New Year’s Resolutions by Marlena Maduro Baraf

Prompt: For the first time in the history of your character, the character is actually following through on her New Year’s resolution.

Photo Marlena Maduro Baraf Jan 2014Oh, so you want to hear about me?  It’s all about me, indeed, me, me, me.  And will she, will she come through with the New Year’s plan to stay with it?  But the prompt says she will.  Isn’t that wonderful.  So she will write every day every day every day.  At least for one hour, for one hour only.  An easy task?  Impossible task.  Let’s pretend.  It’s January 11 today, only eleven days into the New Year commitment.  And what has our girl done?  Let’s pretend. The girl – or is it an old lady now nearing the bewitching age where she can’t escape the appellation “old.”  Can one publish a first book when “old?”  SEVENTY old?  What a fright! Freddy Krueger frightful.  I saw that movie with my eyes closed, clutching the arms of my husband and my cousin Daniel (now dead, dead, DEAD).  But then, I digress.

Our main character me me me is fulfilling her eleven-day-old resolution, if this prompt lasts one hour. Well, hell yes for today. Does she need a “container,” a serene place in which to write free of distractions, a photo of a beloved, air and light and view? Well, hell yes.  She’s done that. Everything is set. Whisper softly, lady M.  Siri is counting.

Now to establish a habit a habit a habit…

Marlena Maduro de Baraf (as you would say it in Panama, “belonging to Baraf”) has just completed the last draft of her memoir, Days of Opera, about coping with a difficult mother, about a Jewish girlboth insider outsider – living in a Catholic country, about leaving a galaxy of relations in order to find her self in another landscape. 

Marlena has moved between the worlds of books, writing and design over the years–as a book editor at McGraw-Hill and Harper & Row, a principal with Just North LLC, Interior Design Studio, and writing.  Always writing.  A vignette from her memoir was published in The Westchester Review.

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27 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions by Marlena Maduro Baraf

  1. I couldn’t see Freddy Krueger either with my eyes open or closed, not with a loving husband, not with a giggly girlfriend, not with any cousin. And you are not alone in your publishing premiere at this deliciously mellow age. “Old Lady” doesn’t fit anyone I know of this age, but I kind of like “Old Girl”, it has a of mischievous fun loving quality. Congratulations!!!

  2. Inspiring piece that made me set my alarm for a little earlier so I can squeeze in some writing before work tomorrow. Love the rhythm and flow of the words, half-way between a poem and a song.

  3. Oh, Marlena, there’s no one I’d rather read about than youyouyou everydaydayday! A thrilling prospect for the new year (and that’s no joke).

    • Sallie, and now it’s March! (just read the postings). There’s been some serendipidity here as I was blocked with the fear of agents. Tomorrow morning to the grindstone.

  4. my new year’s resolution is to always comment on marlena’s writing. i’m trying to take an entire hour to write this comment. i have a very long name, so that should take some time. (i assume writing your name counts?)
    new paragraph: (do those two words count?) writing is hard, and sometimes the hardest part is simply doing it. sure, all those words are constantly swirling in our thoughts, aren’t they? (they’re swirling in mine. by the way, do asides count?) but getting them out and onto paper (or screen) is a whole other matter.
    marlena makes it happen. and when you read her writing, you’re glad she did. i’m glad she did.
    i can’t wait to read her book when it’s published. hurry marlena! i’m old too!!!

    • ha ha Marciamywonderful, the comments just printed today I was informed, a glitch they said, so how many words have I written now Old Girl? Thank you for your comment!

    • Ahmed, you know how it is, to keep pulling out when it’s scary. The scariest yet is trying to write a query letter.

    • Oh my, Hi Amanda, fantastic writer! I would like to read more of your work. I know you must still be writing. Still poking around at Sarah Lawrence?

  5. And isn’t writing such a whole lot of lovely digression anyway? Keep digressing along lady M. because reading your new work will help me fulfill my own resolution to read, read, read! This mini work makes me eager to read more from you.

  6. Very impressed!! Glad you’re using your gift. Believe me . . . . writing is a gift!
    Can’t wait to read your memoir!
    Mazie and Piper are bound to be writers also. They have great creative writing genes on both sides. 🙂

  7. What fun, and how we should now anticipate reading the memoir.
    Please invite us to the signing party, and serve meat, meat meat. (No offense intended to the formerly clutched husband.)

    • Hey Bob, how many copies of books are you good for–if I invite you to the book signing? (I hope we both live to that day.)

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