Nina Gaby

Essays, art, and healthcare


Leave a comment

New View from the Memory Motel: 3D Memoir/Vessels

Originally posted on BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog:

A guest post from Nina Gaby:

nina gaby art IMG_6459Cavalier, I toss around the word “hoarder,” like it’s a good thing, because it makes me do art.

“If there’s not a flattened dead rodent under that pile then it isn’t really hoarding, not like TV show hoarding” I say. “And besides, it’s all good stuff.” And then. Of course. I found the dessicated mouse under a three foot stack of old photographs, notes scribbled on envelopes, articles, letters tied with ribbon, and a yellowed folder of psychiatric evaluations from 1989, realizing I needed to either get a dumpster or get creative. And it’s not just the ‘stuff’ for us writers and artists, it’s the ideas we save, the memories we hang on to. The photos and Post-It notes and pretty rocks and pieces of costume jewelry. Broken plates and swatches of fabric, the bits of pencil and string, the colors, the smells, the…

View original 640 more words


Leave a comment

I Need to Blog and I Need to Get to Work on Time

So I gave out this website to lots of people this past week, and what a week. I completed a new series of 3-D memoir vessels to enter into the UNBOUND 5 book arts competition on Monday. Then the Harvard 2015 Conference on Psychiatry bookended by a reading event at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier, VT on Tuesday for the Burlington Writer’s Workshop, then Brookline Booksmith in Boston on Wednesday with three other She Writes Press authors, then the conference which was absolutely top shelf of course, then yesterday’s “Are You a Bookie” panel at BayPath University, organized by Suzanne Strempek Shea. Every moment part of a glorious multi-disciplinary soup.Gaby_Entry #2_New Views from the Memory Motel 3 piece series.

And it’s Monday morning and I’m late for the day job.


1 Comment

The Soul of Twit: The Book Has Cometh, Finally

ninagaby:

Yeah, this is what it feels like. Hilarious commentary from Harrison Scott Key on the process of making a book.

Originally posted on BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog:

downloadA guest post from Harrison Scott Key, followed by a link to this essay in tweets:

So, my book came out today, which is great. I started writing it about a million years ago, and about 500,000 years ago I made the mistake of telling people I was writing it, which means for about the past 250,000 years I have been answering this question:

“So, when’s your book coming out?”

This is a very disappointing question to answer almost every day it is asked.

“Oh, that’s a long time from now,” I’d say, when people first started asking. I almost scoffed, not at them, but at the ridiculousness of the question and the improbabilities it brought to the fore of my hurting brain. The distance between the terrible thing that happens at the writing desk and the thing that happens when you are reading a book in a bathtub is…

View original 628 more words

photo-23


2 Comments

Publishing: Level Three (what you don’t want to think about at Level One)

photo-23

When we are writing our hearts and minds out (Level One) we just think of the page and perhaps a fantasy or two about publishing (Level Two). Today’s post is abbreviated by all the work that needs to be done once that fantasy is realized. Getting it out there is a lot of work. Level Three is a full time job. OK, back to work.

Chester summer office


11 Comments

ONE DOG LIFE

Today I just want to write about my dogs. I should be blogging and twittering according to the people who talk about author platforms. My book’s official publication date is today. I just want to think about how things are strung together. Not how I am supposed to be paying attention to my social media presence.

Today is also town meeting day and as new writer Matt Sumell has said in his NPR interview of last week, “Bad choices make for good writing.” We made bad choices and now we live in a place that has a town meeting on the first Tuesday in March, which is my publishing date and the day we will put our dog down. I wrote the book because it was a way to make sense of the outcome of our bad choices. In my book’s acknowledgements I thank my dog for getting me through, “my loyal assistant,” I called him. “No one can feel dumped for very long with a Golden Retriever by her side.” My dog has cancer. The chemo got him through to my publishing date.

The friend who gave me the book that I have chosen to read at this time has cancer. The book is Abigail Thomas’s Three Dog Life, a memoir of her husband’s traumatic brain injury, ensuing dementia and death. Last summer a writing instructor told me to read Thomas’s Safekeeping, so I read that instead. Now my friend’s blood work isn’t so hot and my dog is dying and another friend has cancer. I may get to meet Thomas in Atlanta this April through another friend who contributed an essay to my book. The book that officially comes out today. So it makes sense that I am now reading Three Dog Life, waiting for my life to soon be a one dog life. I know I will not lose my moorings but the more rope I can tie around things the better. This is grief.

The friend in Atlanta writes about how to write about grief. Mostly instead of writing I am watching television, opening and closing both my book and Thomas’s book, and wandering about the house eating snacks which I share with both the healthy dog and the dog who is dying of cancer. I cooked him hard boiled eggs. I share my Milanos. I bought him a new toy. We are up much of the night as he stares at me and I pet him and tell him thanks. I am angry at my own fatigue even though I know that’s ridiculous. My breathless cough has been around as long as his cancer, now. Both of us breathing in unsteady rasps. We are loud and annoying. My husband can sleep through anything, which is good, as I cannot stand to see him cry. At 3:35 AM Amazon sends me a list of the 100 memoirs to read in my lifetime. If Three Dog Life had been on the list, as it should, I might have collapsed from the weight of so much synchronicity. I’m glad my husband sleeps through this quiet agitation. The rest of us, healthy dog, sick dog, and me, are in and out of the house in the below zero temperatures, because the sick dog can’t remember that he has just been out, and the healthy dog is just excited that there is so much activity. The healthy dog has stopped roughhousing. The vet would be glad of that, she has been worried about the sick dog’s platelet count. Not that it really matters, now. But the healthy dog instead places a paw over the sick dog’s paw and lies down quietly next to him. He is no longer fighting for the sick dog’s toy. He sleeps on the sick dog’s bed, probably for the scent, as the sick dog only lies on the hard surface of the floor, although most of the time he just stands and stares at me, his front legs too far apart, like an old man who is trying to keep his balance.

A suggested reading list:
Safekeeping Abigail Thomas
Three Dog Life Abigail Thomas
Dumped: Stories of Women Unfriending Women Nina Gaby, editor
Braving the Fire: A Guide to Writing About Grief and Loss Jessica Handler
Making Nice Matt Sumell

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers