What is your memoir or biography about?

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Chrisla

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Looks like no one has been here in a while, but I'm new here, so I thought I'd jump in :) My memoir is about going through some mental health crisis, in and out of psych hospitals and dealing with different psychiatrists - including one that was more concerned with handing out the medication then what that medication what capable of doing and in what quantities. I'm doing it a lot for me but I've also gained a lot from memoirs of similar topics and if I was ever able to help someone it would be an awesome bonus :)
I suspect one reason we aren't here much any more is because we have set our memoirs aside for the time being, and are working on other things. But I still take a peek every so often, and am always glad to see some familiar names. I spend most of my free time these days in the novel writing forums and with my writer's group. Everybody is encouraging me to turn my memor into a novel, and I'm tinkering with that.
 

dryland

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My WIP is about a young woman who travels to Mexico in an attempt to erase her memories of an unacknowledged family tragedy, and in the process becomes involved in a stranger's seemingly impossible quest.
 

MelissaMD

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I just read through all of the posts in this and, wow. You guys are amazing, and I want to buy and read all of your memoirs!

That being said, my memoir is a collection of the awkward situations I seem to involuntarily get myself into. As mentioned in my introduction thread, I'm literally a crazy person magnet. So by the request of everyone I've told my stories too, I'm writing them down, and hope to be published in later years, if not, well, they can still be read :)
 

Ruth2

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Cheer up, Brian! My memoir has a ton of biographical material about the man who introduces me to his country.

I often feel like the only biographer in a sea full of memoirists! Anyway, my WIP is the first ever authorized biography of this fellow:

2823-Jim%20Henson-The%20Muppets_biography.jpg


. . . and I'm nearly finished with it. Stay tuned.
 

I survived

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memoirs

My memoir, which I couldn't psychologically handle writing all at one time will be a series of 5 books each repersenting different ages in my life when I was the victim od sever child abuse, The rest of the story will be based on other peoples stories all dumped together. My first book, currently Lea Victorious is me from birth to 7.
 

xprhoff

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[raises hand] Biographer here!

I am writing a book about Edward Vernon Sparhawk, a 19th century poet and newspaper editor who has until now inhabited the footnotes and shadows of history, known primarily for editing the Southern Literary Messenger before Edgar Allan Poe.
 

crazywritingmom

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My memoir is about my reunion with my biological father and the sexual relationship that developed between us. It's a mess of a story and I'm not sure how to finish the damn thing. It's not a happy ending.
 

veronie

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Mine is about how I graduated from a Baptist seminary with a goal of becoming a preacher, then abandoned faith and religion a couple of years later at the age of 29. After a lifetime of abstinence, I decided sex needed to become a part of my life; I questioned everything I previously believed about sex and relationships.

I became non-monogamous, and at 33 began an open relationship. Because of my partner's particular interests, we became involved in BDSM and eventually made friends with kink and swinger types, though reluctant to try the swinger lifestyle ourselves for a while. The memoir discusses life with my primary partner, our successes and failures in the relationship (still ongoing and strong), and our adventures together, including our first threesome, our individual and mutual playmates and friends we made along the way. I talk about my thoughts on religion and living without it as a part of my life, sexual liberation and how I think it can make people healthier, the emotion of jealousy, being safe and responsible with sex, and various stories from parties, kink clubs, and vacations.

Through all, I give a comparison of the life I came from to the life I now live. I handle the topic of religion gently, while knowing some will be offended and horrified by my life and the decisions I made. My hope is that those who disagree with my life will find bold statements as to why I find greater happiness without religion, yet also find a friendly tone with no sense of mean-spirited swipes at those who have religion or faith guiding their lives.

Postscript: I like the memoir description from crazywritingmom above. Two sex-related memoir concepts cozying up to one another. I realize yours is a very different tale, and sorry to hear about the not-a-happy-ending part, but it sounds like a damn interesting (though I understand, difficult) life story, and you're still alive after living through it. :)
 
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bulldoggerel

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[raises hand] Biographer here!

I am writing a book about Edward Vernon Sparhawk, a 19th century poet and newspaper editor who has until now inhabited the footnotes and shadows of history, known primarily for editing the Southern Literary Messenger before Edgar Allan Poe.

Was Sparhawk a Massachusetts guy? Or Rhode Island? Somehow his name is familiar, in some way with the Ballou ( sp?) family who were Rhode Island journalists. Sounds very interesting to me. Good luck with it. Not many biographers here I think.
 

khobar

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I thought mine was about my being sent to boarding school and how, when asked whether I would ever consider sending my future children away like that, I hesitated to answer thinking perhaps the "real" story was my weighing the positives of traveling the world against the hardships of being away from home.

Later, when I realized just how much everything revolved around my brother's behavior at the time I thought it was about how that behavior had caused such trauma in mine and my family's lives. After all, it was his behavior that got me sent away in the first place, behavior he never has outgrown.

Later still, when my first-born son was around four, I often heard that he was so much like my brother, and I cringed. I thought about that original question and it occurred to me the reason I hesitated in answering is because yes, I would do anything to help my son the same way my parents did everything they could to help theirs. And it occurred to me, too, how all these years I thought most of what my brother did back then was just normal "wildness", that every family in those days went through some form of rebellion, that every family had a black sheep. It scared me to think that when people said my eldest son was just like my brother there might be truth to that. Would my own family go through that hell?

At the end of the day, though, after going back and really thinking about all the things that happened and why, none of my children are anything like my brother. Does that mean I'm ready to pop off the infamous query letter? Not yet - I'm still editing, and it's tough because of excess emotional baggage. But I'm confident I'm getting close. ;)
 

Deafchamp

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The main theme of the memoir I'm writing surrounds a woman whose name I forgot. She worked at an adult literacy centre for the homeless and one hour of her time lead to my whole life changing beyond my wildest dreams. She helped me get to college ten years after I dropped out of school at 14, and yet at the time of meeting her I was so wrapped up in my own problems that I didn't even remember her name.
Underlying issues involve being born with a hearing impairment as a result of a junkie mom. Emigrating to London from Ireland at a time when the IRA were inflicting devastating bomb attacks all over the UK. Being sexually abused for 16 years, going into state care, being forced to silence by a family who didn't believe me, getting into trouble with the police, expelled from 4 schools, pregnant at 18, again at 19, raising both kids alone, trying to deal with severe alcoholism in a harridan mother and schizophrenic brother, battling depression as I refused to believe I was a waste of space because I couldn't get a job and had brought two children into such an awful world.
After a whole life of being told I would end up a violent drunk like my mother, and one hour in the company of the nameless woman in the literacy centre, I had an appointment to enrol in a local college. A year later, I was studying Journalism, working as a photographer for the biggest music magazine in the country and had summoned up the courage to stand up to the man who ruined my life, forcing him to tell my brother and sister the truth about the abuse that began when I was 8 years old. Life is not without its troubles now but five years later I have well and truly left behind a harrowing beginning to have finally claimed a life of my own, with friends, joy and love and unbelievably to me, prospects. It seems I am the only hard-of-hearing music blogger in the world and, amazingly, after working my way up out of nowhere, am now highly-respected on a nationwide level as an authority on new bands. None of this would have been possible without the help of that lone figure who just went into work one day and had no idea the enormous impact she would have on a total stranger's life.
 

Siri Kirpal

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Kudos to you, Deafchamp, and kudos to the unknown lady who helped you!

There's a deaf classical percussionist. But you are indeed the first deaf music blogger I've met...maybe even the first deaf writer. (Writing is more about sound than many writers admit.)

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

Deafchamp

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Thank you Siri Kirpal, she's an inspiring figure and we all need those. I'm a fight-the-good-fighter but there's really little point when there aren't good people in the world to believe in.

A deaf percussionist I can dig, there's a lot more sound at work there than simply tapping in time. Most drummers end up going deaf but rhythm is a constant and if you're born with it, use it! An uncle of mine was a champion ballroom dancer despite being born completely deaf (not related to my own hearing loss), he learned to dance by picking up vibrations through his feet, he had about a thousand trophies. So cool!
 

Fictionalizer

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I have started my memoir about my father who was a serial killer and a pedophile. He forced me to participate in parts of his rituals. The first time I witnessed him murder someone I was three-years-old. I spent one summer with him at age ten. He murdered the most children during that summer. My father abused and tortured me.

I have toyed with writing this as fiction and locations as I do not know if my father is alive.
 

Siri Kirpal

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I have started my memoir about my father who was a serial killer and a pedophile. He forced me to participate in parts of his rituals. The first time I witnessed him murder someone I was three-years-old. I spent one summer with him at age ten. He murdered the most children during that summer. My father abused and tortured me.

I have toyed with writing this as fiction and locations as I do not know if my father is alive.

Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Eeow!! Glad you survived. Hope you're glad too.

What you could do is write it as a memoir, but use a fake name.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

Fictionalizer

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I thought about doing that Siri Kirpal and already have a pen name for myself as well.

All I know is my father's first name. I blocked out his last name which is not the same as mine. I grew up with my mother and step-dad.
 

Siri Kirpal

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Ah! Is your mother still alive? If so, I'd run the pen name by her just to be sure you didn't subconsciously pick your original last name.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

Fictionalizer

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Ah! Is your mother still alive? If so, I'd run the pen name by her just to be sure you didn't subconsciously pick your original last name.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Hi Siri,
My mother's death allowed me to remember what my father did. She was a narcissist. My father's existence was hidden from me.

My father was Italian and the last name I chose is not.
 

Vortex Theory

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I've kind of gotten stuck on my fictional universe and I'm thinking about taking a break to write about my first year of high school, which was anything but ordinary. I was 13, obsessed with being independent and I got sent to the strangest boarding school you've ever heard of - imagine high school at a summer camp, living in A-frame cabins on 300 acres of wilderness, chopping your own firewood, doing your own laundry and helping to prepare communal meals between classes. It's sort of a coming-of-age story with a twist, because it made me realize I didn't want independence as much as I thought; even though I came to love the small, tight-knit community of other misfit kids I was overjoyed to be back with my family when the school year was over.

I don't know if anyone will be interested in it, but I'm going to write it anyway because I feel like it needs telling - even if in the end I just post it on my blog or something.
 

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@Vortex: wow, I want to read that memoir.

I at one point tried to do an autibio, and it was titled "Some preemies will go on to go to university" (in Dutch). It was about my life growing up as a former premature baby with disabilities, in a family that expected me to be nothing less than a genius. It was part autobio, part information for new parents of preemie babies/children. I made hte big mistake of trying to do it chronologically, so I ended up devoting a way toos hort chapter to my first five years of life, then increasingly longer chapters on more reent events. I never finished the thing thugh. Want to rewrite it someday when I'm more mature.
 

Siri Kirpal

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Sounds good, Vortex. There may be more people interested in the story than you think.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

Vortex Theory

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Thanks for the encouragement, Astrid and Siri! I wrote the first couple of pages last night and this morning, and I'm looking forward to sharing my work here. Not just yet, since I need to pay my dues to this excellent site first, and of course there's always a certain amount of polishing before I show my work to anyone. But if either of you would be interested in being my beta I would be honored! I'm going to need some feedback since I've never written anything but 3rd-person fiction.
 

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