What moments in your life have you absolutely wanted to forget?
If you could, would you?
What if you had to?
Angie Smibert's gripping debut novel, MEMENTO NORA, one little white pill can take away all your bad memories.
Here's a brief summary of the book:
Nora witnesses a horrific bombing on a shopping trip with her mother. In Nora’s near-future world, terrorism is so commonplace that she can pop one little white pill to forget and go on like nothing ever happened. However, when Nora makes her first trip to a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic, she learns what her mother, a frequent forgetter, has been frequently forgetting.
Nora secretly spits out the pill and holds on to her memories. The memory of the bombing as well as her mother’s secret and her budding awareness of the world outside her little clique make it increasingly difficult for Nora to cope. She turns to two new friends, each with their own reasons to remember, and together they share their experiences with their classmates through an underground comic. They soon learn, though, they can’t get away with remembering.
MEMENTO NORA releases on April 1st, and to celebrate, Angie asked a group of writer friends to participate in a blog tour where we share a memory we might not want to forget, even if it was a painful one. Here's one of mine:
It's a sunny July day; I'm nine years old and we've just moved into a new house. My sister, Paige, and I are home. She's 11 so I guess she's "watching us" while my dad makes his "rounds" at the hospital. It's only a few minutes from our house. Our mother is out at a horseback riding lesson -- she's ridden horses since she was a kid. She's learning to jump and leaves looking beautiful and cool in her riding jodhpurs and boots, etc. My mother is beautiful, for sure.
"She was jumping," he says, "and the horse threw her off. She hit her head on a rock." These are the years before helmet laws, when her long, shiny black hair would fly out in the wind behind her as she galloped on her favorite horse.
"She's hurt?" one of us asks, as if not wanting to grasp it.
"Badly. They've closed her up, but there's swelling. . . right now, she doesn't know who we are. . . "
Something like that, the report goes something like that. My father is visibly distraught. The sun beats down.
"Is she going to die?" Me asking That one is definitely me.
"She might," my father says.
I may not remember the exact words, how events properly unfolded, but I remember the feeling that day, the frightening sights and sounds and smells of walking into that hospital room to see our mother, her hair chopped off, shaven completely on one side where betadine-stained sutures poked up. The look on her pale face -- one of utter non-recognition -- when my father said her daughters were here.
"Hi, girls," I remember her mumbling groggily. But it was clear she had no idea who we were.
Over the next few weeks, her head healed and her memory came back. If her sense of taste and smell were never quite the same, her gorgeous hair grew back quickly, well below her shoulders.
I cannot tell you how often I've called up that memory in my writing and my real-life parenting, to remember and understand both sides of how a child feels and behaves. Not just the terrified, longing side, but the resilient side too, the side that goes off to play, and giggles and has sleepovers, in the midst of the awful possibilities.
The memory of course had a good ending, but I wouldn't want to forget the painful roots where it began.
What about you? Do you have a hard memory you'd still rather not forget?
Okay - back to Angie's contest: One lucky winner will win this great PRIZE PACKAGE:
Temporary tattoos and stickers
Your very own supply of forgetting pills. (Ok, they’re really Jelly Belly’s.)
And a glossy charm bracelet.
How do you win? All you have to do is leave a comment here on my blog AND leave a comment back on Angie's blog here. Angie will announce the winner on her blog on April 7th. DON'T FORGET to check back there ( http://www.mementonora.com/) to see if you're the winner!
Good luck. Hold on to your memories. And check out Memento Nora when it comes out.