Posted by: penpatience | July 1, 2016



WRITERS WORDS:  “The one talent that is indispensable to a writer is persistence.” – Tom Clancy





One of my most read Musings was, “M is for Mini-Memoirs,” posted October 2014. Since that time I’ve continued to study the craft of memoir writing and learned why reducing memories to pen and paper is important for past, present, and future generations. Many readers thrive on reading traumas, tribulations and triumphs experienced by friends, family members, celebrities and individuals that have overcome life’s horrific obstacles or experienced unexpected joys and achievements.

Recently, after reading a truly great memoir (listed below), I came to two realizations about memoir writing. After a few generations have passed, memories of these generations, unless written down, are lost, sometimes forever. Also, writing a memoir, never an easy task, could be time consuming. Many memoirs may take months or even years to write. I caught myself musing, the longer the life, the longer the memoir.

However, a memoir doesn’t have to be written from cradle to grave, a writer could choose a specific period or segment of importance within their life. I again recalled my Mini-Memoir post, and the possibility of writing short memoir snippets- Blog Size (500 words-or less) that could be accomplished, accumulated and retained toward the writing of a future memoir:

Blog-Size Memoir Snippet #1:

“I shut myself inside the cramped hospital phone booth and called my mother, tears streaming down my face the afternoon doctors advised me my son had rheumatic fever and a damaged aortic valve. He was only ten years old, school was out for summer break and together we spent most of it in a hospital room. He rested in a hospital bed and I sat alongside him in the usual and uncomfortable hospital chair. Our lives took on a new and unplanned path that day changing our lives forever.” (a beginning paragraph–less than 500 words)

Blog-Size Memory Snippet #2:

“I heard recently my high school Alma Mater will become a large apartment complex sometime in late 2017. It seems like only yesterday my older sister held my hand while we walked the four blocks from home to school on my first day of Kindergarten. All the children in our small town  of upstate New York walked to school from the first grade through high school graduation. When I think of all that walking back and forth regardless of prickly hot days, heavy rains, and cold snowy mornings with snow banks sometimes two feet deep, I realized how lucky we were to grow up in the fifties – a gentler and safer Era. I still remember my mother’s warning never to take candy from strangers. If I wanted candy, she would give it to me at home. I believe this was the method she used, like many other mothers, to protect their kids from dangerous pedophiles. I was not allowed to play on the way to school– I had to arrive before the first bell. I was allowed to dally on the way home and when I think about that particular leniency, it probably was because it gave my mother a slightly longer respite from the homecoming of five school-age children. We walked and rode bikes everywhere. We walked to Friday night dances with local friends, and the Senior Prom was held in the themed and decorated high school gym. No, we didn’t walk to that dance. My steady boyfriend at the time borrowed his Dad’s car. However, it wasn’t many years after my sisters and I graduated, the school merged with another in the district and kids from outlying districts took the bus to the new consolidated school.” (a memory less than 500 words)

About that Memoir: “The Autumn Balloon, by Kenny Porpora.

 “Porpora’s coming-of-age memoir is a brilliant debut.” –USA Today

I believe every memoir writer should read Kenny Porpora’s Memoir. Through a tumultuous, chaotic, and impoverished upbringing and living between two warring dysfunctional, but individually loving parents, “Kenny” wrote. Writing was both salvation and the catalyst that gave Kenny a different choice in life. What I liked most about this memoir was Kenny’s best friend– his dog, Wozels. If you are a writer who would like to write a memoir someday, reading this book could be very helpful.

Find more information on Memoir Writing:,,

Happy Reading and Writing!



  1. Loved it !!


  2. Very good. Maybe I’ll write a mini memoir someday.


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