I just completed the Slice of Life Challenge yesterday, writing daily for the month of March. During that month, I cultivated a habit of writing something every single day. I can’t imagine not writing every day now, so here I am embarking on yet another blogging challenge. This one is the A to Z Challenge, where writers write 26 posts corresponding to the letters in the alphabet during the month of April. The challenge asks writers to choose a theme with which to focus their posts.
Something that’s been ruminating in my head lately is this concept of memoir. Memoir, by definition, is “a historical account or biography written from personal knowledge or special sources,” but to me, a memoir is more than that. A memoir is not simply the historical facts of a person’s life, rather it includes reflection along the way. It calls the writer to examine his or her life, pulling to the surface specific memories that have meaning, making sense of one’s life, particularly through those everyday, ordinary moments.
As a reader of memoir, the ones I tend to enjoy the most aren’t those that are grandiose in nature. Quite the contrary, I prefer memoirs that recount life, as we live it. Honest memoirs, that look at the good and the not-so-good parts of life. Quirky memoirs catch my attention. One such memoir I thoroughly enjoyed was Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by the late Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I picked it up because AKR was one of my favorite children’s book authors, but I didn’t put it down because it was engaging and quirky, and like nothing I’d seen before. It presented her life, in alphabetical order, as encyclopedia entries, some long and some short, but all showing pieces of who she was. As someone who has a lot to say for some letters, and not as much for others, this encyclopedia-esque format seems fitting.
I hope you’ll join me as I attempt to make sense of my life’s memories, documenting the parts that stick out in my mind. With that, let this month-long writing challenge begin.