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Archive | Books from Memoir Network Writers

Over the years, The Memoir Network has worked with hundreds of students directly in tele-classes and workshops, in coaching sessions, and via editing and thousands indirectly (perhaps that’s a wrong word) via all our resources—many of which we make available for free at My Memoir Education and others in our bookstore at reasonable prices. These writers have produced terrific stories about love and abandonment, about careers and deadend lives, about racial and ethnic diversity and conflict.It is our honor to present some of these stories here for you to enjoy.

I have also chosen to include my own stories in this section as well as in their own categories under Here to Stay, We Were Not Spoiled, In Another Century, Marie Bilodeau, and My Eye Fell Into the Soup.

memoir writer's experience

From the Memoir Writer’s Experience

Congratulations to author Dennis Blue! He has received the 2019 Christian Indie Award in the business category for Through the Eyes of a Fisherman. Dennis is truly one of those authors who is a pleasure to work with. He brought much thoughtfulness to bear on his task and we are so proud to see his efforts rewarded. His memoir writer’s experience is something I would like to share.

I recently had the opportunity to interview him about his experience writing his recent books, Running the Good Race and Through the Eyes of a Fisherman – DL

Talking with Dennis Blue about his writing

Denis Ledoux: Can you tell our readers what your book is about and why you were impelled to write your book? What was driving you to spend the time, energy and money to get this book out into the world?

Dennis Blue: My first book, Running the Good Race, is about growing up on a farm and learning religious values, my thirty years with Ford Motor Company, fourteen of which were living overseas and flying as a missionary pilot. My second book, Through the Eyes of a Fisherman, recounts my twenty-eight years as a charter captain, guiding fishing expeditions throughout the US and Central and South American while using my charter business as a ministry to witness to others about Christ.

DL: Can you tell us how long it took from the time you conceived the book to the time you had it published? How many years did you spend in active writing? Were there long breaks in between active writing periods? If so, what happened to get you writing again? [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Point of View in a Memoir

The Wrong Point of View in a Memoir Can Throw the Story

Point of view in a memoir can cause a major problem

In 1996 and 1997, I composed about 200 pages of a memoir of my high school years and then it wasn’t going anywhere more than where it had been—mired in facts and details with no spirit.

I merely stored it in various computers for years.

In the fall of 2013, I completed my mother’s memoir (We Were Not Spoiled). Because I was looking for a writing project I might devote myself to next, I picked up the high-school memoir.

(Lest you think that I went to a high school like yours, let me assure you that I did not. I attended a Catholic high school seminary. No, I’m not writing about sexual shenanigans—there was none of that whatsoever. I am writing about my life there between 1960 and 1964 and how it shaped me. This theme of identity is usual stuff for a memoir, but the setting is exotic in many ways and not at all usual. Almost none of you who are reading this have “been there”—trust me.)

Suddenly, after more than a decade and a half, the memoir spoke to me again!

“Write me! Write me!” it shouted. The text seemed “alive” again. [Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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how to turn a journal into a memoir

Turning a Journal into a Memoir

Steps for turning a journal into a memoir

I have been slowly revising my latest book My Eye Fell Into the Soup. This book is the first of a two-book set depicting the two years that Martha and I lived with her cancer illness. I have described some of the writing process elsewhere.

There was a time when writing / organizing / revising this so-personal manuscript was difficult, very difficult, but that is no longer the case. When I was first working on My Eye Fell Into the Soup, I would take it up for a few days and then put it down for weeks.

Revision is not as emotionally draining as creation

Now 8 years after Martha’s death, I am doing in-depth revision and it has proven to be very technical. The how to write a memoirfeeling part is long past. There’s something about checking the clarity of antecedents to pronouns, about making sure that characters that are so familiar to me are sufficiently explained, about going to an internet dictionary to ascertain that my word choice is indeed the best choice that takes feeling out of the process.

Turning journals into memoirs: are revisions permitted?

[Free Membership required to read more. See below. ]

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Telling the Children About Cancer

A Cancer Diagnosis

Martha Blowen, my partner in life and in work, died on August 18, 2008, from metastasized breast cancer. The following is from collated excerpts of journals we both kept at the time.  (Before she passed away, she gave me permission to share her entries.) The memoir is called My Eye Fell Into the Soup, after […]

Telling the Children About Cancer

Will We Find Cancer There, Too?

DL: Martha Blowen, my partner in life and in work, died on August 18, 2008, from metastasized breast cancer. The following is from collated excerpts of journals we both kept at the time.  (Before she passed away, she gave me permission to share her entries.) The memoir is called My Eye Fell Into the Soup, […]

Telling the Children About Cancer

Coping With Chemo—Again

Martha Blowen, my partner in life and in work, died on August 18, 2008, from metastasized breast cancer. The following is from collated excerpts of journals we both kept at the time.  (Before she passed away, she gave me permission to share her entries.) The memoir is called My Eye Fell Into the Soup, after […]

Telling the Children About Cancer

The Family Gathers Around Martha

Martha Blowen, my partner in life and in work, died on August 18, 2008,  from metastasized breast cancer. The following is from collated excerpts of journals we both kept at the time.  (Before she passed away, she gave me permission to share her entries.) The memoir is called My Eye Fell Into the Soup, after […]

Telling the Children About Cancer

Our First Evening Coping with Cancer

Martha Blowen, my partner in life and in work, died on August 18, 2008,  from metastasized breast cancer. The following is from collated excerpts of journals we both kept at the time.  (Before she passed away, she gave me permission to share her entries.) The memoir is called My Eye Fell Into the Soup, after […]

A gift for you...
...because you need to get your memoir written. This little book will focus you to complete your memoir.
  • Your memoir deserves to be written. We help people get their story down—right!
  • Writing a memoir or want to improve one you're working on? Download Memoir Writing 101: How to Craft a Compelling Memoir or Lifestory / 10 Steps and a Bonus.
  • Memoir Writing 101 comes with The Lifewriter's Guides, a biweekly "workshop in an email.".
  • If you are already a member of The Memoir Network, this e-book and others are available to you free in Member Resources.