Inspired by Rosemary and Bruce Hume and remembering my wife lamenting that she never got around to asking her dad all the questions she had about him and the family, getting started on a memoir for me was a “no brainer”. Then for a “tie breaker” my daughters chimed in with “dad, we’d like to hear more about when you were young and about your (our) family.
My intentions were good, and I have already done lots of writing. The challenge; how to find the common ground between writing professionally with all the rigors of publication and spinning a yarn for the benefit of family, now and yet unborn. The solution offered by StoryWorth, and I am sure there are others, made the process so inviting that I couldn’t find a single reason to put off the project.
For around $100 it is possible to submit your stories using a well designed online resource. You can choose your own topics or StoryWorth will provide suggestions. Over the course of the first six months I submitted 32 stories using both my own ideas and suggestions from the publisher.
The mechanics are simple. You type your story on a computer using Word. As a tip, when you have finished, or during the process, check the spelling and grammar. This completed, listen to what you have written with the “read aloud” option. On your personal StoryWorth page select a title and type it in, then copy the document you have written and paste it in the box provided. The stories I have written so far are listed below. You can’t always tell from the titles, but these are stories about me and the family that I would like my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to know. During the process I learned that some stories come off easily, are fun to write and are told first. Now with half of the year behind me, I will be more mindful of history over incidents. In the process I will get help from my daughters’ specific questions and will use ancestry archival material that has been accumulated over the years.
Finally, one of my favorite things about StoryWorth is that within hours of my submitting a story it is sent back to me formatted exactly as it will appear in the book that is sent to you in hard cover when your year’s work is completed. Also equally appreciated is that your work can be edited after it is formatted meaning that you have another l chance to get rid of nagging small errors.
Memoir writing can be fun and most of all a treasure to the generations that follow. *
Contributed by: Gene Helveston
Table of Contents
1. The Bag
2. The Car Wash
3. Working for the Boss
4. She Died of Thirst
5. She Would Have Loved It
6. Who Does She Rescue?
7. My Dad Made Sure I Was Fully Employed
8. Remembering Barbara
9. Home and family
10. The Kellogg “Scholar”
11. Mom, Pop, and Some of their Folks
12. Music Lessons
14. Civil Disobedience
15. Where I Lived
16. Mom’s Story
17. The Importance of Time and Place of Birth
18. Becoming an Ice Boat Dealer
19. The “Fat” Envelope
20. My Brush with Fame in Urology
21. My Favorite Buckley Story
23. Aunt Peg and New York
24. Mrs. Stroh and the Party that Never Was
25. Where I lived when I was Single
26. In Anticipation of a Real House
27. Saying Goodbye to Gunter
28. Unfinished Business
29. Our Homes until Empty Nesting
30. The Kitchen
31. How Do I Prefer to Travel?
32. Yen Ching
*There is no limit to the number of words (pages), but extremely long memoirs might require two volumes. For an additional price per book an unlimited number of copies can be purchased.
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