Hermit shell, fraud, auto.

One of the wonders of creative nonfiction (CNF, to my fellow acronymers) is that pretty much anything goes, as long as it stays nonfiction.

If you’re concerned with the disappearance of communal eating, slap a one-handed soup container on a page and write an essay around it.(The Last Supper, Jon Mooallum, not linked because I can’t get it from Harper’s unless I pay for it).

Everybody gets pulled over, but you can also turn your police report into a memoir essay.

Sometimes there is this one person who keeps popping into your life, sometimes after years of silence. Drop some pins in Google maps and write an essay in the descriptions.

The Harvard Outline is overused. Revamp it. (Outline Towards a Theory of the Mine Versus the Mind and the Harvard Outline by Ander Monson, which I also can’t find without paying for it)

Working at Wendy’s as a full-grown adult is essay fodder, not mockery time.

You find a form, a shape, a document, and you meld your topic or memory around that shape. Maybe your memory is that object. Maybe my essay is the jacket inside a CD case. Maybe I explore why I hate my hometown through descriptions of people I grew up with. Maybe I link my hatred of our chalkboard table (that singularly unnerving sensation against my fingers, *verbal shudder*) to the family tradition of dinner at our too-long table, bought second-hand from a family rich enough to buy a new dining room. Maybe I write my essay on the future in blog posts.

Meta, right.


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