I’m off to see the Publisher



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