Memoirs and Miscellaneous

My buddy Val keeps threatening to write a memoir. I know very little about writing memoirs but I believe they must be the polar opposite of writing fiction. Only stands to reason. Fact vs. make-believe, so I feel insufficiently experienced to guide her but I can make suggestions. And Val loves my suggestions. She is always saying, “What do you suggest?”

I made myself laugh just typing that last sentence. My suggestions are never useful (I rarely participate in the real world), but I will persevere in offering writing tips because, though my attention span is short, I never tire of sharing advice I’ve read from experienced authors. Like the tip from Stephen King suggesting not to use the same word repetitively. Like I just did. A variation of suggest, five times. I live to break the rules.

Suggestion number one: Read a lot of memoirs. The ones that don’t grab you right from the beginning — chuck’em out. Then figure out why they didn’t grab you. I just finished (just is another overused word, watch for it) Jenny Lawson’s mostly true memoir and loved every page. Ms. Lawson has problems, very real life-altering problems, but, bless her, she is so funny.

You know all those memories, from your childhood or teen years or even right up to the present, that make you cringe whenever they attack? Ms. Lawson can top every one of them. If you gain nothing else from reading this book, I can almost guarantee this; your life won’t seem so screwed up. You will laugh, you will feel better, and you will have learned something about how to write a memoir.

That’s it for suggestions. Yup, just the one. You’re welcome

As for miscellaneous; Maple is much better. Here is a picture of her with a brand new bandana donated by my cousin, Karon. Karon owns a pet shop in Leek, Staffs, England, full of lovely rabbits and birds and fish.

I just returned from England (what are we up to? Are you counting? Paying attention at all?), and to prove it, below is a picture of my cousin, Steve, attempting to climb a wall. Why? Because the sign says the building has been painted with anti-climbing paint. Seriously. The English are quirky. I should have got a closer image of the sign but I was in a hurry to get the picture before anyone saw my demented cousin pretending to be Spiderman. I embarrass easily.

I’m still unemployed. Really must do something about that.

And that’s about it for news. My new love, Brad Parks (see previous post) and I have been corresponding (I am attempting to be a subtle stalker), and I have arranged for a signed copy of his latest book, The Good Cop. He will be the toastmaster at a writing conference in California next year so I must get a job. If one is to be a stalker, one shouldn’t be a penniless stalker. That is just wrong.

Frank is fine with my stalking aspirations as long as he gets to go to California with me, and I’m okay with that. But if I don’t get a job soon, it will be just more make-believe.

And that makes it seven. What? HA. You just have not been paying attention.


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4 Responses to Memoirs and Miscellaneous

  1. Barb Taub says:

    Seven is not enough. Not even close…

    Okay, I love the suggestion. Might be only the main one, but it’s a good one. (And yes, I did catch the others you snuck in there, you devil.) I am also a sinner when it comes to the elegant variation. If repetition is good enough for the Bible and the Beatles, it’s good enough for me.

    BUT here’s the thing I can’t get past. You came all the way to England. You left again without us meeting. Frank might be fine with the stalking, but I’ve got a serious jealous going on for Mr. Brad Parks.

    Best of luck with the job hunt. (Free bonus offer: I spent more decades in Human Resources than shall be revealed here. I’ve reviewed untold thousands of resumes. If it would help, I’d be happy to take a look at yours. Also, I often help friends and family by doing a practice interview before their actual job interview. Let me know if I can help.)

    • ajcap says:

      Barb, what a good point! All the begats in the Bible and all the yeah, yeah, yeah’s of the Beatles is very pertinent to the point I was trying to make. It makes the point, pointless! Proof that Mr. King really doesn’t know what he’s talking about, lol. I’m not going to be the one to tell him. All an author needs is a thesaurus.

      I would have loved to have visited but did not want to impose. We’re so polite, us Canadians. I’ll be back in 2015 so be warned…I will show up on your doorstep. I know where you live.

      As soon as I’ve weeded the garden (I do have my priorities), I will take you up on your offer, before you change your mind, and send you my resume. Thing is, my resume is all about my bookkeeping experience and I really do not want to work in that environment again. I want something mindless, responsibilitlyless (how’s that for a made-up word), something I may actually enjoy. But I’ll send it along anyway and look forward to any advice you have to offer. Cheers!

      And no reason to be jealous of Brad. Girl-friends trump boy-friends EVERY time.

  2. steve.capper says:

    Barb has not need to feel aggrieved. Amanda came all the way to England and very nearly didn,t se me either!

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