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« Inspiration For Writing Memoir:Jennifer Baszile | Main | Writing Retreat in Lake Arrowhead »



My Mother loathes that I write and still brings things up from my diary when I was about 12 or so, which she claims to have "never" read. She is by biggest writer's block but I am learning to get over it because I need to live my life for me - too much of my life has been about her and I'm truly physically & emotionally tired of it.


Sometimes our critic is a real person - not just a voice in our head. P.S. Don't tell her you're writing.

Loren Stephens

I wrote my mother's memoir for her. It was a challenge when she would retell an incident that I had been witness to. I had to curb my desire to say, "It didn't really happen that way," but that is the mystery of memory, isn't it. I also prompted her to include some things that she told me, "That's nobody's business but mine." I wrote the pages, showed them to her, and she refused to incude them in her book. I still have the draft but in her memory I won't use the material, at least that is how I feel now. Best, Loren

Carol Perkins

I went to a 50th high school reunion planning meeting yesterday, and a male friend kept telling me how much my mother's encouragement had meant to him when he went to college (he was a custodian at the school where she was secretary). It reminded me that my dominant memories of her are mine alone; she was someone else to everyone else in my life. I couldn't write about it in a way that would not sound whiny on my part! My kids? Nope, I'll stick with your advice--just the funny, sweet parts of them and their lives.


Loren - That's a new essay to write!

Carol - That's so huge and true - and I've never really thought of it that way before. And it made me think of my own memories of your mother.

Laura Hoopes

Hi Barbara,
Merrill Gerber once told me that her first paying stories were about her daughters and the girls were really unhappy to have bits of their lives coming out in Redbook!~ So what goes around, comes around. I bet Carolyn could write something about Lisa that would make her feel stunned if she wanted to.
Laura Hoopes

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