Write Your Memoirs Now

Tell your story

Let it roll from your mind like an avalanche

Mighty and intense

Driven by unstoppable forces

Knowing that if not you

No one

Will ever know the depth of joy and pain

It will be lost

Forever

Now is the opportune time to write your Memoirs. With Covid-19 keeping us from the many activities we used to do, you now have the time to reflect on your life. The shadow of death all around us reminds us that our mortality is not an ongoing thing. You can do it all and self-publish it yourself.

You might think you can’t remember all the details of the past enough to write a memoir. But, it is a lot easier than you might imagine. Take time to reflect on your life. Remember your family events, funny incidents, serious incidents, births, deaths, travels, school experiences, church experiences and many more. Think of the significant things that have affected your life and made you the person you are today. As you write, the memories come back and build on themselves.

When I wrote my childhood memoirs, I sat down and wrote one story each evening for thirty days. It was like writing a stream of consciousness poem. Write what ever comes to mind, you can edit later. You don’t need more than two or three pages each. Short stories are much easier for others to read.

Each day, I emailed my stories to all my family members. They enjoyed reading them and often sent tid-bits to add to the story or corrected my faulty memories. They were my editors! I have done four memoirs and self-published them since 2014.

Write your stories on your Word Processor. I used MS Word for mine. Use at least a #14 font. Save each one with a title. Then copy each one into an ongoing Memoir file that will become your book. You can include photos as well. Change everything to black and white. That keeps the cost much more reasonable. You can edit and move stories around as you choose.

When you are done with the stories, create a table of contents, and a title page with your personal publishing information on it. Make note that you reserve all rights to the content. You can make a copyright symbol with a ( a small c and )… (c).

Create a cover page file, with a title and a picture, if you like, and your name. Keep the title page on a separate file so that it can be printed on heavier paper.

Load your completed story and cover pdf.file on a flash drive. Take it to your local Office Supply store (Office Max/Office Depot) to get printed. They can print them in half size 4.25 x 5.5 and put a spiral binding on them. You can choose to get a clear plastic cover added as well. For 100 pages it can run $9 to $14 per book. Get at least twenty copies or more for the best price. It doesn’t cost that much more that getting ten. Watch for discount print coupons as well.

Do it for your grandchildren, do it for yourself. It is so rewarding when you are finished. Tell your story so that it is not forgotten in time. Give them to family and friends. They will thank you! You can also publish them as an e-book for free on Amazon Kindle.

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Photo of me and my older brother on our cistern with our pet goat!

Tonight is open link night at d’Verse Poets Pub. Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

You can check our some of my books on Amazon Kindle… just type in my name in the amazon search box and my books will come up. Click on my name in blue under my photo and all my books will come up!

Publishing the Past – Pt.2

Paul and David

This past week I shared my self-published transcription of the book, Childhood Memories …Growing up in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. It was suggested that I share a few more of my father-in-law’s stories from the 1930s.  From time to time I will publish some of his stories that I think you might enjoy. Here are a couple more for you to enjoy.

My First Day at School
For many months I looked forward to going to school. My Aunt Lydia who came to stay with us after my mother died found a Grade one reader somewhere and taught me to read 2 or 3 pages. I could say the alphabet and print my name.
The school I would attend was called Wood Corner School, but it was not in a woods. It was beside a gravel road seven eighths of a mile from our house and next to a large barn with a manure pile beside the fence.
The playground was three sided and rather small. The school building was of brick with a slate roof and a bell tower. It had a big front porch and two cloak rooms and a dingy basement. It had double desks, a big black heater, a piano, and oiled boards on the floor which were worn and splintery some places. My first teacher was a young lady named Esther Markley who went to the Brethren Church and wore a covering.
Well, the first day finally came. It was the last Monday in August in 1933. I was ready on time and began walking along the highway with my new lunch kettle. as we called it. Nearly right away our old retired neighbor, Sam Nissley, came by and offered me a ride. I got into the car and a quarter of a mile up the road, I remembered that I did not have my reader, so he turned around and brought me home, but my aunt said, “No, you don’t need that book.” So Sam drove me to school.
Something I had never done in my life was ride a teeter-totter. We called them see-saws. And, all four of them were occupied by the other excited children. No decent person called us “kids” in those days. Soon the high see-saw became vacant and I climbed on. Some boy jumped on the other end and up I flew and immediately I slid down to the middle in a split second. I slid down to the middle because I didn’t hold on. What a surprise and an embarrassment.
Then the bell rang and everyone rushed to line up at the door, and then to their seats. The teacher sat at the piano and asked what number we should sing. My little hand shot up and I called out, one hundred forty-four. She said, “No, we don’t have that many songs in our book. Surprise again. I assumed they had the Church and Sunday School Hymnal just like we did at Indiantown Church. The song I wanted to sing was special to me because they sang it at my Mother’s funeral just four months before. It was, “I’m Going Home to Die No More.”
There were ten pupils in grade one and a few could only speak Pennsylvania Dutch. They had a hard time but I didn’t. I liked school and it was special to me. I think there were forty or forty-four pupils in the eight grades that year.

Dr. Fake was our Doctor

I think his name was Warren Fake. Some people liked him and some thought he was a fake doctor, but he was handy. He made lots of house calls, as was common then.

As a child I had asthma and hay fever. It always grew worse in mid-summer, and lasted until the end of fall. There were no medications. Someone recommended to my parents that they give me Swiss Tea to drink. So sometimes they gave me tea when I went to bed, but it never made a bit of difference, so eventually we dropped that idea.

The doctor discovered I had enlarged adenoids. So, Dr. Fake recommended that I have my tonsils and adenoids removed before I began grade one. He would do it in his office. In those days it was popular for most doctors to operate on small children in this way.

Father and Aunt Lydia took me to Dr. Fake’s office early one morning. I remember going back into a back room and they put me onto a high table. They put a thing over my nose and mouth and told me to start counting as they pumped in the ether. When I woke up I was in a dark room with my Aunt. I had a very sore throat.

All this was done, but I had no relief from my asthma. During grades one through three, I was quarantined at least three times. But so were most families in our school, and throughout the state. Neither I, nor any of my brothers and sisters were allowed to leave the house, to attend school or church, or any public gathering, during a quarantine.

First, I got chicken pox.  I stayed in bed about five days, but I think I had to miss ten days of school.

The next year, it was measles, and I missed another ten days. When David had the measles, he became deathly sick, and my parents were alarmed.

The following year, I came down with scarlet fever and I was very sick. It seemed as though I was in bed for three weeks. I lost weight and felt weak when I stood up.

My parents told me that when I was a small child, I had the whooping cough and the mumps, but I cannot remember.

Antibiotics today are a real blessing to the parents of this generation, but most people do not realize it.

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Photo from the family album

All stories are (c) copywrited and require permission to reproduce parts or all of

them.  They may be reblogged on your wordpress site if you desire.

Dwight L. Roth