Angela Kelsey

Tell the Story

A Matter of Life and Death

Filed in Writing :: January 2, 2013

Last year I picked a word and ran with it all year: tell.

I’m still running with it, and still thinking about 2012 and still needing to write about it, and I will, soon.

But I’ve chosen my word for 2013, and it’s “live,” the verb.


Maybe I’m feeling my mid-life-ness. Maybe it’s time to get on with some things I’ve been delaying. Maybe I don’t even yet know what this word means.

After I’d chosen the word, I ran across “Posthumous” by Jeffrey Eugenides.

He quotes Christopher Hitchens, quoting Nadine Gordimer, who had advised Hitchens, “‘A serious person should try to write posthumously,’ Hitchens said, going on to explain: ‘By that I took her to mean that one should compose as if the usual constraints–of fashion, commerce, self-censorship, public and perhaps especially, intellectual opinion–did not operate.'”

So in 2013, I want to write as if I’ve already died, and live as if I might die at any moment.



Filed in Writing


  1. wholly jeanne

    i love your word and this quote. it’s true, isn’t it? the goal of writing is to write as though you’re already dead, and the goal of living is to live as though you’ll not breathe another minute. morbid? some may say “yes” and others may actually seek to have me committed (i come from just such a place), but i don’t think it’s morbid. i find it refreshingly clear and freeing, actually. i’m gonna’ borrow this quote and your spirit/resolve, m’kay?

  2. little light

    It brings to mind the thought of living like you were dying…
    it will be interesting to see your assessment on how you achieved this at the end of 2013…