Posted by: penpatience | October 31, 2014


SI Exif

Read my latest non-fiction essay, “THROWING IN THE TROWEL” in the October/November 2014 issue of MaryJanesFarm Magazine; Available on some newsstands and

. “WHEN THE LILACS BLOOM,” my new fiction short story is available in the December issue of The Storyteller Magazine. Read the story and purchase the magazine for a nominal cost at:

Writers Words: I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” ~ Larry King ~



We all have a story to tell. I believe that’s why today’s social media sites have become so popular in this our twenty-first century. Folks go online sharing photos, thoughts, events, and other mundane events like what they cooked for dinner the night before. These snapshots of daily activities are vehicles of choice, a method that keeps geographically separated family members and friends in closer contact with each other. However, a memoir, often about a segment within a person’s life, is different.

A Memoir is basically a writer’s important memory or reminiscence and is written from the first-person point of view—“I.” It’s a literary nonfiction genre and is differentiated from an autobiography that usually tells a story of a life, while a memoir tells a story from a life–often historical events and turning points within the author’s life.

I have yet to write a memoir but believe one of the best approaches to writing one is to read a few well written memoirs. “The Glass Castle” and “Half Broke Horses” by Jeanette Walls and “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt are three well known memoirs that I and millions of others have read, enjoyed, and utilized in honing the memoirist craft. Also, there are many websites that provide information on memoir writing techniques (one of my favorites:  I wrote a short memoirist essay titled, “Edythe with a Y,” a memory about my deceased mother-in law and me, published by The Storyteller Magazine in May 2012 (

I’m happy to share some of my fondest childhood Mini-(Memory) Memoirs:

M      I woke up most mornings to the clinking noise of bottles dropped into the front porch milk-box. During the winter months the cream froze on top and popped the cap. I poured softened cream on my breakfast cereal before going to school.

M      Blackie, my pet rabbit, lived in the chicken coop behind our garage. One day he disappeared. Mom said he would be happier living on a neighbor’s farm. My sister said he ended up in my cousin’s stew pot.

M      Dad tended a huge vegetable garden in the family owned plot behind our house. We picked fresh corn early in the day and shucked it right before dinner. It was the best fast food of the twentieth century.

M      Wild raspberries grew at the back of the garden. I got red-stained fingers and poison ivy every summer. Pink calamine lotion polka-dots covered my body for days.

M      School buses were reserved for kids that lived too far away to walk. I lived three blocks away and walked to school every day from kindergarten through high school. I rode a second-hand bike everywhere. I never had a weight problem growing up.

M      We were the last family on our block to purchase a television. Permitted to watch “I love Lucy” on Sunday nights, my sisters and I laughed our heads off and then went to bed.  It was nine o’clock.

M      One of five children, I grew up in a four bedroom house with one bathroom.  Morning bathroom schedule was according to departure time: First out- First in.

M      I played card games with the neighborhood kids. My friend next door always cheated. The only time I didn’t crab about it was when we were partners in Pinochle.

M       When school was dismissed for the summer months, we walked to the local park wearing only bathing suits and shorts, carried towels and tennis rackets under our arms. We borrowed books from the library, played board games under the shade of a catalpa tree, mowed the grass with push mowers and identified most of the constellations in the night sky.

Life was good then and, in a different way, is good now.

What is your fondest Mini-Memoir? Sent me one of yours under the comments on:



  1. I love your mini-memoirs, Frances. Here’s mine: Sister Nan & I learned to swim in neighbor’s pool, but it was more fun playing Suzie and Mike in the muddy stream below the pool trying to catch minnows and being blissfully unaware of the garter snakes.


  2. Carole, sounds like a great time. We had some great times as kids. Thanks for stopping by the site.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: