Nuclear Power – by Melissa Ballard



A writing mentor, Richard Taylor, said recently “What do you do with the shit in your head if you don’t write? Hit a supersize bag of cheetos and a litre of Coke?”  So many reasons to write. Here’s one of my favourites –

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. – Joan Didion


Or how about this from a great Canadian writer:

I’m concerned about the unknowability of other people. – Carol Shields

I can guess why my friend, Melissa Ballard, wrote this story. See if you can, too. Whatever drives Melissa, I’m grateful for her beautiful non-fiction stories and exploration of events and people in her life. She finds the universal in the particular as you’ll read in her latest story in Belt Magazine. I hope you like it as much as I did.



15 thoughts on “Nuclear Power – by Melissa Ballard

  1. As it turns out, I have a weakness for Cheetos (among other things) and prefer them to writing.

    Thank you for recommending Melissa Ballard’s story. I read it with alacrity and enjoyed it greatly.

    This quote came to mind (my personal demons):

    “I wish that I had known back then that a mastery of process would lead to a product. Then I probably wouldn’t have found it so frightening to write.”

    Elizabeth George


    • I like the Canadian version of Cheetos which we call cheezies. They’re more substantial (of course, like Canadians), have a satisfying resistance and crunch and a more intense flavour.

      Excellent quote by Elizabeth George. Process – also known as putting your bum in your chair and pen to paper – is a key ingredient in mastery.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing! I write and draw for so many reasons; to see what I think, to learn, to explore, to play, to remember, to share. Art/writing is the best way I can think of to learn about/explore things I’m curious about. I can’t imagine what I’d do with myself if I couldn’t write or draw. What is there?

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  3. Thanks so much for sharing this, Susanne. I loved your intro, but I had a moment of panic about “what drives Melissa to write.” Then I realized I don’t have to answer-phew! Both quotes are better than anything I could come up with.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this story. One can’t help but reflect on their own relationship with their father while reading this. The places, faces, and circumstances may be different but oddly the same. We don’t seem to really understand or appreciate our parents except in hindsight. The things I would say if I could go back … starting with thank you 💕

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