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Author Topic: Memoir synopsis: How A Mother Got Her Ink  (Read 516 times)
Alisun
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« on: December 22, 2018, 10:06:02 AM »

Hi! This synopsis is worked into my query letter. It's MUCH shorter than I had before. Feedback welcomed. Thanks in advance!
My main question is: does this demonstrate a story arc without being too obvious? I've heard the biggest criticisms of memoirs is that they are often written like autobiographies, without thought of where the story starts, where it goes, where it ends and why.

How A Mother Got Her Ink

The story is structured around the three tattoos I got at different stages of motherhood, representing my changing identity as mother, in 13 chapters each taking place in a different country or state.
·Part I- Son: Barely out of high school, I became a wife to a Tibetan refugee and a mother to a baby boy. The first tattoo, a sun with my son’s name, symbolizes that life transformation, for motherhood brightened and warmed my world like sunlight does. Also like the sun, having my boy squarely in the center of my universe gave me an unbelievable sense of order. In the process of escaping a marriage that had become violent, I took my baby with me to England, Mexico, and Tennessee.

·Part II- Home: Free of my husband, I kept traveling with my boy, as though I couldn’t find the brakes. My second tattoo was a turtle over my heart with home written on the shell in Tibetan. It signified the cliché “home is where the heart is” as my little heart, the one audaciously walking around outside my chest, traveled and lived with me in many different places in the world. Wherever he was, I was at home. Turtles also represented safety, because they could pull their vulnerable heads and limbs into their protective shells at any moment. Finally seeking more than simple safety, I learned to prioritize my child, and for him I rejected love in the Solomon Islands. A near-death accident in Colombia served as a wake-up call, propelling me on to the final adventure, that of getting settled.

·Part III- Momma Rising: In pursuit of education and a career, I returned with my son to Mexico under very different circumstances. I was offered a dream job that would give me a career traveling, and I turned it down in favor of stability for my boy. The most turbulent, threatening rapids on the river of our life came when we were settled in California, and I faced my son’s developing mental illness while finishing my doctorate. I used the tools I’d gained in our journeys and we got through it together, just in time to face life-changing news. The last tattoo replaced the second, it is a cover-up. I left behind the commitment to travel and basic desire for safety that the turtle represented, choosing instead the myth of a creature that emerges from destructive fire (trauma) stronger, freer and more beautiful than ever- the phoenix.
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newtothis22
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2019, 12:47:16 AM »

Wow. It sounds like you have an amazing story to tell. I don't know much about a synopsis for a memoir but the arc seems pretty solid to me.   
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