Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Memoir, the eBook

I have started to write my memoir. What follows is the only excerpt of it I am planning to put on the Internet. There is no plan to publish any more excerpts.

This will be written as an eBook, designed to be shared by family after I am gone. Thanks to eBook technology, publishing and sharing a book is as easy as sharing a file. This will be pictures and words. We don't have to be famous to have a story to tell. Here is the introduction of my memoir:

What do I mean by "memoir"?

Memoir, when I use the term in the context of this book I mean history as I remember it. I am not intending this to be an autobiography. In an autobiography accuracy to events is a goal. A good biographer, even if she/he is writing about his/herself, is expected to make an effort to check facts, to try to be accurate. I am not doing that. This may not be history as it happened at all. But, it is how I remember it. This is just the way I remember things, which may be wrong.

Memories and context

Memories, I think reflect the present maybe more than the past. The present frames the memories and puts them in context. A person whose marriage ends in divorce tends to remember the early days of a marriage differently than a person who is widowed. In fact, that’s usually true I found.

How a story ends reflects in how a person remembers its beginning.


I am sure you have had the experience of walking through a graveyard and seeing row after row of headstones that say a person's name, the years they lived and something like, "beloved wife and mother." That sums up everything that person was about? I think not. There should be something more. Every life is a story.

In the book Gone the Sun, Winston Groom said while pondering death certificates, "Sometimes I think we should be issued another paper, a Life Certificate if you will – which could contain some brief statement for historical purposes that could explain how a person lived and what they accomplished and where they failed and why."

In his book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman said "there are no ordinary moments." I think he is right and that the key of living in the moment is embracing that. But, if you follow that logic a book about a life would take a life to tell. I do not plan to write that much.

Should all stories be told?

That will be a struggle. I don't want to make stuff up, or leave out so much as to put things out of context. It is easy to leave things out so as to frame things in such a "better" light as to mislead. Not telling the whole story is sometimes not telling the truth. But, also it is sometimes better to let sleeping dogs lay.

I guess I will figure it out as I go.

This is not a book for the Internet. So this post is just to let folks know it is there and that I am doing it. I think it is worth doing.

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