Memoir is intended to be the view the narrator, myself looking back, has about events in life. I had argued vehemently that I needed to have my story told as part of the memoir; my mentors insisted that I not do so. I was pretty upset to have been given one set of advice then had it revoked with my own advice restated in their terms. It didn't matter much, I graduated and everyone agreed I wrote my thesis. The final product though has required quiet contemplation, rewrite of the story about me I wanted included (so it was just as well to step out of the way for awhile), and extensive cutting, the old cut a third, then cut once again. My husband helped provide the final proof check edit so it's pretty much in positively improved shape now.
One of the biggest sources of rewrites came down to finding places where I spent too much time telling the story and rewriting them to show the story. A secondary source of improvement was melding the story jumps from time to time and place to place as seamlessly as possible. I also made the table of contents much more complicated then simplified it.
So now I have been attending conferences while seeking publication of my work, this year I went to four:
- Association of Writing Programs in Los Angeles, CA for the first time
- Palm Beach Poetry Festival, in Delray Beach, FL for the first time
- Pacific Northwest Writer's Conference, in Seattle, WA maybe my fifth time or more
- Williamette Writer's Conference, in Portland, OR I think for the third time
What I look for at a conference is:
- to connect with others and reconnect with people, especially my family
- new information that can help my writing career
- chances to learn about writing I might like and buy books
- chances to meet agents and editors.
I feel like a turtle, just slowly coming out of my shell.