Just One by
(90 Stories)

Prompted By Resolutions

Loading Share Buttons...

/ Stories

I have just one resolution this year: REWRITE. Not write, but REWRITE. I’m resolved to hone my memoir to the point where I feel it deserves to be read. In other words, to the point where others may read it and feel better about themselves and/or the world for having read it. (Wow, right?!) To that end, I’ve joined a creative writing group composed of the members of the writing workshop I took in Maine a few years back, and that involves a serious commitment to showing up for each other. I also signed up for what looks to be a very intensive program called Story Club with George Saunders, a writer some of you might be familiar with if you read The New Yorker.

I’m sharing this with you because, as you might have already gleaned, I haven’t been and won’t be writing as often for Retrospect. Because it’s a very different kind of writing, and I need to stay on track. I will definitely, however, keep working behind the scenes because what I do there uses a different part of my brain and is a welcome and very pleasureable diversion from the rewriting. And I love working with my co-administrators. And of course I will write a story and/or comment on your stories when I just can’t not do it.

Wishing you all, my Retro friends, the very best in 2022!


(The featured image was taken on Christmas Day…some of you have already “liked” it on Facebook but just thought I’d share it here because it makes me smile.)


Profile photo of Barbara Buckles Barbara Buckles
Artist, writer, storyteller, spy. Okay, not a spy…I was just going for the rhythm.

I call myself “an inveterate dabbler.” (And my husband calls me “an invertebrate babbler.”) I just love to create one way or another. My latest passion is telling true stories live, on stage. Because it scares the hell out of me.

As a memoirist, I focus on the undercurrents. Drawing from memory, diaries, notes, letters and photographs, I never ever lie, but I do claim creative license when fleshing out actual events in order to enhance the literary quality, i.e., what I might have been wearing, what might have been on the table, what season it might have been. By virtue of its genre, memoir also adds a patina of introspection and insight that most probably did not exist in real time.

Visit Author's Website

Characterizations: right on!, well written


  1. Suzy says:

    Barb, thanks for posting this so everyone will understand where you have been and where you are going. Of course I wish you were still writing on Retro every week, but I’m excited to read your memoir when it’s finished. Grateful to have you behind the scenes here working your magic, in ways that most people here might not even imagine. And I’ll hold on to that wisp of hope you hold out about writing a story from time to time.

  2. Marian says:

    I’m in awe, Barb, of your commitment to the memoir and can only wish that it turns out to be everything you expected. Glad to still be working with you as an admin and having the benefit of your talents and insights.

  3. Betsy Pfau says:

    What you have resolved to do sounds like a big commitment, Barb. Good for you! I will miss your creative insights and wonderful stories; hope you drop in as often as you can and share your other work product with us from time to time. I can imagine your behind-the-scenes input into Retro and am grateful for that.

    Happy New Year, Upward and Onward!

  4. Laurie Levy says:

    I love your featured image. Barb, and will have to chase it down on FB (which never shows me things I care about in the 5 minutes I may look at it). I am also part of a writing group that often focuses on memoir pieces, so I think yours is a very worthy and gratifying project. While I did some rewriting based on comments from my group, I eventually created a Mixbook of my childhood through early marriage and parenthood stories for my kids/grandkids. It was a fun trip down memory lane and also somewhat therapeutic. So go for it!

  5. Brava Bebe, break a leg – or whatever one says to writers! When your book hits the presses you know your Retro pals will be ordering copies!

    Yes I liked your family photo on FB but now like it again, and I’ve read and loved Lincoln at the Bardo and heard Saunders speak in New York at Symphony Space, you know I really dig good writing!

    Happy, healthy new year and may your Muse be with you!

  6. Khati Hendry says:

    Just be sure to let us know when and where we can read more of your writing—you do it so well! I like your description of being a memoirist in your profile, and you do bring that to your writing. Sounds like you have connected with some great support and I’m looking forward to the results. And thanks for the picture. Happy NY.

  7. John Shutkin says:

    Fully understand, Barb, and I share in the awe of others on Retro as to your resolve to focus on your memoir. Brava!

    I have also learned, in my far more prosaic own writing — including a career of legal briefs and memos — that the rewrite is the most important part. Just getting it all down once is a nice first step, but it is that re-write stage, painful and time-consuming as it may be, where a piece of writing comes together (or, sometimes, simply doesn’t).

    We’re all rooting for you!

  8. We’ll miss you terribly but I understand your desire to focus. And George Saunders as a mentor? Fabulous. I love the short stories he is known for, but Lincoln in the Bardo endeared him to me forever.

    Memoir writing can be a wonderful experience. You enter the labyrinth and doors to new rooms and passageways open on every wall.

  9. Best wishes, thanks for making us aware of these adventures, and “more power to you” for the new endeavors in writing. I don’t know the work of George Saunders at all, but I just registered a few weeks ago for an adult education class where we will read nothing but his short stories, and where we will also engage in some exercises in writing “in the style of George.” In case anyone else is interested (it’s an online class), here it is. https://berkshireolli.org/SaundersWinter2022

    • Thanks, Dale! That sounds like an interesting workshop…I’ll check it out. My intention is to turn my existing memoir into a collection of short stories, each of which can stand on its own but united tell a broader tale. Lots to be learned!

  10. Dave Ventre says:

    Hope you can kick some memoir butt in ’22!

Leave a Reply