LET'S WELCOME Chana this morning
with a question and answers to her book!
Q&A with Chana Wilson, Author of Riding Fury Home
- What led you to write the book?
When I decided to become a therapist, it meant I had to go back to college to finish my bachelor’s degree before grad school, but my dilemma was that I had a terrible writer’s block. I asked myself, “What about writing scares you?” and what leapt out of my mouth was, “That the truth might come out!” That truth was all the realities of my childhood that I had to keep secret because of stigma and shame. So, I took a creative writing class where I deliberately wrote those stories. In class, we did short free writes, and sweat would be pouring off my body. Then, we had to read out loud what we’d just written. The first time, as I read a story of one of Mom’s suicide attempts, there was a potent silence. Afterwards, I could see how moved my classmates were, and some of them shared hard stories of their own. The shame ebbed away as I saw that my very intimate, vulnerable stories resonated in others, and became a story larger than just my own.
I put my creative writing away for years and wrote academic papers. When my mother was ill with cancer, she said, “I’m going to lick this thing and live to write a book about my life.” When she didn’t make it, at first I thought I was writing her story for her, but I soon found I had to re-inhabit the story myself, and explore my own narrative.
2. What is the meaning of the title of your memoir?
Riding Fury Home has multiple meanings. One theme is a child’s suppressed rage at her fragile mother. My mother attempted suicide and was committed to a mental hospital when I was just seven, and there was no room to express my need for her and my grief at losing her. My father and the doctors said that she needed me, so I had to be very good to her. All that discounting of self led to a deeply buried rage. To ride that home is the journey of working through the hurt and anger between my mother and me to come to some forgiveness.
I was also crazy about horses. In the chapter titled “Riding Fury Home,” my mother takes me to a rodeo where Fury, a horse from my favorite TV show, is making an appearance. My mother had developed a driving phobia, so we lurch down the road with her sweating and cursing at the wheel. At the rodeo, I’m completely entranced as Fury, a wild black stallion, races around the arena with no rider, looking so beautiful and free. But as we drive home, I’m ripped from reverie by my mother’s driving, and I feel hatred for her for ruining my happy dreaming.
3. What would your mother have thought about the book?
Writing the book after my mother died gave me a certain freedom. If she’d been alive, I would have had to push myself to be fully honest in spite of my fears of hurting her. I think some of it would have been hard for her to hear, because the book went deeper than we’d gone. We would have had to go through another round of processing the impact of her being unable to mother me in my childhood. But I believe that it would have been healing for us, and in the end, she would have welcomed that process.
On another level, my mother was my biggest booster, always proud of my accomplishments. Purely in her “mom” role, she would have cheered wildly for me as an author. She would have backed my writing the book, because as a therapist and feminist, she believed in revealing complex human truths. That I acknowledge in the memoir the profound gift of her love and mothering of me later in life would have thrilled her. And she would have been delighted that Riding Fury Home pays tribute to her resilience and zest for life.
This book will be gifted today!
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A huge thanks to the following sponsors for offering up some very heartfelt presents for the month of December... Besides the featured Authors book each day, we will have weekly PRESENTS of the following..
From top to bottom.....Pellon is gifting 2 pillows, 1 batting for a throw, some pillow stuffing, and some wonder under to 2 winners who stick with Pellon!
Aurifil is gifting 4 boxes of large threads in a variety of colours to 4 lovers of threads....
Bag Lady is gifting 5 assorted frames for coin purses to 1 coin purse lover!
Reliable Corporation ( you can see close up here) is gifting 2 Sensor Irons to 2 quilters who love to iron.
Purdy's Chocolate is gifting 4 large boxes of chocolates...( I did not even peak under the wrapper, so I am not sure what is there ) to 4 lucky chocolate lovers.
Andover Fabrics is gifting 4 beautiful assorted fat quarter bundles to 4 fabric lovers...
And Seal Press will be gifting the book that is featured each day!
Our whole month of December we cheerleaders will be celebrating all of YOU, who have been
with us for years. To our new followers, we will welcome you with all the warmth we can muster....
WE hope you will be visiting us and leaving lovely comments for all of our guests who have
made this month possible.... Take this time to thank those around you for all of our blessings...
It will be a very special month....
Whatever your wishes are this season, these are our wishes for you...!
Congrats to Janarama who
won a copy of Wanderlust from yesterday...
( p.s. stuck at airport, flights cancelled, big storm, sorry for not replying to all messages these
past few days...trying to get everyone home lol) WE will be resuming to our regular programming of blog hops very soon....