The San Diego Memoir Association 5th Annual Contest Theme: “I Didn’t See That One Coming” struck a chord with me. The topic described several chapters in my memoir project. I cut down and polished the pieces to meet the five pages about 1500 word limit. I submitted two separate entries, Stuck and Killer Bees.
In August I received notification that both moved into the final round of judging. Shortly after learned that the judges selected Killer Bees as one of the 10 winners. So exciting! But that meant what I had worked on would be out in the open. Instead of answering the question, What are you doing, with a generic, nondescript answer of writing, I now needed to come clean about my project.
Lives on Brown Cards is a coming-of-age memoir about a newly minted physician at an urban Southern hospital and the unforgettable experiences that helped me see beyond the diagnostic data of my many patients and recognize instead their essential humanity, their lives, and their families. In the summer of 1984 I began my Internal Medicine Internship at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Stay tuned for the rest of the story.