Trying My Hand at Memoir

My Grandmother's KitchenMy Grandmother, Ina Mae, was a large influence on me and on the other members of our family. But what I remember most of all are the large family dinners we would have for holidays and birthdays and other celebrations. Everyone was welcome, and when I was in college, my friends loved coming with me to her house for dinner where they were sure to get more than enough to eat.

She has been gone for some years now but I still think about her regularly and I wanted to honor her in some way. I had also been thinking about putting together a book of essays on food.  (Food is often on my mind and can be a bit of an obsession.) So I decided to start with a short essay about my Grandmother and how she taught me to appreciate a plentiful table.

I had not appreciated until now how difficult writing memoir can be. Everyone’s memory is faulty, and what one person remembers as truth could be remembered completely differently by someone else.

Also, the further back I go in my memories, the fuzzier things get. I have bits and flashes of scenes, but dialogue? – rarely.

So I did the best I could for now, and really, it’s more of a summary of my memories of her. I’m in awe of what writers like Mary Karr can do. Her memoir The Liars’ Club is truly amazing.

This short ebook about my Grandmother is available now on Amazon and will soon also be available for Nook and Kobo. Later this year, as the other essays come together, I’ll release them as a compilation in ebook form and as a paper book.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Trying My Hand at Memoir

  1. Barbara Ormsby

    Love this Grandma. Sweet remembrance of a sweet lady.

  2. Can’t wait to read this, great cover photo!

  3. Christina

    Could I use this in my class to teach personal narrative and memior? It made me cry remembering grandma.

  4. Sounds like an awesome way to honor your grandmother and a wonderful experience as a writer.

  5. Carla

    I just read it for the second time. I’m blessed with some of Ina’s hibiscus too. This is a wonderful read Heather. Thanks.

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