We previously heard form Alison Bates and her decision to trace her birth family, read more here. Today she updates us on what happened next… “What would you like to happen next?” my adoption counsellor asked me recently, about a current situation, an impasse with my birth family. I was stuck, I had no idea. Instead, I continued to become more and more immersed in the world of blogging, an antidote to all that was going on. In so doing, I continued to marvel at the wonders of modern technology. Without it, I would not have been able to write my own story of adoption, as I would never have been able to access the history of my birth family. And also without it, I would not have been able to connect with a community of people – other writers for one, and also those that have been affected by adoption. Thankfully, there are many blogs around, available at the click of a mouse, or similar, where one can partake of ideas, inspiration, information. I have grown as a writer in consequence, and a whole new world has been opened up to me in other ways.
Reading the various adoption blogs around, I am deeply touched with the day to day accounts of parents dealing with the upbringing of adopted children for example.
There are so many aspects to adoption, so many sides. I feel privileged to be able to step into the world of others, who have experienced the fallout of adoption, as well as bittersweet memories, hands on help, and much else. I am not an adoptive parent, but I grew up having adoptive parents. I am an adoptee, a badge I wear with a certain amount of pride, and at times a little shame. The latter is ridiculous I know, but that is what adoption is about, moving through all the different stages, being buffeted, shocked, grief stricken, hurt, and coming through it as best one can. Adoption is for life. The act of writing, putting a virtual – or real – pen to paper, is so valuable; to be able to pour out and share, and enable others to read. I cannot rest unless I write, and soon I will have a blog of my own, where I intend to share my thoughts on books written on the subject of adoption, and the progress of my own story. But for now, I am grateful to the team at Adoption Social for letting me blog here, on this wonderful site. So far I have written Part One of my story, started Part Two, and have fast tracked to the end – the climax, followed by the start of a penultimate chapter and a sketchy denouement. Now there is a yawning gap in the middle – ‘the ugly middle’ as it has been described in a posting on one of the writer’s blogs I follow.
Yes – the ugly middle – the nitty gritty of the story, a story I have experience both first and second hand, am still experiencing.
Having started out with an idea – the alternating of a diary with a kind of ‘blog’, and a back story novel treatment, I began to smell burning rubber. Something wasn’t right – the format wasn’t right. I experimented by just reading over the back story novel, and found that it held perfectly together without all the other stuff – material that had got me started in the first place. Nothing wasted then, it could all be used later, in the novel itself. It was all down to structure, and I began to do a bit of research. I was falling between two stools. Then, thanks to another writers’ blog site, I read a wonderful posting about structuring a novel. I wasn’t entirely ignorant of this subject, but was attracted to a book on which the blog was based. I purchased it from Amazon, and am devouring it, section by section. It is both fascinating and invaluable. Now I am in the planning stages of the ugly middle. The story arc, every plot point, both major and minor, every scene, every event, every chapter, to be ordered, cross referenced, so that the tale of the two main protagonists, a birth mother and her adopted daughter tie together in a coherent fashion. It is scary, but also exciting. And I have committed myself to the e-book I intend to get out there, complete with cover design, so there is no turning back.
Whether it is blogging, writing a story or a book – the act of getting it down on virtual paper, is cathartic, I can’t recommend it enough. It helps, it cleanses, it invigorates, it even solves problems.
A problem yet unsolved for me in real life has been solved in my makeshift denouement. “What would I like to happen next?”
It’s a good question.
You can email Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org