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Making Memoirs EVERYBODY HAS A STORY TO TELL

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uess what. I’m going back to teaching! Well, not full time. And not little kids. Actually, just one day a week. For an hour. But it’s going to be amazing! Starting Sept. 5, I will be teaching a memoir-writing class every Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Mission Oaks Recreation & Park District’s Community Center in Gibbons Park. Anyone can take it, but it is geared toward the vibrant community of seniors who make the community center a hotter ticket than Bruno Mars at Golden 1 Center. (You should see the ballroom on Tuesday and Friday afternoons! Live band, ladies and gents decked out in their finest spinning around the dance floor, friendships and love connections new and old firing up to the sounds of “Mack the Knife.” It’s awesome.) When Terri from MORPD called me to see if I would be interested in teaching a writing class, I immediately saw it as a fantastic opportunity. I would get to combine two of my favorite jobs, teaching and writing, with some of my favorite things to do: talking and collecting stories! (I’m really going to have to kick back a finder’s fee to my friend, Michelle, who also works for MORPD and keeps steering me toward pivotal jobs in my writing career. Maybe I’ll just make her my agent. Call Michelle if you want to book me for speaking engagements!)

KW By Kelli Wheeler Momservations

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IA AUG n 17

I feel like I’m a good steward to show people how to get their oral histories in print. Besides more than a dozen years of published award-winning writing, I’ve actually written two manuscripts in the past 10 years: a fictionalized memoir and a spiritual memoir. Once both my kids are in college the year after next, I’ll focus on getting “Shallow End of the Gene Pool” and “An Angel for Heaven” published. But until then, why not teach people how to tell their own stories? I understand that not everyone thinks it’s as much fun as I do to write 200-plus pages of your life events, but everyone has a story to tell. (Can you imagine all the fascinating stories a room full of people spanning 60, 70, even 80 and 90 years of history have to share? It’s

a treasure trove waiting to be opened! And I’ve been given the key!) I’m hoping the people who sign up for my class will learn not to be intimidated by a blank piece of paper or screen. Instead of wondering where to start, we will be eager to begin. We’re going to go on a journey retelling old favorites, chronicling life-defining moments, unearthing lost memories and discovering new perspectives through fun exercises, short essays, longhand journaling and desktop typing. Whether you come to one (free trial) class or stick with it for a whole year, I guarantee you’ll walk away with something to be excited and proud to have created. (A gift, really, for yourself or your family. What I would give to have Uncle Billy’s entertaining chronicles still available, hearing his voice come

alive again in some sort of transcript, at any time able to visit with him through the tales of his fascinating life!) Whether a bucket-list item, a new interest, a passing fancy or just looking for an interesting way to pass an hour of your day each Tuesday this fall, I would love to share my knowledge and experience with you or someone you desperately wish would capture their amazing life on paper. No writing experience needed. Just visit morpd.com to register for Memoir Writing—only $20 a month! (Come for my fabulous class; stay because I’ll bring snacks and goodies!) Kelli Wheeler is an author, family columnist and freelance writer. For weekly Momservations or to contact her, go to momservations.com. n

Inside arden aug 2017  
Inside arden aug 2017