I’m off to see the Publisher

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As many of you know I have written a memoir, “The Path Taken,” that is about to be published. Some friends and family, upon reading some of it, have questioned timelines and details. I just want to post this so it is clear that a memoir is not, by any means, exact hard factual step by step retelling of one’s life. It’s more like photos where you remember highlights of the moments captured, but not every single detail. I want friends and family to know these are my memories and interpretations. After all a memoir is by definition the author’s memories not necessarily absolute facts. I do not set out to blame or hurt only to tell a story in hope that someone somewhere may benefit from these experiences. These are just a few lines from some of my favorite study guides. I hope this helps people understand……

1) “Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition. It may look like a casual and even random calling up of bygone events. It’s not; it’s a deliberate construction.” —WILLIAM ZINSSER, ON WRITING WELL”

2) “A memoir is not a collection of cool stories. It is not a chaotic or fascinating adventure. A memoir grows from the wild desire to make sense of what has happened to you. A memoir is, by definition, the story of the author’s memories as he works to understand some aspect of his life”

3) “Mary Karr notes in The Liars’ Club: A Memoir, “Memoir is not an act of history but an act of memory, which is innately corrupt.” So even though a memoir tells the story of a person’s memories, which conceivably are from real-life events that actually happened, not everyone will have experienced the events the same way”

4) “There is no more potentially contentious group than family. We all know that to be true. Holidays with family bring stress. Visits from parents prompt us to unlock the liquor cabinet. The person who grows up to be a writer or artist of another sort is almost always the family member who witnessed her family members at their worst— abuse, horrible fights, alcoholism, and so on. We were the ones who rarely spoke about what we saw, but what we saw ate away at our insides, begging to be told. We were the truth tellers, the light shiners, the ones who were eternally misunderstood. And here we are, finally, before our screens, our fingers”

The Truth of Memoir: How to Write about Yourself and Others with Honesty, Emotion, and Integrity by Cohen, Kerry
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QOBM92Q

The truth of Memoir

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“There is no more potentially contentious group than family. We all know that to be true. Holidays with family bring stress. Visits from parents prompt us to unlock the liquor cabinet. The person who grows up to be a writer or artist of another sort is almost always the family member who witnessed her family members at their worst— abuse, horrible fights, alcoholism, and so on. We were the ones who rarely spoke about what we saw, but what we saw ate away at our insides, begging to be told. We were the truth tellers, the light shiners, the ones who were eternally misunderstood. And here we are, finally, before our screens, our fingers”

 

The Truth of Memoir: How to Write about Yourself and Others with Honesty, Emotion, and Integrity by Cohen, Kerry

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QOBM92Q

Desire to publish

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I am a non-fiction and fiction writer, although most of my stories are at least based on real events. Even most of my children’s stories have basis on real life experiences. Recently I’ve started my journey to learn the art of public speaking.

I am a survivor of child and domestic sexual violence, I attempted suicide more than one time and I have Rapid Cycling Bipolar disorder. Then there’s the family drama, all gives me unending writing fodder. 

My mother’s running joke in our family was that one of us should write a book about our family, but no one would ever believe it is a true story. Well Mom, I’ve done that and more. I’ve written down our dirty and clean laundry for all to see. 

My current project is my memoir, “The Path Taken.” I’m trying to find the best way to share my memories but do no harm. I want my friends and family to know these are my memories and interpretations of events. After all a memoir is by definition the author’s memories not necessarily absolute facts. I do not set out to blame or hurt only to tell my story in hopes that someone somewhere may benefit from mine and my family’s experiences.

I have been storytelling most of my life and writing for about forty years. I  never let anyone read anything I put on paper, that was for my eyes only.

My first real storytelling started at age nine when my first niece was born. The stories evolved through the years, but the titles and seedlings of them remained. The children I sat for, my own children and grandchildren grew up. They didn’t need my silliness anymore, or so I thought. 

Some time ago I was at a family get together and to my surprise was asked to tell my stories. I didn’t realize they had been passed down to the children and grandchildren of the kid’s I made them up for.

Still I gave no thought to writing them down. Until  this little cutie pie (about 4 years old) climbed into my lap and wrapped his little arm around my neck. He got all cozy and said “Aunt Nora I can’t find your stories in the library or the book store. Can you please give me some? I want my teacher to read my aunt Nora’s stories to my class.” His little face got so sad when I told him they didn’t exist. He was quiet for a bit then said “That’s ok you can send them to me when you get ink in your printer.”

 

So from the innocent thought process of a child my desire to be published was born.

 

 

 

Reason to be on Earth

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I love this invitation. Unfortunately with only residing in one room of of home (until mom’s time to move on to her next chapter) my external clutter situation is contained now. I would love to and will continue the internal declutter journey however. I had been doing that, a pretty good job too, until I let the outside get in the way again. Sometimes moving home to deep generational roots can put a hitch in your giddy up. Being a Nomadic person without deep roots or being transplanted for many years can be good things for physical, emotional and mental packrat prone personalities. Just my randomness ramblings of the day.

This was my comment this morning to today’s assignment

“This is going to take me a pen, pad of paper and some quiet time but I think it’s a good assignment for me today. First it’s up to the 6th floor to help my neighbor.”

Well helping my neighbor actually helped me. She needed someone to help her take pictures of and list some China on eBay. While doing that of course we chatted. I don’t know why but we both did some soul, mind and memory cleaning, maintenance and decluttering. This was an amazing experience and day. She is a local celebrity, does many public speaking engagements and teaches public speaking as well. After hearing some of my “clutter and baggage” and reading a bit of my memoir she wants to groom me for her publisher and teach me public speaking. I’m very flattered but as I told her, I’m not a stand in front of people kind of person. But I write because if by airing my dirty laundry I can help just one person on this earth realize that nothing is so bad that they can’t overcome it and learn something from it. That’s when I will know I have done what I was put on earth to do. I do things and react to things learn from things so I can teach others and hold them close enough to say I overcame that so can you, never quit never give up.

All I was planning was to do my friend and neighbor a favor she did so much more for me. Now to do today’s assignment.

1) The reason I am on planet earth 

I given this some thought and searched inside myself. I really believe the reason I am here is to get it right this time. This probably sounds out there to some, but remember feelings and beliefs are personal and unique. My belief is in a higher power we are all connected to. I feel this world we call earth is where we are reborn to live, die and repeat until our individual soul is ready for the next level of existence. 

With that being said I think I am here to learn how to love and respect myself as much as I do others. Not to be selfish or conceited but to take the people pleaser self sacrificing behavior and use a little for myself. I have always felt an uncontrollable need to give my everything, down to a draining point, to anyone I thought needed it more. This goes back to early childhood and at times has caused great harm and pain. Until a very few years ago putting myself first was never ever an option for me. So after much thought I think I am here to learn to love, appreciate, put my soul first (not in a selfish way) and to help guide others to learn their path also.

 

2) What do I think my mission and gifts are?Have I been sharing them with the world or not? 

I guess my mission is basically to love my self as much as I do others and teach as many fellow humans as I can the same even if only by example. My gifts are my willingness to be friendly and strike up conversations with anyone. I always try to find common ground to connect with people. I trust until you prove I should not. I have the gift of storytelling and humour. As for sharing them with the world, here lies my hurdle. I think too often I share so much with the world there is nothing left for me.

 

3) I hide my suffering to make others feel better. How does this apply to questions 1 & 2?

This applies because it is soooo much easier and within my comfort zone to focus on people pleasing and others happiness than putting the effort into mine. But I’m just going to keep coming back until I get this right and will never reach the next level of existence.