I am trying to edit my memoir. It covers the first 40 years of my life. I have already lived it and now have written it – as much my memory allows that is – and I find it all incredibly wearing. I cannot stand back and be impartial. I can’t image that anyone would be that interested.
Initially I wrote with my grandchildren in mind. I imagine them reading it at the age of 18 or thereabouts and try to conjure up what their reaction would be.
At the recent writing course in Skyros, we read out our scribblings. It became habitual for each member to apologise before they started to read. It got a bit much and Wendy suggested that people should pay her a fine for each excuse. She could have made a fortune.
Another exercise we did at Skyros was to write a blurb for our work. Here’s mine.
Ann, the youngest of a family of four, was born ten days before the Second World War in the German Hospital in Hackney, East London. Eddie, her brother, accompanied her pregnant mother to the hospital whereupon he was asked if he was the father. He was only 15.
School life, first jobs, social awareness were all part of the growing up process until Ann met Peter in Cornwall when she was 20. She fell deeply in love and they married quickly. Very shortly after the marriage Ann finds out that she doesn’t know her man at all. Secrets emerge.
Their subsequent emigration to Ireland and the birth of her eight children tested the marriage. Ann loved being a mother and even though times were hard she made the most of every day. It could have had a fairy tale ending but the death of her husband in tragic circumstances threatened everyone’s survival.
Here’s £50 Wendy. I can’t even write a good piece for the back page!