Memento Nora Giveaway

Hi everyone! Today we’re celebrating the imminent release of Angie Smibert’s novel MEMENTO NORA. It’s out next month and is dystopian novel about a teen who struggles to hold onto her identity in a world where taking one little pill can erase your worst memories. It’s already getting great early reviews here and here .

To kick off her release, Angie is giving away an incredible PRIZE PACKAGE. How do you enter? Simple. Each week a blogger (like your’s truly) will be doing a post in support of MEMENTO NORA (Schedule here) All you do is leave a comment on the featured blog–and on Angie’s site. Each weekly comment earns you a point (which in this case equals an entry in the random drawing). In other words, if you comment on every week, you get 8 points.

So since Angie’s book it about memory, each of us blogger folks is writing about a memory we wouldn’t want to forget

Mine is a small one, but one that seems more and more important over time. 

I started writing in Junior High. One of the first people to encourage me was an english teacher named Edwin Mears. Honestly, he wasn’t the greatest English teacher in the world. My memory of him is as a really nice guy that loved literature and language, but was maybe not quite equipped to handle a classroom full of rowdy kids. He had a slightly defeated air about him and usually smelled of cigarettes.

Somehow he found out I liked to write so he asked to see my stuff and was incredibly encouraging once I showed him. Just over the top enthusiastic. At the time I was writing short stories and these prose poem like character sketches and since it was all so short I was producing alot of work fast. As soon as I finished something I’d rush it to Mr. Mears. It got to a point where I was forcing something new on the poor guy every other day.

After a few weeks of this I was half out of my chair with a new story scrawled on a wrinkled sheet of notebook paper when the kid sitting next to me made this sound of disgust. 

“God, man! Can you write something without having to show it to somebody?”

He said it loud and the intention was to embarrass me and it did. I immediately sat down and covered up the story.

Later on I got to thinking. Sure, the point of writing is to show it to someone eventually but I wasn’t sure that answered the question of why I was rushing to show every scrap I wrote to Mr. Mears. He didn’t really critique my writing so much as enthuse over it, which was awesome of course, but it made me wonder….

Was my writing driven by an artistic impulse or by a hunger for praise?

I realized that, right then at least, it was the praise. I craved it. And the more I thought about it, the more I was ashamed of that. The neediness of it and the knowledge that it wasn’t a great reason to be writing. Who knows, maybe I needed the praise at that point, but that moment really stayed with me and I decided from then on that if I was going to write it had to be about my desire to do it, not other people’s reaction.

When I think about it now, that moment is small but it kind of marks a time when I decided to try and go from being a show-off to being a writer. (Some may say this is an ongoing project)

So that’s my little memory story. Remember, if you want to register to win Angie’s giveaway just drop me a comment here and on Angie’s site.

© 2011 Jeff Hirsch