On the List

It’s MLK day. Which means no school for Jujie. Which means that we had a glorious 4 day weekend full of fun and procrastination (the phrase, “Just do it on Monday,” has been thrown around a little too freely). But here we are on Monday and the work is just beginning. Not too much, but just enough that I have to close my door and sit at my desk (this only happens when I really mean business).

On the list of things to complete is my first writing assignment and this gal is quite the bag of nerves over it. I have to write a 5 page memoir. Simple enough. Basically an elongated version of what I do on here every day. Then why is it that I am completely frozen when it comes to thinking up good ideas? How in the world is it that I can literally draft this entire very blog post in my head before I type it, but I can’t even think of a subject matter for a pretty simple assignment? I am so hard up for ideas that I have already swept the whole downstairs and cleaned the whole bathroom– completely willingly, I might add!– just go give myself some more brainstorm time.

My teacher instructed us that writing with emotion always makes for better reading and I think that some of my classmates translated that into “Write about the most emotional and stressful time in your life. And make the whole class feel sorry for you. And Cry.” Believe me. I love a melodrama just as much as the next guy (did I watch Oprah everyday after school for 13 years? Guilty) but I’m going to avoid the tragic story of my mom’s video game addiction or the death of my best friend and cat, Mr. Mango, and go for something a little less obvious. By the way– both of those were real prompts for papers my classmates are writing. I mean, come on. The majority of us in the class are first year writers. When Emily Dickinson writes about depressing subject matter, it’s beautiful. But we are not Emily Dickinson. I wouldn’t even consider tackling writing about something super pivotal or deep in my life if I didn’t feel that I could do it 100% justice. The challenge is now trying to think of something that is true, emotional, interesting, and not seeming to come straight out of a poorly written made for TV movie. And hey– maybe I can even make it a bit funny? His advice, plus the very cliche mantra of “write what you know” aren’t much help today so my word document is still staring at me, jarringly bright, lacking any type to tone down it’s blinding blankness.

Sometimes in situations like this, it helps me to think of a title or a phrase to get the ball rolling. In high school, my friend, Lauren Wess, and I would play a game we liked to call “Let’s Not Pay Attention in Class and Just Come Up with Amazing Future Memoir Titles Instead.” And we were/are amazing at it.

  • I Didn’t Do it for the Money: The Lauren Wess Story
  • Vindicated: Julia Patton’s Explosive Years as ‘Dashboard Confessional Bassist’
  • I Wear a Ski Mask to Hide my Facial Hair: The Struggles of Julia Patton
  • Do You Know the Way to San Jose: Lauren Wess’ Crippled Journey Across the United States
  • RUIEPJFDSAJFKDLSA: Julia Patton’s Fight for Words
  • Lauren Wess: The Original Sasha Fierce, Day by day, I crave Beyonce
  • Lauren Wess: THE MUSICAL

Unfortunately, the majority of them were completely made up scenarios and this paper has to be Non Fiction. Bummer.

Here are a few working titles that I’ve come up with so far this morning that could actually be made into real papers:

  • I Have Meat on my Thighs: The Good Kind
  • Emotional Duress at Terminal 9
  • Emotional Meat Sauce
  • Emotional Meat Sauce: Mincing Duress is Making my eyes sting
  • She Calls Herself Old
That’s all I got. Can you imagine the stories that go with these? Yikes. 

In other news: Grandma Bunny, your comment worked!!! Finally! Yay!!

2 thoughts on “On the List

  1. Julia,you are definatly related to me. I always had the cleanest kitchen, bedroom, most organized drawers and weed free yard when I was supposed to be studying or writing a paper. It's good to know some things never change.
    ~Aunt Sue

  2. I have a great idea regarding your papper about your life, just e-mail the prof your blog each day!
    You are a really talented writer, and that comment has nothing to do with youbeing my grandaughter.
    And yeah , I finally got it right (the comment part)

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