Tuesday, March 1, 2022

To Write or Not to Write That Story by J.Q.Rose #IWSGbloghop


Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop
Happy IWSG Blog Hop Day!
Happy March!

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group 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. Click here to sign-up.

Thank you to our awesome co-hosts for the March 2 posting of the IWSG Blog Hop-- Janet Alcorn, Pat Garcia, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!


March 2 question - Have you ever been conflicted about writing a story or adding a scene to a story? How did you decide to write it or not?
When I began writing my memoir, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir, I was conflicted about several scenes. The first commandment when writing a memoir is to always tell the truth. Should I tell the truth about a couple as being mean and selfish? People who were well-known and loved in the community. They have passed away, but their family lives in the area.

Arranging a Dream by J.Q. Rose

The memoir covers the first year my husband and I purchased a floral and greenhouse business in 1975. The operation was located in Michigan, five hours away from our home in Central Illinois. Because we wanted to make our dream of working for ourselves come true, we bought the operation from strangers. We didn't know anyone in the community to ask about their reputation. Trusting the owners were honest folks, we packed up our belongings, said goodbye to friends and family, and two paychecks, we moved with our one-year-old daughter to Michigan.

Still, the worry about deciding if we made the right decision niggled in our hearts. Were the owners taking advantage of a young couple with stars in their eyes? We had no business experience and no floral design skills, only a dream to work hard and develop the business. We needed the owners to stay with us, teach us about the everyday workings of the operation, and share their experience in the flower business.

No, I am not going to tell you how the book ended. No spoiler here!!

To make the story read like a novel, I made the owners the villains. Everybody loves a villain, and conflict engages readers. We had plenty of conflict with the previous owners during that year. Because the book is creative non-fiction, I  chose to change their names since they have passed and could not tell their side of the story, as well as to protect their identity due to the family still living in the area. 

The amazing revelation as I wrote the story brought about an understanding of why the owners treated us like that. I try to stress in my life storytelling workshops that yes, the participants may be writing for reasons such as leaving a legacy to their families, but I don't believe a writer realizes how much she will learn about her own life until she reflects on the experiences through the lens of time. (Sorry for getting off-topic, but you must realize I am a life storytelling evangelist!)

Reviewers have called it inspiring and fascinating, so I feel I made the right decision to forge on with telling the truth and finishing the book.

Thank you for stopping in. 

Please leave a comment below. I am anxious to discover how bloggers have wrangled with writing or not writing their stories.

Click here to visit more bloggers during the blog hop! 

Last week was an active week in my book marketing life. A guest interview, an article, and a podcast popped up on the Internet during the same week!
If you have time to visit them now or later, please click the links below. Thank you!

BWL Publishing author badge

How the Internet Affects Your Brain Function at the BWL Publishing Insiders Blog

Click here for a thank you from author Shannon Lawrence featuring books by all the bloggers she visited while touring with her new writing craft book--The Business of Writing Short Stories.
Click here to visit Shannon's feature of her new release on this blog.

Click here to visit the Blue Million site where author Amy Merz shows off her clever way of conducting interviews.

Click here to listen to my reading of Terror on Sunshine Boulevard at author Diana Kathryn Plopa's Indie Reads Aloud podcast.

A HUGE thank you to all of my hosts!

Please pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia 
and the countries involved in defeating the dictator.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like you had a super busy week last week. It would be hard to write the truth in your memoior when it involves people in the community where you live. I'm glad writing about it helped you understand the owner's motivations better.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is a tough decision, but you'd be writing fiction otherwise. I'm sure it did help discover a lot about yourself.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

My husband and I moved to Cluculz Lake 30+ years ago and didn't know anyone. Something very similar happened to us. But I also believe things happen for a reason. I'm glad your memoir is doing so well.

Pat Garcia said...

I have this wonderful book and I have it on my iPad.
I'm glad you kept it as non-fiction

Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

cleemckenzie said...

There are a lot positives about writing memoir, but you've touched on some things that might present issues for the writer.

Janet Alcorn said...

I've thought about writing a memoir, but the issue you raise is one of the things that stops me (the other is that I don't think my life has been interesting enough to carry a book-length story). To be effective, a memoir must be honest, and that honesty would mean portraying some people in a not-flattering light.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Natalie. Discovering their reason for how we were treated was eye-opening.

J.Q. Rose said...

One friend suggested I write the story as fiction. But that would not be the same as telling my story.

J.Q. Rose said...

I agree. Things happen for a reason making for a good learning experience to use for the future.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks, Pat. Your kind words are appreciated.

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes, I had a woman tell me she was ready to write her life story now. She could not write it while her mother was alive because it would hurt her mother to know everything she went through.

J.Q. Rose said...

You have 2 reasons to keep you from writing your story. As to the first reason, your story does matter! Never believe it isn't interesting to your family and friends. The second reason could be a hurdle, but you can change peoples' names in order to protect their privacy if necessary. Please start writing...little vignettes, scenes of your life. Have fun with it!

Diane Burton said...

I enjoyed your memoir. I thought you handled the "villains" very well. Not too harsh.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Changing the names was wise. No need to make any living relatives mad.

Liza said...

It was a long time ago, and you changed the names...and perhaps learned some things in the writing. Sounds all good to me.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks,Diane. Good to know it was not too harsh.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thank you. Especially living in a small town...

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes, it was a long time ago. I came to several understandings after writing the book. Thanks.

Sandra Cox said...

I loved your memoirs:)
And a podcast. How exciting.

Marsha said...

Hey, JQ. I thought you did a good job with your "villians." What I took away from it was what you learned from them and learned about yourself. Everyone should read your Memoir. :)

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