Photo credit: Amy Ouellette
You’ll want to avoid teachers or workshops — in an MFA program or elsewhere — that caution you against stories in second person, warning they can be difficult to write and annoying to read. Instead, naively explore a form that threatens you with death-by-pronoun.
Start with a story about a day in the Idaho woods when your mother was visiting from the Midwest and you took her and your young children to hunt for garnets in Emerald Creek. Relate how time and pressure create semi-precious gems that look rough — like any other rock in the creek — until they’re cut and polished. Describe your mother’s discomfort. Allude to your own disappointment.
Stand back. Ask yourself why you’re unwilling to own up to being the narrator of a story you’ve defined as nonfiction...