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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Draft 1: Managing the Air and Anxiety

I wash my hands after using the toilet. Does the bathroom smell like lavender? I chose an air freshener with a lavender scent because it's supposed to be calming. My daughter suffers from anxiety, and I want home to be as calming for her as possible. But it doesn't seem to smell of anything. I guess if it neutralizes unseemly odors, I won't resent spending five bucks on it.

I didn't grow up with even the spray-can type because we were poor and I was happy to have toilet paper and feminine hygiene products consistently. Now in the make-the-air-fresh section, you can find solid, spray, warm-em-up, and constant release. Plus, twist-open containers designed to look vaguely like objects d'art while scrubbing stink from the air.

Is there a video of operations online? YouTube shows everything, a boon to the ignorant and anxious.

Are you thinking by now that my daughter might get her anxiety from me?

I wash my hands in the powder room, but go to the kitchen to get a paper towel to dry them. This stems from reading an article decades ago documenting that flushing the toilet spreads microscopic grossness far and wide in a bathroom. I am never telling my daughter that.

[research: lavender, aromatherapy, memories & smells, flushing, amount people spend on air fresheners, where lavender grows]

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Is for Absolute

Draft 1.
The ABCs of Creative Nonfiction -- a series of essays

Are there absolutes in creative nonfiction? Yes, a few. You cannot, for example, say the temperature in a certain place and time was 90 degrees if the recorded fact was 57. (Unless you have reasons to disprove the recorded temperature.)

The concept of "absolute" makes my brain itchy. But I'll keep plowing through on this, because when I thought "In creative nonfiction, A is for . . .," the words that popped up was "absolute." So I decided to Go There.

Must a nonfiction narrative tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? No.

If there are verifiable, empirical facts, they cannot be ignored. Not every fact about a situation, however, needs to be included in a story. [More about "telling details."]

And sometimes, the facts do not convey the truth of an event. Emotions, perceptions, and reactions

[Define facts.]

[Define truth.]

[Find that quote about writing fiction to tell the truth.]

Framing truth with storytelling techniques is the heart of creative nonfiction.