Tag Archives: Haven Kimmel

New Ideas for a New Group: Memoir

As you know from last week, I’ve been thinking about writing a memoir for some time, maybe putting some of my mom’s memories in my collection of stories.
This morning Ann Dee and I sort of chatted about starting a group that gets together and shares bits of memoirs we have written.
If we do this, we can share some insight on what we learn, here, as we go.
So here’s a definition from dic.com:
Mem-oir    [mem-wahr, -wawr] Show IPA
noun

1.

a record of events written by a person having intimate knowledge of them and based on personal observation.
2.

Usually, memoirs.

a.

an account of one’s personal life and experiences; autobiography.
b.

the published record of the proceedings of a group or organization, as of a learned society.
3.

a biography or biographical sketch.
Origin:
1560–70;  < French mémoire  < Latin memoria
Synonyms
2a. journal, recollections, reminiscences.
While we can’t all be in a group together–you know–meeting physically–we CAN focus on memoir here, twice a month, with writing exercises and etc.
What do you think?
Would you like to play?
Let’s Start with Some Good Reading
Here are some good memoirs, just for the fun of it.
Of course, we have to go with Stephen King’s memoir and book on the craft of writing called On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
I love this book! It’s smart and funny and revealing. And it teaches good writing, too.
A Girl Named Zippy: Growing up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel
My friend Lance Larsen (keynote at Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers [www.wifyr.com]–this keynote is open to the world, free of charge. Come to it. Lance is a great writer and will give us some terrific pointers on writing like  poet.) told me for years to read Zippy. One day at a garage sale I saw a copy of the memoir for .75 and I couldn’t believe it. That is SO MUCH for me to spend on a book. But I remembered Lance telling me to read Zippy. So I circled the memoir (laying on a blanket–the book, not me) and finally decided since Lance said I should, I would buy and then read this. I did. It’s great! Well worth .75 (though I wish I could have gotten the book for a half dollar instead.)
Angela’s Ashes by  Frank McCourt. I loved just about everything about this book. I loved the voice, the way McCourt puts the words on the page, how he paints a picture. I didn’t love the end of the book, but that is just me.
So, if you wanted to play the memoir game with us, I would start with these three titles. And I know Ann Dee has HER favorite books. She may share.
Many of you know that I am a Latter-day Saint. For those interested, here is a quote by Elder B. Henry Eyring. He’s talking about writing a journal or a memoir. He says, “My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness. It will build our testimonies.” (http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/10/o-remember-remember?lang=eng)
It seems when I have sunk as low as I can go, when I tell Heavenly Father, “I am done!” He answers me.
If I write a memoir, it will be for the spiritual times, and the funny times and the heart-breaking times.
For me.
For my girls.
My girls always tell me to be happy. And I try.
Maybe a memoir will help them understand me more.
For sure, a memoir will help me understand me more.
And maybe it will help me become a better writer.
And that’s a good goal.

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