A warm welcome and thank you for coming to my blog.
My name is Cally and I have always loved writing and reading.
I was born on a Greek island Lesvos. My Mother and Father and two brothers and myself migrated to Australia in 1952.
My life has been both wonderful and tumultuous.
Currently, I am employed as a drug and alcohol and gambling counsellor. Previously I was employed as Registered Nurse in a variety of nursing areas including: community health, acute surgical and medical, drug and alcohol detox and rehabilitation nursing, program development and as an academic.
My PhD is titled Nurses Drug and Alcohol Use and Dependence: Creating Understanding (University Melbourne.)
I have written two books- The accidental Gambler( fiction) and Calel (Memoir of a Greek Mother (Non fiction.)
I am currently writing a third book titled October Footsteps.
Both my books are available on Amazon Kindle.
You can also find my books on my website callyberryman.com
My blog will focus mainly on memoir and the steps and tips to assist you to write your own memoir or to write the memoir about others.
My plan is to also use guest bloggers who have written brilliant memoirs to give insider advice for you.
The photo below of steps going down to a beach- is a symbol. Writing a memoir involves going deep into memory. It takes time and involves slow steps.
The most important aspect of memoir about you- or about another person- is that it must be truthful.
A memoir is written to expand on knowledge and tell a story of a life.
Your memoir should never written to gain revenge on someone or to harm another.
Why would anyone want to write a Memoir?
Memoir is a means of retelling your story to future generations, your children and grandchildren. To create a living legacy.
Memoir is a means of gaining a deeper understanding of your own life.
Writing can process your positive and negative experiences. To heal.
Like the photo below of footsteps in the sand- our lives often leave little trace of who we are when we are gone. But a memoir maintains your connection to future generations, your life can be meaningful to others who want to understand their own lives better.
Call to action
No time like the present, lets start today.
I want you to select a time frame of say 10 years. A time when life was in chaos or perhaps there was much change in your life. Generally people can remember chaos easier than less significant times.
Perhaps you might write about the years you attended high school. Or University. When you travelled around the world. When you met your future partner, started a family or became divorced.
Try to jot down the main things that happened in your chosen time frame. Not necessarily in order. Some people draw a grid and label the years.
Try to write the details as they come up. The colour dress you wore when you met your partner. What perfume did you chose. Was it raining? Where did you go. Think of the experience as a story that you might tell someone.
In my life, a significant time was when we migrated to Australia from Lesvos. I could write about being the strange migrant child in class who was so timid I was afraid of everything, my teacher and the other students. I could not speak English. How I watched the clock for school to end so I could escape from school.
What were the highlights and low points in your 10 years?
Jot just 300 words at first. Let it flow from you. Memories will come.
If you have them, find photos of that period. Look deeply at the photos during that time- look at the clothes, the expressions on people’s faces. Where was the photo taken?
If you kept a diary, dig it out and look at the notes.
If you have an old address book, check the people you were friendly with during the time.
Like the pelicans in the photo, memories will start to gather as soon as you put pen to paper.
Use a pen at first- it assists memory by using your wrist movements (physical.) Jot it all down. You can type your notes at a later time.
Don’t worry about spelling or grammar for now. Just unlock the memories.
Enjoy the process. It might feel as though your writing is disjointed at first, it will become clearer. Let the small details come freely.
What were your emotions at the time? Write them down.
Play music from that era to help you remember.
Ask someone who shared that part of your life to tell you their experiences. Remember your experience will always be different from theirs. We all see memory and the world through our own personal prism.
Check on old newspapers or magazines of that time to jog your memory.
I often use aromatic oils such as lavender oil in an oil burner. Lavender reminds me of the lavender bush we had as a child. You may remember other smells or perfume. Use smell to unlock memories.
Trust the process. Your life and your memories are special and unique.
If the memories are distressing or frightening, please stop. See a trained counsellor to assist you to work through any issues before you go any further with your memoir.
I look forward to hearing from you.
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Please send me any comments regarding memoir.
Thank you again for your interest in my blog.
I want the blog to be a service to you.
I am interested in hearing about your memoir.
You can find my memoir on the following web address: callyberryman.com
Remember your life has been amazing, unique and beautiful.
Don’t let your precious memories disappear.
Kind regards Cally