emotions like a plastic sack of eggs and threw them against a brick wall. Reading this wonderful memoir, “Two Kinds of Decay,” (5 stars, btw) was a decision that would result in me crying (not literally, but I would have if I had an ounce of emotions) because it reminded me why I love reading so damn much.
While keeping her distance from an obviously horrendous and traumatic experience, Manguso tells an honest, quick paced, truthful, and emotional story of her life and the disease that interrupted it. At a young age, Manguso was hospitalized with chronic idiopathic demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), a persistent form of Guillain-Barré syndrome: an autoimmune disease that attacks the nervous system, causing spreading numbness and paralysis. If the disease wasn’t treated regularly with her blood being cycled, removing the bad blood (or plasma) with new, fresh, and clean blood, than it would have spread to her lungs and suffocated her. Instead, she was left with this half hearted, poor excuse for a ‘treatment,’ which really just left her in the hospital, often paralyzed, and unable to live a normal life.
For some reason, it’s often seen as selfish or arrogant to be proud of yourself. If you say “I’m proud of this accomplishment” you run the risk of other’s thinking you’re conceited.
There is merit in modesty humility, though. It’s probably not a good idea to wear a shirt that says “I’m the best” everyday or force your friends to throw you a party every time you make an A or B on a test, but if an accomplishment is a large, unusual, and meaningful one, then it’s 100% okay to be proud of yourself. If you just made an A on your MCAT, then you should have a party. Yeah, modesty is a virtue but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to voice your own excitement at your achievements. Continue reading →
Most vividly, I remember the rain. My hair had been stuck to my forehead and I was shivering from the cold. Running through the trees had winded me and I was struggling to see through the fog and rain. The house was large, hiding in plain sight.
I was scared, lost, and alone. I was also only six years old.
Now, twenty years later, the memories have become distant at best and fictional at worst. Once, I made the mistake of confiding in my girlfriend at the time, telling her all I remember about that night twenty years ago. I told her how the memory of the night feels physical to me, but the evidence of it was never found. Continue reading →
Simply put, “The Breakdown” blew my mind. Now, it’s fair to say that many readers may have saw the ending coming, but I honestly did not. I had thought I’d been clever enough to figure it out but I was sorely wrong.
My main complaint about “The Breakdown”, and this complaint was almost enough to drop the rating to 4 stars, is the pacing. There were multiple moments throughout the novel that I felt bored. The scenes felt repetitive and unnecessary, like I was struggling to get to the point of the book. But once I did, it all made sense and it made it totally worth it.
Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping, finals studying and jumping in piles of leaves. Also Alicia’s birthday month, but what a lot of writers know November as is something much different, and much more horrifying than anything Halloween brought that year.
Also known as National November Writing Month.
What is NaNoWriMo? Basically, it’s a non profit organization, a challenge, and a writers wonderful, terrifying party. Continue reading →