Tim Elhajj at Brevity

I’ve got an essay appearing in a special mid-summer bonus edition of Brevity 27. This is a companion piece to my Modern Love essay from earlier this week. The Modern Love essay examines my relationship with my son, while the Brevity piece explores my relationship with Dad.

The Brevity piece also appears on the Brevity blog, a great place to discuss creative non-fiction, truth in memoir, or the concept of a mid-summer pick me up.

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9 thoughts on “Tim Elhajj at Brevity

  1. sarah morgan says:

    well, well, well. Keep knock’em out, Timbo. Nice job.

  2. Bradley says:

    Both essays were fantastic. Congratulations.

  3. Jane Ray says:

    Tim, how wonderful! I read the whole thing hearing your voice in my head, and I thought: Spoken word! Hell, yeah, I can totally hear you doing the David Sedaris thing. It really moved me…and you know I come from a long line of Met fans so that really means something!


  4. Tim Elhajj says:

    Thanks so much, everyone. I appreciate the kind words.

    Bradley, I visited your site and enjoyed your interview with Tobias Wolff. He is one of my favorite memoirists. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of narrative structure in This Boy’s Life. I had always wondered about how it ends and have never heard him discuss this anywhere else. So, I’m pleased to have found the interview.

  5. Bradley says:

    Thanks, Tim. That was my very first publication; I really kinda lucked into it. Wolff is probably my favorite living memoirist (and he’s quite a good short story writer), and I was glad to be able to ask him about his nonfiction work even as we were ostensibly talking to promote the novel that he had just finished.

  6. Eggs says:

    Tim, I read with interest some blog comments you made about the “index card” method of trying to structure a memoir. Can you lead me to the source, please?

  7. Tim Elhajj says:

    Eggs, I’ve never used the index card method, although I’ve certainly heard plenty of talk about it. Right now I’m right in the midst of trying to figure out how to plot and pace my childhood memoir. It’s no easy task.

    I’m probably two thirds of the way through the time period I want to cover and now I’ve slowed down writing new material and want to look at how the individual stories are coming together as a whole. I’m finding a lot of repetition from chapter to chapter. Some of my stories go off on tangents and need to be trimmed down. Other stories race past important moments and need more information. I’m not sure how index cards can help with any of this.

    I’ve written a synopsis and have a general sense for where I want to go with the story. My feeling is (and I’ve never done this before) that I ought to iron out the first half in the hopes it’ll become more apparent how to bring it all together. If you (or anyone else) is struggling with similar issues, I’d love to hear how it’s going for you.

  8. Tim Elhajj says:

    Jane Ray! Holly and I just saw David Sedaris at Elliott Bay earlier this month. After he read, he took questions from the audience and impressed me with his quick wit. Funny guy.

    Thanks for the kind words!

  9. Nice presence here, Tim. Quite professional befitting the writer you are.

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