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Home is Where the Tragedy is: A Writing Self-Analysis
"Home is Where the Tragedy is"... a bit of a dramatic title but I think you will understand the significance of the title once you've read this Hub. For the sake of this Hub, home = family. The two words will be used interchangeably.
Both my grandparents (on my mother's side) died when my mother was 17 years old.
November 2010, my grandmother (on my father's side) died. I never met her... The funeral was in Trinidad... I didn't go.
A few days later, my sister took my new nephew (who I've only seen once and love dearly) and headed to Trinidad... I have a feeling she's not coming back any time soon.
December 25, 2010, 11:00am, received a call from a cousin... my grandfather (on my father's side) died... I met him once... heard lots of stories... but I didn't know him... The funeral was in Trinidad... I didn't go.
My sister hasn't told me that she left America yet... I refuse to contact her.
So as you see, I've had an emotionally eventful holiday season in 2010 and it was all in the family.
My Main Characters: Girl Power
Near the end of 2010, I spent a lot of time talking to a fellow hubber and writing pal of mine. We were discussing our writing styles and it was a quite interesting discussion. I realised a lot of stuff about myself through that. For one, we both tend to write tragedies.
For me, my main character is almost always female and the 'supporting actor' is usually female. No, I don't have anything against men. I've just lived a matriarchal life. I was raised by my single mother and my aunt. Now this particular aunt of mine was very... independent for lack of a better word. She was one tough cookie.
Ok... picture this: a woman who has the ability to part a crowd like the red sea just by looking at them. She's a very attractive woman but she has the skill of giving "the eye." It's extremely intimidating but nevertheless THAT's what I was raised by.
So, it's no surprise that most of my main characters are women probably in their 30s.
Children and large families
There are almost always children playing a large role in my stories. I absolutely adore children. My friends call me the baby stalker. Sure, a lot of people like babies and will melt at the sight of their big, bright eyes but it's a bit more exaggerated with me. For example, if I'm walking in the mall and someone rolls their baby' stroller past me, I will take a detour or follow that person just to catch a glimpse of their baby and gush, "awwww!" Creepy, I know. I can't help it!
Babies are just so precious! I have had plenty of nightmarish experiences with children, yet I still love them to death. The sad part is, I've wanted a baby sister or brother since I was about 7 years old and I never got that wish. I begged, pleaded and cried for a baby brother or sister but mummy wouldn't give in. I even proposed adoption but that didn't work either.
My main characters usually have more than one child. Why? I hated being the only child so I live my large family dream out through my characters. The year I turned 16, I learnt that I had 2 older sisters. Knowing this detail, I still refer to myself as an only child. Mainly because, there is more than just being called a sister and that bond between my half-sisters and I is just not there.
D I V E R S I T Y!!!
I love diversity! I told my mother not too long ago that soon there will be no whites or blacks in the world. I told her that I will personally run a campaign to "mix" the world. haha. I think biracial children are the cutest things ever and they are sort of a representation of peace. My main characters are usually of more than one ethnicity.
I was born and raised in Trinidad but my father's grandparents were immigrants from Mumbai, India and my mother's grandmother was from Venezuela. Enough said...
Pregnancies and Loss
Yes, I do write a lot about pregnancies. When I was in middle school I went through a phase of just being fascinated with pregnancy. I even wanted to be an obstetrician. I've done so much research on the matter, it's ridiculous. I guess it also goes along with my desire for my mother to have a baby so I wouldn't be an only child for the rest of my life. I wanted so much for her to have a baby!
I have done research countless times on pregnancy complications, labour, birth, Cesarean, you name it. When my God-mother was pregnant last year, she would text questions. I found it hilarious but at the same time I felt good to be so knowledgeable on the subject.
I have heard stories about miscarriages that has happened within my family and any miscarriage story is always devastating to me. It can be such a taboo at times but it is still a life lost and still very traumatic.
My mother told me the story of how her mother lost her first baby. My grandmother was only 15 when she was pregnant with her first child. To make a long story short, she slipped and fell near the end of her pregnancy and lost the unborn child.
Violence and Abuse
This is often an underlying theme in my stories. It's also an underlying theme in the history of my family. No, I wasn't abused, thank God. Unfortunately, however, my grandmother was a victim of domestic violence. When she became pregnant with her first child, her mother beat her (more than your "regular spanking"). Then, when she was later married, her husband abused her.
My grandfather apparently chased my grandmother at some point with a cutlass (a machete). Now, I've seen photos of my grandmother and she was a very petite woman. She was shorter than 5 feet and had a small frame. She looks like a little girl in most of the pictures I've seen; so cute and innocent. Yet, she went through so much abuse.
One of my mother's sisters was also the victim of domestic violence and there's also child abuse (and other details I don't want to go into) involved in that situation.
I've sensed domestic violence in more than one home of my family members. It's very distressing and uncomfortable. But enough about that...
Divorce, Separation and Estrangement
Not only is my mother a single parent but so are all her sisters. Two of my aunts have been married about 3 times (like my main character in my last Serial Fiction here on HubPages). One of my aunts have 6 children and 3 different fathers. My other aunt was unable to have a child after battling with leukemia.
I hope when my time comes, I can break the cycle of divorce, separation and estrangement. Surely, I have witnessed enough to learn from my family's mistakes.
My Final Point
Though there has been a lot of tragedy in my life, I thank God for it all. That sounds strange but it's really the way I feel. I'm a pretty optimistic person to this day and I consider myself emotionally sound and stable. I've survived through estrangement, people going in and out of my life and throwing away relationships like the weekly trash. I've felt used and taken advantage of by people who were also hurt and realised that their actions are only to mask their own hurt.
I've felt the tension of broken marriage in my own home - as I have lived with 2 of my aunts before. I've felt the distress of violence in the home and the fear of the children. I've heard many stories of the loss of an unborn child within my family and even of abortion.
Through all of this I've gained a somewhat mature outlook on life from a very young age. I was exposed to this sadness from very young and taught how to deal with it. I turned to writing in the first place to write down what was in my heart. Whenever I hear about something tragic that's happened in my family's past, I can actually feel the pain. I have learnt to transfer that into my writing, my catharsis.
I can't wish away all the tragedy in my home but I can make the best of it. I can learn from all the mistakes and be prepared to step into the world as an independent woman.
Home is where the tragedy is... home is where the hope is...