Thursday, October 28, 2010

Writing Memoirs

October 28, 2010 by ritamalie

Memoir is a true story remembered and told by the one living it with a real-life plot, characters, setting.

Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to tell a story in only six words: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn."
Can you tell your life story in six words?
Here's some that got published in ASRP:
"Nearing 60, still on Rough Draft."
"Defined at 21. Redefined at 57."
"Sixty. Still haven't forgiven my parents."

Lessons learned from writing memoirs:
-We all have so much in common
-Makes you confront the truth
-It provides new perspectives
-Helps make sense of our lives
-It's cathartic and therapeutic
-It creates a legacy without dollar signs
-Researchers found family history linked to children's self-esteem and resiliency

Like Arthur Hailey writing "Roots", the purpose to writing my mother's memoir, "Goodbye America", was to provide a legacy to our family and assure that her story would never be forgotten.

A memoir is easier and much less intimidating to write than an autobiography. A memoir is just one story from your life whereas an authobiography is laden with dates and facts of your entire life.
-Plot some significant moments
-Identify one pivotal event that stands out more intriguing than the others

Start writing
Good luck

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Memoirs-Sharing Family Stories

Goodbye America and More

Memoirs-Sharing Family Stories

October 20, 2010 by Rita Malie

Thinking about your legacy? Wondering how to achieve a small measure of immortality? Write a memoir.
“There is nothing new, but that which has been forgotten.” There is a national appetite of our confessional times. This is the age of the memoir, which is the greatest gift you can give your family. Every family has important stories that should be told to preserve their heritage. It is unique and will be an important part of the legacy you leave for future generations.

I wrote Goodbye America, which is a memoir of my mother’s childhood and historic events that shaped her life: the flu pandemic of 1918, World War I and immigration. She recounted her story to three generations in our family to ensure important lessons:

     • Family love
     • Family loyalty
     • Hope, when life seems to be falling apart
     • Strength of the human spirit overcoming unthinkable odds
     • Never forget the blessings of living in a free country.

Researchers have found that a sense of family history is linked to children’s self-esteem. It’s important our children know their past.

Why are memoirs so interesting to readers? Who would want to read about someone else’s life? Why are they important?

They are important because readers find pieces of themselves in memoirs. They help to carry us back into the past, allowing us to connect small moments and see larger meanings.