All Stories, Literally Reruns

Literally Reruns – Memories are Made of This by Diane M. Dickson

Leila has fished out a rather unpleasant character – I thought we’d tied him up in the corner but no – this is what she said:

Diane M. Dickson’s Memories are Made of This conveys unease, malice, longing and disappointment in a hushed voice. Although there is nothing in the opening paragraph out of the ordinary, it manages to set the right one for what follows. This economical piece subtly underscores the irony in its title and it comes full circle in a manner that you seldom see anymore.

Leila Allison

Q: Charlie comes off serene when he thinks of the past, but immediately turns hostile when he sees something that stains a memory. It seems to me that Charlie’s emotional progression is perfectly natural until I saw the way he dealt with let downs. I guess this question comes from the “Nurture or Nature?” drawer, but what do you think (if anything) makes Charlie so, um, proactive about women? His mother?

In a word – YES – when I was writing this that was very clear in my mind I remember.

Q: The tone was downright elegant and understated. From what I’ve read of you (including one of your books) I do not recall you ever using coarse language except maybe in dialogue; nor would have anything been added to your work by it. Those of us who overflow the swear jar have said plenty about naturalism. How do you feel about such things?

I don’t swear very much myself – the odd mild expletive is about it. I grew up in a household where it wasn’t the norm. When I began to have work published, I was very aware that my Dad would read my work and I just couldn’t bear the thought that he might be offended by something I had written. When he died, I did wonder if it would make a difference and I would thereafter pepper my work with F bombs. It has not proved to be the case. I know that many of my characters would probably curse in every sentence, but I write for pleasure and I wouldn’t enjoy that. I have had comments on my novels to the effect that it is refreshing that there is no ‘bad’ language, but I have never had any asking for more. I understand that it is par for the course now and there is the learned (Stephen Fry) opinion that it is actually vital for our mental health and who am I to argue with Mr Fry.

I think it is better to write without it than to use asterisks or such like to replace letters. That really does irritate me. If you are going to write it – write it – I reckon. For me I think it’s probably too late to change.

Leila Allison


Memories are Made of This

6 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – Memories are Made of This by Diane M. Dickson”

  1. I am happy to see this one up this morning. And I thank you for your perfect answers. Here’s hoping everyone will follow the link to the story. Although the gentleman in it is rather nasty and not at all a gentleman, he is interesting.


  2. Hi Leila, Diane.
    Leila, brilliant choice as usual and you continue to tease that little bit more out of the writer that only enhances the story.
    Diane, I still love how the last line tied it all together, this was done effortlessly.
    The swearing question is an interesting one and something that could be debated until the cows come home.
    You hit on a few points that whether or not they should effect a writer is besides the point. A writer needs first and foremost be true to themselves. If they uncomfortable writing something, then they shouldn’t.
    We have discussed many a time about a story being completely off and I think a lot of those are about folks writing in a way that they are sort of forcing the issues. That never works.
    I wonder if what you hear when you are growing up does contribute to how sweary you are? Maybe, but it isn’t just in your household. My mum and dad never used the big three swear words in front of us but at school, then work we were surrounded by profanity. Hah! If I was as much of an individual as I should be, I should never have sworn! But I also take Mr Fry’s point, I think that swearing for me, is a release of emotion that I don’t show in other ways.
    ‘Fuck’ can be used when happy, sad, delighted, repelled, aggrieved, emphatic, depressed, furious, despondent and every other emotion or feeling that a human can endure. I think if I was being totally honest, I would say that sarcasm and swearing stops me taking valium or killing people.
    Offending those who read, well, I honestly don’t know if I would ever have that as a consideration. Not because I am a hard-hearted rebel but mainly because there are very few who I know ever read my work. Maybe it would be different if someone told me that they were uncomfortable with what I had written. (I doubt it!)
    And that brings me back to your point (See what I did there Diane) I write the way that I do because I am comfortable doing it. It doesn’t matter about the content, I need to write what I want to, if I didn’t, it wouldn’t be any fun!

    Thanks ladies!!!


    1. Like most people, I hail from the working class. I grew up in a tough little military town, and if it weren’t for cussing, we’d say nothing at all. On my first day of school our teacher (Miss Greene–I still remember her) informed us that we had to talk as though we were in church. Maybe one in five of us had ever been to church–I know I hadn’t. So, at five I learned that there were forbidden words. That, of course, made them so much more popular.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. spot on with your last comment there Hugh – It has to be fun and you have to be happy with the finished piece. I don’t think I would be bothered about other people being offended – hmm or would I – I would hate my children to be upset with anything I’d written so I guess yes I would. I never worked in a factory and in hospital environments the occassions for strong language are few and far between on behalf of the staff. I have reached a stage now where most of it goes over my head but I don’t think I’ll ever use it. Maybe I could hide behind a nom de plume and swear like a sailor.


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