When life gives you lemons … try to laugh (and write about it)

Don’t worry. I’m not one to strew my personal angst or the seedier scenes from my speckled past into my essays or on my blog — unless I can have fun with them. Don’s unplanned-for period of unemployment last year wasn’t all that traumatic for us, but it was terrific grist for the writer’s mill, and I’ve used it in two stories.

My essay about sushi and life, “Love at First Bite,” ends with Don being laid off: “…after the initial shock, we looked at each other and shrugged: ‘Let’s go to RK [sushi] for lunch and make a plan.’ Sushi is a luxury now, but we’re champs at tightening the belt and do it with such panache.” This story was just published in the San Diego City College literary anthology, City Works 2012. It’s a print journal, so I can’t link to it here.

But here’s the piece that evolved from the six months that followed, “He just stands there and breathes…,” which has just been published in the on-line journal, Prime Number. And of course I couldn’t leave out Virginia Woolf.


About Alice Lowe

I am a freelance writer, avid reader and Virginia Woolfophile in San Diego, California. My personal essays have been published in more than 90 literary journals and can be followed on my blog: www.aliceloweblogs.wordpress.com. I have published essays and reviews about Virginia Woolf, including two monographs in the Bloomsbury Heritage Series published by Cecil Woolf Publishers, London: "Beyond the Icon: Virginia Woolf in Contemporary Fiction," and "Virginia Woolf as Memoirist."
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3 Responses to When life gives you lemons … try to laugh (and write about it)

  1. Lynn says:

    Much news we’ve missed I see. Does sound as if you two had the perfect response to the lay off . And I look forward to reading your pieces (if I can find them both).

    Seems to me that if anyone would know how to handle being without a regular income, it would be you and Don.

    Now, I’ll search for “He just stands there and breathes. . . “

  2. Lynn says:

    Cannot imagine who that dreadfully clingy could possibly be. What a nice lively piece. Very easy to see the two of you in your lovely home, enjoying being together. So there!

  3. Mark says:

    Haha! That is hillarious! Reminds me of some conversations I’ve had with my mom about the adjustsments she’s made since my dad retired. She may’ve had it worse though; my dad is the ultimate, if not compulsive, “coach”, providing tips to anybody from the guy bowling in the next lane, or at the adjacent table trying to get the ketchup out of the bottle. “Hit it on the neck! Just hit it on the neck!”, haha. So of course when he retired, his enthusiastic willingness to share his expertise immediately made it’s way into my mom’s world of domestic duties, hobbies, and yes, solitaire. “Honey, it’s called solitaire for a reason…” Ahhhhhh… funny. The plus side for my siblings and I is that it gave us plenty of material for which to tease my folks about.

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