before and after

People often wonder when they read memoir if it is true. That’s a big topic in creative nonfiction right now, but in fact it always has been an issue. It has always been asked of the form. In some memoir, that’s a complicated answer, with the pressures of art and the desires and hope all at work in any piece. For some authors, that answer is intentionally complicated.

For me, in this work, the answer is simple. Every bit is true. There are no composite characters, no made-up events, no wished-for conversations. I had goats in my laundry room. I had a petting zoo at my urban wedding. I didn’t tell my husband that I was going off the pill. My back neighbor was a cowboy who wasn’t sure how he felt about me. There is a person in my life named Mandilyn, and her husband named James. The mountain loomed outside my kitchen window like weather. And here are the pictures.

Here are some resources for further research on the area.