Writing transforms the mundane into the extraordinary

As I’ve been attempting to convert my diary from 1982 into a narrative worthy of publication, I am impressed with Joyce Madeline Kocinski’s “Letters From Mom: A Daughter’s Journal of Healing.”

"Letters From Mom" is available on Amazon

“Letters From Mom” is available on Amazon.

Kocinski combined her grief journal, written the year after her mother’s death, with actual letters written to her by her mother over the years.

The result is a tender account of grief, yes, but more importantly love and how love transcends death. Kocinski’s writing is straight-forward, not literary; the magic for me lies in the editing of the book. When Kocinski writes about how she’s hurting or misses her mother, there’s a letter from Mom that says, “Take time for yourself — the Y — walks — massages — to unwind, your health is important,” as if Mom is speaking from the grave trying to soothe her daughter. The character of her mother is apparent through her own words. It’s a lovely and ultimately uplifting story.

I appreciate true stories like Kocinski’s. She tells an everyday type of story — no vampires, doomsday scenarios or bodice-ripping romances here — in a moving way.

Writing is like that. We don’t know what meaning will be imbued at some later point, how a throw-away line may hold poignancy and meaning in the future. Not every word is worthy of publication, but properly presented, some writing can be transformed.

  • For more about how my own mother inspires my writing, click here.
  • For more about the second edition of “Letters From Mom” and how Kocinski published on Amazon, click here.

2 thoughts on “Writing transforms the mundane into the extraordinary

  1. Pingback: A year in books at Minnesota Transplant’s house | Minnesota Transplant

  2. Pingback: A reading list for memoirists | Monica Lee

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