On Finding One’s Truth in Memoir

On Finding One’s Truth in Memoir

I am reading Unreliable Truth: On Memoir And Memory by Maureen Murdock. She begins by sharing with you some of her story of her mother suffering with Alzheimers along with her thoughts and feelings about memoir and other memoirists. I was enjoying her writing and then I came to:

The job of writing memoir is to find one’s truth, not to determine the accuracy of what happened; that is history, testimony, or even an interesting tale. The memoirist, instead, both recounts an event and muses upon it. What meaning, what value do I attach to how my life has unfolded? How did this happen, how did that happen? Not why did this happen; that is explored in psychotherapy, which is not my focus here. However, finding out the truth of what happened can certainly challenge one’s sense of self.

418gtgHSZoL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_ And I knew this book has much value and is going to help me understand the nature of memoir as I stumble, maneuver, and dive into my past finding what is relevant for my memoir. Part of my problem has been knowing what is important and this book helps you to understand it is your insights and feelings about what has happened in your life around the theme that you are portraying in your book even more than the actual story.

Of course with memoir and memory the truth may be hard to find or to see with emotions coloring what actually may have happened. I think sometimes the mind plays tricks and inserts lies into the memory so that a person can handle whatever actually happened. Somehow I think sorting through the memories and discovering which is truth and which is lies will be the hardest part.


Snow in the South


As you may have noticed I missed last Wednesday’s check in, we were in the midst of a snow storm that, though it only dropped one to two inches, the ice that quickly froze on our roads made traffic jams that had people stuck in their cars for up to 20 hours and children unable to get home from school and many others spending the night at work or any other place of business that kept there doors open for all of the stranded motorists and other people on the streets.

I know that many across the country looking on thought it was funny that Atlanta, Ga. came to a stand still over a couple of inches of snow but with black ice and just plain ice on the roads cars are sliding around and can’t get up or down hills. Of course with this happening in the middle of the day most people were at work and everyone left at the same time. My honey being one of those people.

She was one of the lucky ones. She left just early enough that it only took her two and a half hours to get home (normally takes 30 to 40 mins). As it is she couldn’t get up the last hill to our home and cut through a business complex to get to our neighborhood. I was on the phone with her a good bit of that time (she has blue tooth and felt safer with me on the phone with her). Unfortunately most of the other 6 million people probably were also and cell service became spotty at best. She and I were both a nervous wreck by the time she got home with all of the near misses that she had. We are both very grateful that she made it home safely.

ROW80LogocopyRow80 Check In

  1. I finished editing Wild Woman Waking and created the cover. I am working on the release date but it will probably be the Sometime in March. I am looking for a couple of Beta Readers and Reviewers if anyone is interested. I am moving back to finish editing Mercury Retrograde: Re-Connecting With Your Soul.
  2. Writing for my memoir and reading memoir how to’s to help me with it. I only wrote about 1000 words so far and continuing to make a lot of notes.
  3. I finished reading Redemption of Thieves by C. Greenwood ( I had read the three books before this one and really like this series). I began reading Eating Together: Recollections and Recipes. I am also reading Boon Dockers by Ardun Ward (just depends on my mood).
  4. I am beginning to check things off of my 50 things to do before 50 list. I will probably write about that on Wednesday’s check in. You will probably be happy to know I don’t have a new 50 things list yet for this week. This has been a strange week and I plan on getting back to them shortly.

I hope your writing week is going well. Please visit the other Rowers and share your support and encouragement in the comments.



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4 thoughts on “On Finding One’s Truth in Memoir

  1. A lovely, exploratory post, despite the snow (and angst). Safe travels and may the snow soon melt! We have snow as well, but more experienced drivers (not me!). And my computer is at the shop, so no check-in at all. Your 50 at 50 is intriguing as is your work on memoir. Thanks for the book ref. May your week have more sun and less snow!

    • Hi Beth, The snow melted after about four days, the temperatures raised to the forties and fifties so it is better for now. I know that the drivers don’t have any or much experience driving in the snow but when there is ice on the roads, in particular on the hills, I don’t think anyone can drive it unless they have chains and you can’t find chains here in the south.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing word love!

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