Association is everything and everywhere. Ideas are described and expanded upon by comparing them to other things. Metaphor and personification open up the world. As a writer, I see how all things are interconnected in a fluid web of ideas traveling back into the past and outward across the infinite present. As a LifeStory Memoir writer, I am reminded of my clients all the time.
Just the other day, I was driving to pick my son up at ice hockey and listening to my favorite radio station, Jazz WBGO 88.3 out of Newark. I’m a musician and huge music buff. I love both jazz and rock. What I especially love are jazz covers of rock songs, most specifically Beatles songs. Considered by many to be the greatest rock songwriters ever, the Beatles get a lot of respect from jazz musicians.
Suddenly I recognized the melody: a rendition I’d never heard before of the Beatles’ “Your Mother Should Know.” I guessed based on the piano style that it was Brad Mehldau, a player I absolutely love. Turns out I was right.
Let's all get up and dance to a song
That was a hit before your mother was born,
Though she was born a long long time ago,
Your mother should know, your mother should know.
That song made me think immediately of my client Nancy, who spoke in her recent memoir interview with me about the importance of music in her life when she was growing up. She told me:
“High school was all about rock ‘n’ roll: Dick Clark and the Bandstand, doo-wop, the oldies, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, the Beach Boys. During college, I was a go-go girl for a short time in the Boston area at the Peppermint Lounge. I wore boots and danced in a cage. The music was great, and it was fun. And then I casually mentioned it to my father and he told me that if I still wanted to go to college, I couldn't be a go-go girl anymore. Anyway, that was my fun two weeks of fame.”
A concert poster for the Peppermint Lounge, and a go-go-dancer in a cage
My work writing people’s memoirs is deeply meaningful to my clients, their families, and me. I learn history from those who have lived it firsthand, and when I learn how my clients transformed over their lives, and are still transforming, that transforms me as well.
I am coming up on my 50th memoir project! My gratitude for the people who have shared their stories with me and allowed me to capture and document them in books that their families will celebrate forever fills my heart to the brim.
How to Write Your Memoir—My Latest Blog
When people ask me what I do and I tell them that I write memoirs, they usually respond: “You must hear some great stories,” to which I answer, “Absolutely!” And then they often follow with, “So, how does one write a memoir?”
There is no simple answer to how to write your memoir because each memoir tells the unique stories of a unique person. Each memoir, therefore, is a unique piece of art. However, as a business owner who’s written nearly fifty memoirs to date—including a couple anthologies, each telling the stories of many people—I have my own approach. In my recent blog, “How to Write Your Memoir,” I give some pointers and approaches you can use to begin telling your family stories to add to the collective memory box.
The stories of your life or a loved one’s are legacies that belong in a cherished memoir. For more information visit LifeStoryMemoir.com. If you would like to see these results for yourself or a loved one, fill out this contact form, or reach out to me directly at Richard@LifeStoryMemoir.com or 973-903-1487.
Richard Squires, MFA, MA
Author & Publisher