Wednesday, August 3, 2016

IWSG Blog Hop: Share My Memoir or Not by J.Q. Rose

Hello and welcome to the monthly meeting of the 
Insecure Writers Support Group(IWSG) blog hop! 

Internet Writers Support Group Blog Hop
First Wednesday of every month.
What is IWSG? Founder of the  Insecure Writer’s Support Group and author Alex J Cavanaugh explains the group's purpose is "to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!" You're invited to become a member of this supportive group.

The group blogs the first Wednesday of every month.  The list of bloggers is always available so you can hop around to the author blogs filled with humor, advice, and thought-provoking topics on writing and publishing. You can find the list of participants at Alex's IWSG page.


IWSG Question for the Month
THE IWSG BLOG HOP QUESTION FOR AUGUST: What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

My first piece of writing was an article I submitted to a woman's magazine about breastfeeding. I was a new mom and learned so many things through my experience with my baby, I wanted to help expecting moms to have a successful time with this overwhelming time in life. 

I mailed in the submission expecting to receive a raving acceptance letter telling me how wonderful the article was and how much it would benefit soon-to-be nursing mothers. I was crushed not to hear anything from the magazine and decided I would never write an article again. That article was probably thrown in the trash, but eventually, after our daughters left home and we sold our floral business, I started writing articles for the local newspaper which led to many more free-lance articles in newspapers, magazines and e-zines.
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Share My Memoir or Not by J.Q. Rose

Yes, I'm insecure this week. I'm taking a break away from writing romantic suspense and challenging myself to write a memoir. I am a firm believer in everyone recording the story of their life or at least part of it. 
Writing a memoir
I'm focusing on the year in my life when we purchased a retail business--a flower shop and greenhouses. Did we know anything about being a retailer, growing plants in a commercial greenhouse, designing flower arrangements? No, but we did it anyway.  Talk about being insecure--giving up good jobs, taking our one year old daughter away from grandparents and family, and moving eight hours away to a town where we knew not one person. 
Peach roses--my favorite flower. They smell good too.
The main rule in writing a memoir is to tell the truth. And I am, but that involves showing the previous owner, Nellie, in a bad light. She and her husband have passed away, but her family is still in the area. I have decided to change their names, but this is a small town and folks will know who I mean. So, I am thinking of writing this book, but only allowing our family to read it. And yet, I think this memoir could be a great encouragement to someone who is hesitant to break out of their life and try something new. (Hmmm--like writing a book, perhaps?) When we see someone overcome obstacles to achieve a dream, their story inspires us to try to make our dreams come true too. 

An author friend tagged me on FB to reveal the first lines of the first three chapters of my WIP, so I thought it would be fun to share those lines in the memoir here with all of you too. You'll see Nellie is in the story right away.

Untitled--I'm insecure about choosing a title too!!!

Chapter 1 Our whispers in the silence of the strangers’ bedroom seemed to echo in our ears. 
Chapter 2 After the sleepless night, we packed up our belongings and quietly trod down the stairs to face Jack and Nellie. 
Chapter 3 Contentment fell across my shoulders like a newborn’s swaddling blanket as I nursed Baby Sara in my rocking chair in the front room of our home in Marseilles.

Please help me decide whether to share the story or keep it just for my family. I'd love to hear from you. Thank you.
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Opportunity for you--Karen Walker is putting together an anthology on aging. If you are fifty or older, visit her blog for details on how you can contribute. 
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Connect with J. Q. Rose on Facebook 




14 comments:

Misha Gericke said...

Oh dear that is a dilemma. The more you obscure everyone, the more your book becomes a work of fiction. Hm. :-/

J Q Rose said...

Misha--yes, that's one way of looking at it. Thanks for stopping by.

emaginette said...

Put your fear in your back pocket. I'm sure your manuscript will knock our socks off. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

J Q Rose said...

Thanks, Anna. Words of wisdom from you.

Juneta Key said...

I am going to go Yoda" on ya. --Inside of you, the answer lies. Decide, you must, your heart to trust.-- Besides, I don't really have enough info or understanding about the overall situation to give good advice. I'd be assuming a lot.
A quote for you.

"Everything you want is on the other side of fear." Jack Canfield

Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Helena Fairfax said...

What a dilemma, JQ. I think you should write your memoir truthfully for your family. When it's finished, perhaps you could ask your husband and children what they think - should you publish, or not? They might be able to give good advice. Perhaps you could even publish a slighter different version to the one you show your family.
It's good of you to be thoughtful about the feelings of others. The year you describe sounds a fascinating period in your life. Best of luck with your writing and your decision.

Pat Garcia said...

I like the fact that you're writing a memoir. That is one of the things that I want to do also. I truly believe people gain strength and courage to do the impossible when they read about other people's lives.
All the best.
Shalom aleichem,
Patricia

Diane Burton said...

What a dilemma. I agree with Helena about writing the truth then showing it to your family first. Since you still live in the town, as does the family of the previous owner, things might become difficult. Only you can decide if the inspiration to others in overcoming obstacles outweighs possible hurt feelings. Good luck.

J Q Rose said...

Yes, Juneta, I know the answer is inside me of what I want to do, but certainly don't want to be selfish and hurt someone by publishing the project. At the end of the book, I am thinking however of contrasting the experience we had purchasing the shop to our experience of selling it. I certainly identified with Nellie when I was the seller. I appreciate the quote very much!

J Q Rose said...

Helena and Diane, I like the idea of letting my family read it first. I am checking memories about that year with my hubby. He and I don't remember everything exactly the same. I guess that is not unusual seeing things from different perspectives. And especially from a distance of 40 years! Thank you for your feedback.

J Q Rose said...

Pat--Thank you for your support. I hope you do get a chance to write your memoir--don't tackle your whole life, but maybe a few vignettes that you remember clearly.(For my daughters' birthdays one year, I wrote about the days they were born. Also did it for grandkids too.) Your family will love it. Well said "I truly believe people gain strength and courage to do the impossible when they read about other people's lives." That is truly the purpose of pouring out my life for others to read about.

Marsha said...

Fascinating post, JQ. I lean toward writing the truthful way for your family. Then couldn't you fictionalize the story for everyone else? A lot of work, but... the lessons learned I'm sure are worth sharing. That is what we do with our books be they fiction or non-fiction.
I'm especially caught up with your idea of just picking a small section of your life to write about. I'll share. Oh, great first lines BTW. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Maybe if you wrote it under a pen name, no one would know it was you and your town? I know that defeats the purpose of a memoir, but don't want to make anyone mad.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Wow - you guys are brave folk starting up a florist business and not having any experience and background in it. That's probably why you took to RVing full time easily as well. Adventurous spirits :-)

By the way, I love that you list mother-in-law on your profile. I had a great MIL and it's nice to see that you value that role as well. I bet your DIL is lucky to have you. Cheers - Ellen