Post ID 0
Forum Replies Created
Thank you Laurie, I look forward to that talk. Thank you for being here at my Live Chat. So happy you were here. 🙂
Thank you, Janet! So happy you were here. 🙂
We can stay if you like, and if not, I want to thank you for being here at my Live Chat! Your questions were interesting to answer and taught me a lot about my writing, and my writing life, particularly my process of writing poetry and also the issues everyone faces when writing memoir.
I will be interested in discussing with you your approach to your memoir, Laurie. I have read that few get sued in reality. But relationships change.
I am a one project person. This second memoir is all-consuming when I write. I have it mapped out, and know the end point. It is the difficulty of the craft of the writing for me on this one. I have set my writing standards higher. I will also be writing poetry.
Q. How have the real life characters in your memoirs reacted to the way you wrote about them? Was it tough to include people who are really part of your life?
A. Unfortunately, most of the people have died since I began writing this book. It wasn’t hard to include them, I don’t think anyone is shown in a negative light, just a human one, like us all. My siblings are still alive, and they are beginning to understand why it was difficult to write. We are very close, and they were put through a trauma themselves. They support me 100%. I love them.
The thing about memoir is, it is one person’s truth, one person’s memory. I don’t want to be called to task for misrepresentation or defamation but I may be if it is published as memoir.
I don’t want to, Laurie. I am changing the names, places, and physical description and will include in the forward that I am not have malice or intended harm against anyone who may relate to a person in the book. I think I will contact legal counsel for this after I have written it as a memoir, however, and am not against ultimately having to publish it as a veiled memoir in novel form.
Q. Being such an all consuming life situation, was it difficult to write Girl in the iron Lung? What was your purpose in creating this lovely memoir?
A. Hi Janet. I had no idea how much difficulty I was in for when I began writing this book. It was necessary for me to slow time down and write in real time for myself as a child. Keeping the voice and the writing wasn’t difficult, it was re-experiencing every moment which was hard. I found I was only able to keep my emotional balance in my current life if I limited myself to writing one chapter every three weeks. It took that much of a toll on me. The positive side of the question is the fact that now that I have written it, published, and shared it, the total pain of the experience is purged from me and I feel whole.
My purpose in writing it was to share something which very few people have experienced, and in a real way as a child. I also hope to persuade parents to acquire vaccines for their own children to prevent the reality of polio.
Yes, I have had to write quickly at time, or jot down lines on paper where I am or in the middle of the night. But I do have a routine for spring and summer. I take my poetry journal outside to the patio with my coffee and let my mind open up to new feelings or thoughts to write them.
Q. Gail, many memoir writers fight tenaciously to keep their original language in tact, even when the turns of phrase are too colloquial to appeal to a broader audience. How does change verbiage mainstream memoirs to appeal to a broader audience without watering down the author’s experience both as a character in the book and as the author?
A. Ah! I was so surprised at this issue in my own experience with my beta reader and editor. A term which made perfect sense to me and to which I was romantically attached turned out to be impossible to understand for a broader audience than the small area where I live. I recall arguing its merits and then realizing it was more important to reach an audience than to hold onto one term which made no difference to the story line. I recommend all memoir writers to let go when faced with this feedback from their Beta readers and editors.