Memoir Writing

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            First a progress report. Yesterday, Crystal and I were interviewed by the Coshocton Tribune paper. That article will come out next week. We have sold a few books locally and given away a number as well. It has recently gone for sale on Amazon, in both paperback and electronic forms.

            Sales are great, but they are not our only motive. Our plans (once things are more normal) include doing public readings, and speaking engagements. We feel strongly about supporting marriage and memoir writing.

            Since it’s inception, building strong marriages has been a consistent theme of this web page. Today I will to talk a little bit about memoir writing. Why write a memoir?

            My two most dreaded subjects early in my education were Writing and History. One of those I’ve kind of gotten over. The other, while I understand the necessity, still doesn’t float my boat.

            To me, History is just black and white, letters on a page.

            The 1967 Oak Lawn tornado outbreak was a destructive tornado outbreak and severe weather event that occurred on April 21, 1967, across the Upper Midwest, in particular the towns of Belvidere and Oak Lawn, Illinois. It was the most notable tornado outbreak of 1967 and one of the most notable to occur in the Chicago metropolitan area. Wikipedia

            I almost fell asleep reading that. A memoir, however, brings colors, emotions, and personal incite, which can bring history to life. To demonstrate, please enjoy this excerpt from our memoir:

            The second big event of 1967 was a true tragedy. I was riding my bike through a nice subdivision from my Boy Scout meeting around 5:30 p.m. April 21 when I looked up from Henry — my frequently abused, balloon-tired bike — and spotted a tornado in the distance. I felt proud that I recognized the distinctive form, which we had been warned about in school. No, this definitely was not just a triangle-shaped cloud. I looked down at my bike and said, “Look, Henry, a tornado.” As it appeared to veer off, I focused on pedaling the last mile, anticipating dinner.

             Before I could make it home, though, it started to hail. I was glad I had listened to my mom and wore a light jacket. The quarter-inch hail stung the back of my neck. It probably only lasted about fifteen or twenty seconds but was quite annoying. In addition to the stinging, the sound the ice pellets made on the street reminded me of machine gun fire in a war movie. Undaunted, I continued riding. As quickly as it had started, the banging of the hail gave way to the eeriest silence. It was too quiet, not even a trace of a breeze. Except for my bike squeaking, I could have been in an isolation booth.

That’s when it started. Slowly, as if someone were whispering in my ear, the sound of wind began to build, even though the air was still. Inexplicably, the sound grew louder and louder for the next ten to fifteen seconds. Finally, I looked around.

There it was!

            Do you see the difference! Memoirs are worth writing and reading They not only add color to events, they add depth and humanity. They are the permanent record, on a personal level, of stories easily lost in as little as one generation. Memoirs add multi-generational substance to your family tree like the beautiful leaves.

            It will, God willing, be part of our mission to encourage others, and share what we have learned during this journey.

What do you think his story might be? I was a perfectly happy tree when some evil person cut me down, and put this face on my bottom.

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