Monday, February 27

Sharing Memories @ Linda L. Graham

"The days are long, hot, and humid; the night air, warm as a hug." - Excerpted from Indiana Summer: From Cornfields and Lightning Bugs

Meet my high school classmate and friend, Linda L. Graham. She's here to talk about memoirs, a new subject for the Wranglers. Please make her welcome and ask lots of questions! - Liz




Have you ever wanted to write your own memoir?  I began writing mine before I had even heard of the official genre, “memoir”.  It’s not an autobiography, as such, with complete information as to when and where a person was born.  It is, rather, a recollection of either a specific life event or  time in a person’s life. 
            My memoir, Indiana Summer: From Cornfields and Lightning Bugs, begins with an incident
at age twelve, and then proceeds to go back to life changing events before and after that.  I end the story as a young person, but include an epilogue in the present.  I wrote the memoir in chapters, or pieces, over time, but really focused on finishing it in two years, after enrolling in a memoir class.  After I thought I had enough material, I put it all together in a loose notebook where I could see a flow of ideas.  I diagrammed my plot, using both the notebook and index cards.   From there, I rewrote many of the stories, blending them to lead into the next, and determined an overall theme.    I ended up throwing out many stories that didn’t fit.  I also read other memoirs from the library, as well as books on how to write a memoir.
            The publishing of it was another matter requiring research and time.  I discovered that online there are many self-publishers, differing in services, prices, royalties, and contracts.  I narrowed down my search to four companies, after emailing and phone calls, and then found examples of their books in the local library.  The publisher I chose, Dog Ear Publishing, is in Indiana, so that was a big plus for my particular title.  They helped to format the book and designed the cover.  The publisher was always available to answer my questions by phone or email.
             Have fun with your story!  Everyone has a story to tell and a memoir is a great way to capture it!
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​Linda L. Graham loves reading and writing, and began creating her own stories at age nine. She is an instructor in English as a Second Language at a community college in the Portland, Oregon area. She has taught English and other subjects for a total of thirty-seven years, both at the high school and college level. Prior to that, Linda served as editor of a state- wide tabloid newspaper.

Linda received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Warner Pacific College, Portland, Oregon. She earned a Master’s Degree in Teaching from Lewis and Clark University, Portland, Oregon.

Linda lives in the Pacific Northwest, enjoying outdoor pursuits with her family, including camping, hiking, and swimming. She meets weekly with other local writers and participates in a book club and church activities. She and her two Manx cats reside in the Portland, Oregon area.

Visit Linda at http://www.lindalgraham.com/ 

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for visiting us, Linda, and for sharing your path. I enjoyed INDIANA SUMMER.

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    1. You're welcome! I enjoyed being a guest on this site and discussing memoirs! Linda L. Graham

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  2. Linda- Thanks for joining us! Since I write fiction, the idea of a memoir filled with little stories is a bird of another feather... Do you think about character growth through these stories, any sort of "what was learned" by the end? Would be interested to know. :-)

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    1. Thank you for this question. I developed a plot with conflict, resolved after a cross-country move and an endangering incident. Lessons are learned also through ongoing thematic threads. Please see my website for a short synopsis of book: www.lindalgraham.com Linda Graham

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  3. Welcome, Linda! I've never written a memoir, although I've had a lot of people tell me I should because I had rather an unusual childhood. I'm looking forward to reading yours!

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    1. Nan, thank you! Enjoy Summer!! Linda L Graham

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  4. Hi, Linda--I'm another friend of Liz, and I'm writing a memoir for my children so they'll know what it was like growing up in the 1940s and 1950s. Thank so much for your suggestions about the writing of memoir--I've read several books about the process and appreciate your thoughts in this blog post. Looking forward to reading INDIANA SUMMER!

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    1. Judith, A memoir for your children is a very worthwhile writing endeavor. Let me know if I can answer any questions about the process. Linda L. Graham

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  5. thanks for visiting with us today, Linda!

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    1. Kristina, You are welcome! Fun for me to do! Linda

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