Sooty, section of a memoir by Barbara Studham


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5 Responses

  1. Brandon C. says:

    That’s a bummer. My mom shared a similar experience (her rabbit’s name was Snowball). The generation and necessity difference is hard to comprehend. Where one sees a friend another sees an unnecessary cost and an opportunity for nourishment. I’m guessing that her traumatizing experience with Snowball is why I was never allowed to have a pet.

  2. Meghan Portillo says:

    I left this feedback in the Facebook group, so please pardon the repetition:

    I *really* liked “Sooty” [from the very first issue]. The subtlety with which you described the type of person your mother was is something I am definitely keeping in mind for future writing (I’m not good with subtlety) because it was a kind of foreshadowing that made me uneasy early on – with good reason, it turned out. The end of the story was appalling and left me wondering how it affected your childhood and your future relationship with your mother — I really hope you decide to write more about that.

    • Viga Boland says:

      I don’t mind at all Meghan and the writers appreciate seeing here on the website as much or even more than on Facebook as it’s seen by way more people worldwide here. That fabulous piece by Barbara is a segment from her brilliant book about raising 4 grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, TWO DECADES OF DIAPERS. Barbara was in the first live memoir workshops I even ran and within the 6 week course, got working on her memoir. Only one other has done so since. There are those who take course after course, but sooner or later, you have to start your memoir or stop kidding yourself about writing one.

  3. Nancy Gustafson says:

    Barbara, thank you for your honesty in sharing the story of Sooty. I remember some relatives of mine who thought kids had to learn “hard lessons” about life in insensitive ways. They learned them that way themselves, I think, and it got passed on — until someone like you with a sensitive heart chose another path. Blessings to you.