Memoir or Autobiography?

To think of writing an autobiography is overwhelming, but consider writing a memoir one story at a time and it’s doable.

We want to write our family stories, yet may wince at the thought of an autobiography, a daunting word to say the least. Matilda Butler clarifies the difference between memoir and autobiography here. http://www.creative-writing-now.com/what-is-a-memoir.html

“An autobiography is—and one of the ways I think about that is as if it was a whole pie –it’s everything. But when you think about a memoir, it’s really a slice of your life.” The interview with Matilda is well worth the read.

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My Teenage Idol

Dinner and Jacks at Angie’s, My Teenage Idol

I was a bee, crammed in a hive with incessant buzzing around me. Nana was the queen, situated in her own quiet bedroom. Mom and Dad slept in the converted living room with baby Jon’s cradle pushed up against their bed, leaving little room for their armoire doors to open. I shared a bedroom with three-year-old Michael.

Most of the time we inhabited the hive with a minimum of collisions, but sometimes it was too much for me. That’s when I would escape to visit my teenage idol, Angie, who lived with … Read More

Memoir: Plausible Detail or Lying? You Decide

There’s a fine line in memoir writing between making up facts (lying), and enhancing memoir with plausible detail. At what point does an author deliberately mislead the memoir reader? Jane Friedman https://janefriedman.com/writing-advice-archive/ offers an archived guest post by Tracy Seeley called When Is Lying in Memoir Acceptable? 3 Key Issues.

Read the story Screaming and Splashing from my book Remembering Childhood: Workbook Your Way to a Finished Memoir and decide for yourself. http://leslierupley.com/rememberingchildhood/excerpt-remembering-childhood-screaming-splashing/

Here are the Facts:

I was four years old The fire hydrant was open
My mother watched
It was a hot day … Read More

Details for Your Memoir: What Can You Recall?

Can You Truly Remember All the Details?search.jpg

If you’ve been hesitating to write your life stories for future generations, one impediment might be a concern that you can’t remember exact details for your memoir. I doubt any of us can recall enough details about the past to create a compelling read. Adding to this uncertainty, your friends and family may have different recollections about the same incident. Let’s examine these two dilemmas.

Siblings Disagree About Memoir Details

My brother read one of my stories about a summer day in Paterson, NJ when a teenager turned on the fire hydrant … Read More