I recall when I was about 20 or so, my Mom started talking about who would get what when she died. I know this is a typical Mom thing to do, even though my sister and I joked about it at the time. And now I’m of a certain age and I am experiencing a strong, but irrational fear that the world of my childhood will be lost and forgotten to future generations.
I know that my children find my stories, at best, a little boring. To quote one of my children: “Yes we know, and you walked to school every day.” I did walk to elementary school quite a bit. Though walking to school is not unusual, our world is changing rapidly with new technology constantly being incorporated into our everyday lives. I know there are aspects of my childhood that are so far outside my children’s experience that it’s like a different world. That walk to school of mine was over sidewalks that were stamped with a WPA mark and that were cut to go around the trees that were there first.
I really want to write this story in a way that makes even my children want to read it. I’ve tried writing this and I just can’t get my head around it. Maybe its because I can’t write. Or maybe I just need to work on it. Not only, are their some resources at Writer’s Digest on writing memoirs, but I just stumbled on a new website, BookBaby.com. This website provides information on self-publishing and marketing. Plus, I just read a great blog entry there about what it takes to be a novelist: http://blog.bookbaby.com/2014/11/three-things-all-novelists-need-according-to-haruki-murakami/. The author makes some great points and I will be considering them over the next several months.
I think this need to remember and write about my childhood is my version of divvying up the family treasures.
When not trying to start the memoir, I read books that make me think about my childhood. For example, I grew up in Ann Arbor and I am currently reading a book called Ann Arbor Observed: Selections from Then and Now (Grace Shackman). Most cities of any size have historical books written about them and small ones have books written about the area published by the local historical society or other similar groups.