By DONNA LEE ANDERSON
Kitsap Weekly columnist
I went to the first author event presentation Sept. 8 at Kitsap Publishing, 1450 NW Finn Hill Road, Poulsbo.
Marnie Holt Swenson presented and read from her book, “Migratory Moment.” It’s a book of poems and she says it is written from the perspective of a very young child — before they can really understand anything.
Marnie is also a painter, sculptor, writer of novels and at one time was an actress. I found her totally delightful as she talked about her adventure at a sculpture exhibit and about finding models for her paintings.
As Marnie presents her book around the area, make time to see her, even if poetry isn’t your thing. She’s very entertaining and her slide show of her paintings and sculptures is not only beautiful and interesting, her stories about them are presented in real showmanship style.
For information on future Kitsap Publishing author presentations, book launches and other events, go to www.KitsapPublishing.com.
On another note: Have you ever thought about writing your memoirs? If you haven’t you should. Who else can tell your children and grandchildren what it was like to be you?
When I say “memoirs,” I don’t mean the history of your family, although that could be interesting and maybe even fun to do. I mean putting down on paper those stories that your Mom or Dad used to tell about their growing-up years, or stories about your own adventures and misadventures as a kid. Your memories.
Now, this doesn’t have to be daunting. Just get a three-ring binder to keep these stories in, or a couple of spiral notebooks if you don’t type or use a computer. In the three-ring binder, put some dividers — the kind of paper dividers with a tab on the side that you can label. Then start writing.
If you choose to use spiral notebooks, maybe use one for family stories and another for the first 10 or so years of your life, like where you were born and any stories connected with that — the race for the hospital or birthing place (maybe you were born at home). In this book, you could include stories about your earliest memory, or maybe the first house you remember living in, or about learning things for the first time.
Then, the next notebook
could contain stories about your school days, maybe even up to college.
The dividers in your three-ring binder could be used in the same way to separate the stories.
If you’ve read this far, some stories may be starting to pop into your head. But if not, here are a few suggestions to get you started:
n Write about your first day of school. Where was it, how did you get there, what was the name of your teacher and what did she or he look like? Did you want to go to school or were you scared? Well, you answer those questions. Include what you wore that first day.
n Write about interactions with your siblings. If you are the oldest, tell about the arrival of each one and how you felt. If you are a middle kid, tell about how you and the others interacted. If you are the youngest, write about how good or bad you thought it was to be ordered around by the older kids.
n Write about the sports you played. Did you play at school on a team, or did you play back-yard baseball or football? Did you roller skate or ice skate? Were you more content sitting in the big chair in the family room or under a shady tree on a summer day and reading? Talk about the books and stories you favored then.
Telling your story, and I mean your very own memories, is something that can be amusing, depending on your situation, but I’ll bet your family would appreciate knowing from your point of view how it was living your life.
Why not give it a try?
ATTENTION READERS: There are many web sites that advertise books, but this website makes it possible for readers to get extra information about new books.
It is called “Shelf Awareness.”
Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island and Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo and Bremerton periodically forward a list of books from this site to readers that sign up at their stores. This list also comes with a short synopsis of each book. You can also go to the Shelf Awareness site at www.shelf-awareness.com and, if you are an author, you can advertise your book there. Take a look.
— Donna Lee Anderson writes Bookends for Kitsap Weekly, circulation 65,000. She teaches writing and is the author of two adult fiction novels and one reference book for writers. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.