I’ve written a memoir about the year I was diagnosed with cancer. And don’t worry, that’s not the opening line to my query because if agents and publishers are anything like us regular ol’ readers, they don’t really want another story about the scariest disease on the planet and how yet another person had to hear those horrible words, “You have cancer” but of course came out stronger and better because of it. Of course, now that I actually have heard the words and endured the whole messy drama that followed, I do enjoy reading the experiences of others. Perhaps I should try a publishing company strictly for survivors?
But for the rest of the world, I prefer to think of it as more like a coming-of-age, a story about growing into an impossibly beautiful name. “Serenity,” I write. “It means tranquil or calm and I am anything but. I practically invent trauma, and then I don’t handle it well.”
I once heard it described as calm waters. Nope. Not me either. But I’m getting closer. My year with cancer sort of catapulted me in that direction, and I’m trying desperately to hang on to what I learned. I wrote the memoir mostly because I had always wanted to write books, and now I finally had a plot that was pre-recorded through my journals and website entries . And I want to see it published for all the obvious reasons. I’m proud to have endured it. I want to thank the people who were there for me during the process. And I think I’ve told it in a way that can inspire. Here’s hoping someone someday is inspired by Serenity Now and can actually do something about it. In the meantime, I scream it a lot . . . a la the Seinfeld episode I took it from.