Is a Memoir all Fact?

When writing a memoir, the issue of fact or fiction must be addressed. It is an issue often discussed amongst memoirists and a fear born out of a deceiving one’s readers.

The issue came to mind recently when reading the novel written about Margaret Cathpole’s life as written by Reverend Richard Cobbold, the Rector of Worthham, Suffolk (http://hawkesburywriters.org.au/margaret-catchpole-her-life-and-her-letters/s).

People in the Hawkesbury did remember Margaret according to the Hawkesbury Writers website when she lived local to them. Their memories were very different to the Reverend Cobbold’s account of Margaret’s life.

The mind can play tricks and even with the best of intentions can replay events not quite as they were. I wrote an account of a memoir of my childhood to do with the opening of the Parkes Radio Telescope.  I then went about and researched the facts of the day and surprisingly many facts were not as I remembered. Of course, I was a child, and interpreted events through my own understanding.Continue Reading

A Life Story

A snippet of a Life Story

 

A Life Story – A Child’s Perspective

‘Finally, something is happening in my boring hometown of Parkes, Central West, New South Wales, Australia.  I have been waiting 13 years and finally a VIP has realised where we are.’   It is the 30th October 1961 and Sister Mary Therese, the head nun at our school, made an announcement.

It was an ordinary day, no different to any other school day. In fact, the year was no different to any other year.  The long hot and boring summer holidays were long gone; Easter with those deliciously warm but not too hot autumn days and those delectable yummy buns was just a memory.  The cold and bitter winter was over and we all survived our blue knees and quivering lips.  The Parkes Annual Show had been and gone and we had the day off school (as usual) to go to the Show. The town closing for the annual Show was the most wonderful thing about growing up in a small country town.  This togetherness and community agreement that the whole town would all go to the Show on the same day even though it was a 3-day event, somehow made the Show more magical than it actually was.

Everything was as it should be – until the announcement.Continue Reading

My Best Friend Memoir

One of my favourite books I recently completed was celebrating those women who have been my besties or my best friends.  There were five of them and what would I have done without them and their mothers, by my side, laughing with me, crying with me and being naughty with me. It is the little things that make a story worth telling, the normal everyday things people do and how they interact.

Originally, I did not intend to include the mothers in my life story, but as the journey progressed, I realised those older women had influenced my life as much as their daughters. Continue Reading