Such Is Life
From Griffith REVIEW Discussion
© Copyright Griffith University & the author.
26 July, 2011
I was interested to see the latest edition of Griffith REVIEW 33: Such Is Life on my doorstep this morning as I have just published a post on the topic of memoir and its omnipresence, ‘A new non-literary genre’: http://melitasmilovic.blogspot.com
A writer friend told me that apparently the latest hot genre in publishing is farm lit, which I imagine goes something like ‘I got tired of my busy life in the city running my own PR agency, so now I’m growing organic olives, raising heirloom-breed hens and restoring a farmhouse’. Chook lit is another – no, nothing to do with farms – it’s chick lit for older women. Another writer friend said it’s all about memoir now – there’s an obsession with ‘true’ stories, which could be an extension of the rash of reality TV we have been seeing for so long.
I recently read some research that says blogs are out – it’s all about Facebook and Twitter, or micro blogging.
So, in view of all this, I’ve invented a new genre – micro memoir. The story of one’s life so far in 250 words or less. Mine would go like this:
Melita Smilovic was born in 1971 in Wollongong. She spent her childhood reading books under the Hills Hoist in her backyard and longing for something more. She was a champion high jumper, even though she persisted with the scissors technique when everyone was doing the back flip (although no one believes this as she is remarkably unathletic now). Her first ambition was to be a cruise director, thanks to Julie McCoy of the Love Boat. She was later inspired to be a rock journalist by the fabulous female role models she saw on TV in the ‘80s including Basia Bonkowski (they even had funny names like her!) and Suzanne Dowling. She tried to make her own big earrings out of Fimo to be just like them.
Melita escaped Wollongong for Sydney in 1989 where she achieved her ambition of living in a terrace house (because that meant she MUST be cool). This is where she met the love of her life (whom she is now married to) and her lifelong best friend, the amazing writer Laura Bloom, in the same year at age nineteen. She has been searching for the right career since 1992 and has worked as a cook book editor, romance writer, restaurant reviewer and communications and policy advisor. She is the mother of two girls who she hopes will have no trouble becoming astronauts if they want to (although this is probably a bit difficult for most people) and started blogging about a week ago.
I’ve just realised this genre makes me think of obituaries, but nevertheless in this post I invite any reader (surely I have at least one) to write their micro memoir. Go on, tell your life story in 250 words or less. Together we can start a genre revolution.
Thank you to Liz Jurman and Laura Bloom who inspired this blog.