CNF‘s Quarterly Blog Roundup

Creative Nonfiction in its new format now accepts nominations for blog posts to reprint in its quarterly print issues. It’s a bit like the Findings section of Harper’s, I guess. Yes, you can in fact nominate yourself. I thought vainly this would maybe be a good idea, so I went to CNF‘s Web site to see what’s what:

We’re looking for: Vibrant new voices with interesting, true stories to tell. Narrative, narrative, narrative. Posts that can stand alone, 2000 words max, from 2010. Something from your own blog, from a friend’s blog, from a stranger’s blog.

Of more than 130 posts on this blog so far, I don’t think a single one qualifies. It’s never occurred to me to use this blog as a medium for recording narratives. It seems I have no true stories to tell here.

Am I a disappointment? I say aloud often that people have an innate hunger for narrative, and yet what I do here is all analysis and criticism. I have a tiny audience: would you rather get more true stories? Is narrative what people go to blogs for?

Here’s a true story. Since last Wednesday morning I’ve been spending twelve hours a day in ward 2C of the Francis Building at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota—part of the so-famous-I knew-of-it-before-I-ever-knew-how-properly-to-spell-mayonnaise Mayo Clinic. I sit those twelve hours just two steps away from the bed of my boyfriend who’s maybe seventy-percent of the way through a slow recovery from small intestine resection surgery. Wednesday, his surgeon expertly cut out a cancerous tumor the way a poor darner might fix a hole-torn tubesock—slicing laterally twice through the tube and sewing the two new open ends together. Except what the surgical team sliced out of my boyfriend was eighteen inches in length. “You’ve got more than ten feet in there,” Dr. Swain told me afterward. “He won’t miss it at all.”

Hours later they put him in a shared room, despite our requests he be given something private. Already, a large man lay in the bed closest the door, awake and curious, giving me and N and his nurses and his mother the thrice-over. His eyes moved like a scary cardiogram. It was Tyler Perry. The actor-writer-director-producer Tyler Perry was sharing N’s recovery room. I shook his hand and said, “I’ve only seen two of your movies, but I liked them. You have so many others, don’t you?”
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