Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Writing About Your Life

I had the pleasure to speak to some interesting and nice folks who will be starting a writing group soon. We discussed how we all have stories to write. Some are painful to revisit. Some are parts of history our families will be happy we took the time to record. Pat Daharsh, award winning haiku writer, brought this group together.

Bill, who sat to my left, said he and his wife have written a book of memoir but he has little idea of how he might push his book out the door to reach others. That is the part of writing that boggles the minds of most of us. However, Bill has a large family with many children who will cherish that book as the years go by.

A former student and a friend, Lynne Sparrow, author of a most interesting memoir, Patchwork, is not promoting her book to the public. She only had ten books printed, she said, and she is giving them to friends and family. It is not her purpose to sell copies, but to tell her story her way. And what a great story she tells. 

It is Never Too Late 
I told the group I spoke to this week about the many senior writers I know. Some of them write fiction and some of them write memoir. A. J. Mayhew published a first novel, The Dry Grass of August, in 2011 at the age of seventy-one. Nadine Justice published a page- turning memoir the year she turned seventy. Susan Snowden turned out a thought-provoking novel, Southern Fried Lies and Celia Miles wrote Sarranda's Heart, another of her Appalachian novels, about an independent strong woman character. Maren Mitchell published her self help book, Beat Chronic Pain, an Insider's Guide, a book for anyone who lives with daily pain or knows someone who does. G.W. Newton who is housebound due to health issues has sold several hundred copies of his book Bunches of Wild Grass mostly to residents of the south Georgia area where Newton grew up. 

Even if the writers I met this week never publish a book, I hope they will record the important events of their lives for their families. Each of us owns something very special, something that the younger generations will not ever have -- our memories of our lives. 


Anonymous said...

In January of last year, I started a memoir about my six years of experience caring for my late husband, totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. I had to put it aside because it got too emotional. Now, I'm in the midst of two other projects so don't know when I'll get back to it.

Lise said...

Sounds like a great gathering!

Glenda Beall said...

I understand, Abbie, how painful the writing can be and I am feeling the same way now. I can't write about Barry's death at this time or the time he was so sick.
However, I can write about the happy times we had earlier on in our marriage. And I want to tell some of the funny and interesting parts of our lives before he became so ill. Good luck with all your writing. It is very soon for you to write about Bill's passing, I'm sure.