First of all, thank you for your invitation to submit to your Cyber-bistro. You have quite a laundry list of questions on how I came to write my memoir. It was something I had been thinking about for years as I was getting older and all our children not only moved out of the house but out of state. The farther they moved, the more difficult it was to communicate over the phone all the precious memories of the past, so I thought perhaps I had better start writing them down.
Over the past few years, I found myself journaling more and more as I participated in bible studies and in reading books on history and self-improvement. Many of the reflections seem to be introspective, not only on my own past history, but on how I felt and dealt with issues. Then one day it just came to me that I could summarize it all by journaling a memoir and what better time to do it as my approaching 60th birthday. As for the title, The Four Seasons of My Life, A Memoir of a Woman Pushing 60, that was a no-brainer. It just seemed that in each segment of my life I had become a different person. But just as the seasons give way to the beauty of what each has to offer, my life too brought in cherished abilities and characters that seemed to follow a natural progression of transformation. The text was written, believe it or not, mostly in the waning hours of the night when I would wake up with ideas and quickly get them on the computer before I truly woke up and forgot all that had come into my head from those inspirational dreams. It was not until I had completely written the text that I decided I needed to get the memoir into a more presentable form so that I could share it with our family.
As easily as the seasons were divided I concluded that my life was divided as well. So I structured my memoir to follow the seasons. I decided not only to tell a story about my life, but also include some biblical versus and prayers that were most meaningful to me. The memoir was to be a treasure for my children to have long after I was gone from this earth. I wanted them to not only know the story of my life but also realize what was most important to me, my life being one of faith and service to God. Perhaps the words on the pages may or may not have meaning to them now, but in the years to come when I wasn't around to ask questions to I felt like the memoir could be helpful in dealing with all that life threw at them. Maybe the words would mean more to them then. Maybe they could better relate when they too crossed the same paths.
After the text was written, my first thought was to contact my daughter who was a professional designer. Her reaction was invigorating as she said that of course she would help. Putting into print ideas and text is what she did for a living. So I forwarded the document to her with some cover ideas. But, of course, my ideas were nothing compared to hers. She surprised me with a cover and chapter design that I could have never come up with myself. I am grateful for her expertise. Some things are best left to the professionals. She also had ideas as to what web sites to use as I wanted the memoir to be self edited, self published and for personal use only.
Expecting to have to deal out big bucks to get a proof and copies was trumped by astonishingly reasonable rates, as the web has numerous self publishing sites for the amateur these days. It's amazing what can be done from the convenience of your own home and ordering over the web. Anyone can write, experiment on-line, and have print copies of their own made. All it takes is to get started, experiment with the on-line options, get a little help from your friends (a second set of eyes is always good, along with spell check) and let the juices flow!
Here is the link to Lulu publishing. Click here.