Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: Three Down, One to Go

The eponymous station house.

A few months ago, I wrote here about a series of linked essays that I’d been working on. Each essay in the sequence treats an element of an assault that took place in early 2009. The opening piece, “Sunday in the City,” was published in carte blanche last fall. In March, another essay appeared in Brevity.

Last week, “At the Station House,” which I see as closing out the sequence (at least for now), was published in the Summer 2013 issue of Contrary. This means that just one essay remains unpublished. Although it will be the fourth one in the sequence to meet readers, I think of it as “essay #2,” because chronologically (in terms of its own setting in time and place), it belongs between the carte blanche and Brevity pieces.

I can’t tell you the title of that last-to-be-published essay, because when I reviewed the proof for it a few weeks ago, I saw that the editor had written “TK” in the headline slot. We’ll see what happens there, and I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Meantime, it’s a little strange to be nearing the end of my writing and publishing journey with this sequence. (There is one more idea that I’m playing with, for a possible fifth essay, but I haven’t managed to do anything with it yet–not even the beginnings of a draft–so I just may have reached the end of this particular road.)

I’m immensely grateful to all of the editors who have given these essays such wonderful homes, and to all of the readers who have responded to the writings so warmly. I never saw myself as much of a memoirist, but these deeply personal essays took my writing practice in a different direction, and it’s gratifying to have the opportunity to share them.

8 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Work-in-Progress: Three Down, One to Go

  1. Amy Morgan says:

    Erika, It’s hard to congratulate you – when the subject matter is such a difficult one, but I send congratulations anyway on your ability to share the experience and educate us at the same time. Each one so far, my heart aches yet still you manage to bring a measure of hope to each one. I applaud your writing and your courage, and hope in sharing these pieces it has brought another level of healing. Peace be with you.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Oh, Amy. Thank you so much.

  2. I just want to mention again how well you handled the 2nd person, which is such a hard technique to master. And I also loved the ending, which provides emotional resolution without a cliched ended where the baddies are caught and sent the slammer.

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thanks so much, Rebecca. Endings really give me a lot of trouble, so I’m especially pleased that this one works for you.

  3. Mike Hooker says:

    Hi, Erika,
    I’m sorry you had to suffer such a tragic event in your life. I didn’t know. You seem to have overcome it very well. We’re all glad about that, I’m sure. I agree with Rebecca in that you did a great job of writing in the 2nd person. And without self-pity!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thank you, Mike! I have to confess that I am not all that comfortable writing about myself (my opinions, yes–my life, not so much.) The self-pity risk is one reason for that. I think the second-person pov helps mitigate the discomfort.

  4. Savita Narayan says:

    Hi Erika,

    The concept of a series of linked essays is new to me and I really enjoyed reading yours. Though it made good reading, I’m sure it was a more horrific incident than you let on. So glad you seem to have worked your way through it.

    Looking forward to essay #4.

    Savita Narayan

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Thank you so much, Savita.

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