Memoir – Where Is It Going?

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Where does your memoir begin? Where will it take you?

I begin with the Anne Lamott method – a sh*tty first draft. No one lays eyes on this piece of work. It will be tweaked and trimmed before I dare to read it to my memoir writing group. I am fortunate to have found this group of eight willing to listen and share each others stories with an openness and nonjudgmental sense of loyalty. We critique with compassion for each other, gently making suggestions – what to leave in, what to eliminate, what needs to be expanded.

There are times we hit a rough spot and we bring in the same piece of work week after week. Usually I take my piece home, make a few notes, and move on to the next chapter, keeping in mind that this is still not the final draft. It gives me the freedom to work through the cathartic phase of writing a painful memoir in a safe environment. This is where I learn what happened, where I gathered strength, and figure out where will I take the reader.

The original plan to hold off on writing this memoir until resolution is conceived was procrastination on my part. I didn’t want to write down the gritty details. I wanted to come out looking like the person who exists on FaceBook – the one always smiling, looking good, enjoying a wonderful life. The more I write the more I realize the truth – I am that person portrayed on FaceBook. I am in a good place. Perhaps resolution comes within the process, a slow mining of the gold within a story, growing from the experiences, and knowing there is much more good to come.

A to Z Me

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I got this idea from Elsie at Ramblings of a Writer. Now you will know more than you might ever want to know about me. If you want to share your A to Z, please feel free to share your link in my comments.

A- Age: 67

B- Biggest fear: Becoming disabled

C- Current time: 5:40 pm Sunday

D- Drink you last had:  A glass of ice tea

E- Every day starts with:  Going down the steep driveway for the morning newspaper. .

F- Favorite Song: Anything played by Tom Rigney and Flambeau

G- Ghosts, are they real?: Some say Sonora Inn in Sonora, CA is haunted but we stayed there last night and didn’t see any.

H- Hometown: Depends on when… Michigan or California, take your pick.

I- In love with:  A few people in my life.

J- Jealous of: Those who write with ease

K- Killed someone: Close to it and the scumbag would have deserved it but not worth spending my life in prison.

L- Last time you cried: 2010 my friends know why.

M- Middle name: Ann

N- Number of siblings: 3 – Brother 9 years older died at 41, brother 7 years older, sister (brother now?) 9 years younger

O- One wish: Happy healthy and energetic life.

P- Person you last called: JJ – he couldn’t find his phone 🙂 I’d rather text.

Q- Question you’re always asked: What’s the latest Hell?

R- Reason to smile: The grandson I am raising

S- Sounds that annoy you: Snoring, candy wrappers at the theater, barking dogs.

T- Time you woke up: 7:30am.

U- Useful information: Buy fun – not stuff

V- Vacation destination: Any cruise would be nice, but Hawaii would be tops.

W- Worst habit: Wasting time on FaceBook games

X- X-Rays you’ve had: Dental, back, ankle

Y- Your favorite food: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Z- Zodiac sign: Aries

As The Shoe Drops

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I always say never get too comfortable when things are going well. It’s a recipe for disaster. With that kind of intro you might suspect that I’m going to tell a tale of woe but I’ll spare that for now. Let’s just say I got comfortable. My expectations went into overdrive. I should know better.

Face it, “sheep happens” says a dear friend. I’m not even sure where I am going with all of this. Another chapter in my memoir perhaps? A way to keep everyone guessing what comes next? A ploy to keep my readers asking? A plot to sell the book?

Whatever the motive is, life goes on. I seem to have a higher power who thinks I haven’t learned my lesson yet. Just one more adversity, and maybe she’ll get it?

The point is, I am still writing, I still plan to have my first draft done by September, and I probably have a new chapter. But wait – at some point we need to decide when the project is complete. Now I know why many people write more than one memoir. Another shoe drops and another story is born.

How many times have you re-written your story? How do you decide when it’s done?

Accountability: memoir word count is now 71312

 

 

 

XC-XXIII=LXVII

XThis isn’t a “word.” It’s a roman numeral test. In the beginning of the A to Z Challenge I mentioned that each post for this challenge would have a word count of 67. What’s the significance of 67? Is it my age? The year I married? Lucky number? Or is it because I couldn’t come up with an “X” word that has anything to do with writing a memoir?

Recrudescence

RI started this blog to focus on writing – mostly as accountability for my memoir process. Leaving the old blog behind makes me feel disconnected, scattered and thinking maybe I should have revived the old Witt Bits. Any advice? Should I try to import the blogger blog into WordPress, put a link on the current site to the old one, or just let it go and move on?