Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Remember When: Writing Memoirs

I am taking a little break from my usual post to share a few things I learned at a special memoir writing workshop presented by Phoenix area author and publisher Patricia L. Brooks.

Patricia is president of the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers and the presented was hosted by the Arizona Authors Association. 

The workshop was held at the North Mountain Visitor's Center which I've never seen. 

As you can see it is a beautiful facility and it was a beautiful Arizona fall day.

A few things that Patricia said about memoirs are worth noting:
Truth is telling Your story.
Truth is more exciting than fiction.

She stressed finding the who and what you will be writing about and making a rough outline. She also stressed, over and over, the importance of journaling. 

Watch for the themes and threads that come out over time. 

Your memory may be different tn somebody else's but it is Your memory and Your truth.
Some poetic license is okay. For example you may not remember a conversation exactly but as long as you stay true to your memory your memoir will be appropriate. 

Do whatever you can to bring your memory back. Visit the locations, study photos 
and documents, talk to those involved. 

Most important, to me, is of course to keep the pen moving. In that light here are this week's prompts:
(And a special thank you to Patricia for sharing her expertise.)

Memoir Prompts:

Visualize a favorite place you visited as a child. Rebuild it using all your senses.

Who was your best friend in elementary school?

Can you speak a second language? How did you learn it?

Write about seeing a squirrel or chipmunk. Did you feed them?

Describe breakfast time in your childhood home.

Is there someplace in your town that you've never visited. Why not?

Write about fall leaves, traditions, foods and special memories.