For most of my reading life I’ve enjoyed reading the memoirs of famous people. But now I’ve turned inward. I’ve become interested in writing my own memoirs. My husband and I joined the Healdsburg Senior Writing Project at a nearby senior center.
The writing process has helped us remember the important events in our lives, but the reason we are so enthusiastic about the Project is the fun and comaraderie of the group. It is so interesting to hear about the events in the lives of not-so-famous people.
But now, as it turns out, seventeen members of the group may become famous after all. They have become published authors. It’s amazing! During the year before we joined the Project, seventeen seniors and the Project leader began editing and polishing the best of what they had written. After a lot of hard work, it has become a published book. Tuesday Morning Memories: An Anthology was officially launched last Saturday.
The launch party was a fun afternoon highlighted by the readings given by all the authors. Most of the readings were new vignettes not in the book. The stories they read and the ones in the book are unbelievably good. Each one of the authors has been a witness to some of the best events of the twentieth century.
There are touching stories about growing up in the Great Depression and surviving World War II. I’m especially fond of Daphne’s recollections of her childhood and her experience during the evacuations to the English countryside. Also fascinating are Monika’s stories of her childhood in Estonia and the week when certain of her friends were suddenly sent to Siberia.
There are many other stories in chapters such as life in a small town, traveling the world, Christmas and family. The stories are strong. You’d never know the authors are people who have virtually no other writing experience.
The number of writing projects such as this one are growing as the population of the world ages. It’s a natural part of the aging process to look back and reflect on your experiences. It’s a smart culture that collects and save these stories of the elders. Before you know it, they could be lost for good.
If you are interested in joining a senior writing group, check with your local senior center. If you are interested in reading this book, it’s available on Amazon.
Tuesday Morning Memories: An Anthology
Healdsburg, California Senior Writing Project
Published May 2012