ANYA CONNELLY-ONTIVEROS

Creative Non-Fiction (Memoir)

As a native Californian Anya’s love for nature was inevitable, and serves as a major source of inspiration. She is currently a Graduate student of English Composition, and an English 5 writing instructor at Sacramento State. Writing has helped Anya escape and embrace reality in many circumstances, and constantly pushes her to challenge herself.

An excerpt from "Saved for a Later Date":

Memories can repeat in your head that took place over twenty years ago, and you are tied to each one. As close as you may be to the experience while you write it can feel like searching. Try to find the exact memory that connects it. Writing can take you places. It can lift you up to the sky and make you float like dandelion dust.

It was a cool May afternoon.in 2009. I was smoking a cigarette and watching the clouds drift lazily overhead. You had decided that Julie needed her space. Your oldest daughter Lilly was only 3 at the time. I was living at Mom and Dad’s temporarily after my marriage ended. You had a backpack full of clothing and were covered in dirt. You just got off work and were explaining to me that Julie had this crazy idea of becoming a country singer and running away to Texas. I couldn’t believe that she was dragging you through the mud like this. You sacrificed everything for your wife and child. I was happy you were at Mom and Dad’s because I missed you. I felt sorry that we had drifted apart over the last few years. It wasn’t personal. We were both married and working, living our lives. In this time of darkness we found comfort in each other. As you asked me for a smoke, I looked up and realize how much you resembled our Father. You are both so prideful and sad. You were trying to be happy for me, but I could see the pain radiating in your face. In just two days I would be graduating from community college. I seriously doubt than anyone though I would ever earn a college degree. I got lost along the way many times and dropped out of school. You told me that I was going to amount to something, and that getting an education would be my ticket out of Visalia, Ca. I have often wondered why you wanted this for me and not yourself. I was writing a short story at the time and let you read it. It was sloppy and typical first draft. As you sat outside in the sunshine and flipped through the pages you assured me that I had always been the talented one. Smoke leaked out of the sides of your mouth as you declared that everything, including writing, was simple for me. I hated when you talked yourself down. I thought you were joking, but I know now that you have felt neglected your entire life. You were always so quiet and introverted. I wish you would have taken the time to talk to me. I would have listened.

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