I’m Procrastinating on My Memoirs, I Admit It

Probably because my next memoir is about my father, I’ve been procrastinating on starting it. I’ve been organizing my files and reading old letters from him. The letters go all the way back to when I was a baby and he was in Asia during World War Two. They go up to shortly before he died, when I was in my twenties and living in Europe. Reading them is helping me to get in the frame of mind to write.

Memoir writing can be difficult. Some memories are painful, and some are probably remembered inaccurately. There are lots of psychological studies of human memory, and I don’t need to delve into those to know that what I write may have inaccuracies after half a century.

But I’ve got so many great stories that I am at least beginning to make notes. One of my favorite stories as a kid was about when Daddy was in China in wartime, using an outhouse on a dark night. It was a two-seater and he saw what looked like fireflies in the other seat. Then he realized that the lights were in a line and that they were truck headlights from far below and he was perched out over a cliff. I would always laugh when he told that tale.

Onward ho. I am going to keep on organizing my paper files and scanning in old photos. Eventually there will be a fourth memoir.