Some memoirists make things up. Others omit critical or damning information. While I don’t believe I’ve committed either of these offenses, I am wracked with guilt over one offense I did commit. So before someone finds out my secret and spreads the word via some scorching blog, I hereby confess to my Failure to Update.
I finished revising my memoir several years ago, and let my agent do her thing. When she sold the manuscript to Marlowe & Co last fall, I needed to make a decision: did I bring the farm totally up to date in the book, or just stop events where I had stopped them? A farm is constantly changing, so the idea of being up to date is a little impractical. Most importantly, however, was that if I were to update, I would have to reveal my secret and ruin a perfectly good chapter in the book.
Attentive readers may remember my comments about a book called Fifty Acres and a Poodle. While it was a lovely book, I said, and I quote: “If you owned a poodle on a farm, should you really be admitting this to the rest of the world? I think not.”
I hate eating my own words, but this is me, munching away. I learned a few years ago that poodles don’t shed, and I was so sick of dog hair in the house that I decided we should give a poodle a try. This reveals some sort of deficient logic on my part, because adding a poodle does nothing to eliminate the dog hair shed by our two other dogs.
But add a poodle we did. (See above photo of happy girl.) She’s an elderly standard poodle named Porsche whose owner had health problems and didn’t want to send poor Porsche to the pound. Turns out Porsche had a few health problems of her own. Our vet had to remove most of her teeth because they were rotting, so now we soak her food until it’s nice and mushy. We put her on one medication for incontinence, and another for upset tummy, so now she doesn’t pee or vomit as often.
Good news is she’s really a sweety. She’s very well-behaved, doesn’t let the border collie or the Great Dane push her around, and doesn’t shed.
So, do I now think that if you own a poodle on a farm you should admit it? Yes, you should, but not in the book itself. Best to admit this in your blog and hope no one reads it!