Author Topic: MIL's Memoir  (Read 5588 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6859
MIL's Memoir
« on: May 21, 2013, 10:59:06 AM »
When we last visited MIL she was sad that, in their TY notes, no one in the family had thanked her for the memoir of her early life she had included with holiday gifts.

A memoir?  We never saw it.  We would certainly have thanked her if we received something as personal as that. 

It turned out that she had given a print-out to a visiting Grand Daughter in Law to pass along to the rest of the family.  Unfortunately, the GDIL in question is a bit of a ditz and never got around to having copies of the memoir made and sent to other family members. 

When we were last there, MIL still had the whole thing in her computer so we helped her print it out and took a copy home. It's very interesting because it covers her memories from early childhood until the time she came to the USA in 1937. 

We've talked to others in the family and no one else seems to  have a copy.  That gave us an idea.

Would it be a good idea to retype and format MIL's memoir into a nice, little booklet for distribution at the family gathering? We think so.  The thing is only 24 pages and we only need to get about a half dozen copies.  That's something a local copy shop could easily do for little money in a short time. Seeing her memoir distributed would be a lovely surprise for MIL.   

The problem is that there are things off with the text.   In places, the same incidents are repeated.
  There are also errors in grammar and spelling. This is only to be expected by a woman in her 90s writing about her childhood.

  It also reflects the way MIL speaks and writes.  We want to preserve MILs authentic voice but we don't want to make her a laughing stock to future generations. 

Does anyone here have any ideas about how we can edit MIL's memoir in a judicious and respectful manner? 

artk2002

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13001
    • The Delian's Commonwealth
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 11:01:18 AM »
I don't have any advice, but I'll be looking on with interest. I have my dad's memoir that I still need to edit and distribute to the family.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 14044
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 11:07:07 AM »
I would leave the authentic voice aspect alone.  But I would correct typos and obvious misspellings.  A word spelled the way MIL would say it, I'd leave alone.  (For example, if she always said 'sammich' rather than 'sandwich', I'd leave it.)  If the grammar isn't part of the authentic voice aspect, I'd correct it.  But if it was, I'd leave it alone.

My Mom was a homecare nurse.  A patient of hers gave her a serious of books the patient had written about her life.  They were bound but self published.  They were fascinating to read, despite the minor spelling and grammatical differences with modern speech.  So I think it is a great idea to have this done.  Make up a few extra booklets, just in case.  You never know who might be interested.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6587
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 11:14:02 AM »
I'd leave as much of the original as possible but correct typos.

Add an intro to set the background on when the stories were written, something like this.

"This original text was written by MIL in 2013 when she was X age. These stories reflect her experiences and memories from her early childhood through immigration to the US. We hope you and future generations will enjoy reading these stories which reflect much of MIL's engaging personality and unique perspective."

Mamaduck43

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 11:15:01 AM »
What a treasure to have and to share with the family...  Years ago, I gave my mother and MIL a hardcover book to fill in with memories,  photos and recollections of their lives...  My mother spent long hours and much effort on filling the pages, and even had to staple extra pages into sections that needed expanding...  It is written in a rainbow of inks and some pencil and gets repetitive in spots - - it is written in her voice and it is the one thing that I would grab if the storm sirens go off!!!!  On the first page is printed a caveat - - "This book is made up of my memories, and my thoughts...  I did not take the time to edit them and any errors or mistakes are totally mine, but they are MINE....  I write this with love and hope that it will be a vehicle for answering the questions about why and how I do things...  I hope that you and future generations will enjoy this rememberance and will do the same for the generations to come...."

Sadly, when we went through my MIL's home after she passed, we found an untouched volume, tucked away with other gifts that we had selected for her with much thought and love - - that she never used at all.....

My thoughts are to add a preface similar to the above and leave her words as she wrote them - - that is part of her that is irreplaceable....  Take care.....

padua

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 525
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 11:34:38 AM »
i did this for my father a few years ago and left the text alone as that was how he told his story. he loved it. i also included a caveat on the back that he was currently living volume II and the next addition will be out in a few years. i love these self-publishing websites.

ladyknight1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7800
  • Operating the logic hammer since 1987.
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2013, 11:34:48 AM »
That is such a very nice thing to have of someone. I am glad you found it, Thipu, and I am glad you are going to pass it on. I would love to have journals from a family member, but I have not yet found them.

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6144
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2013, 11:39:46 AM »
Oh, for crying out loud, I have something in my eye.   :'(How wonderful!  I agree - correct obvious mistakes but leave it as intact as possible and I love the introductions suggested by other posters.

Thipu1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6859
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2013, 11:57:57 AM »
Thanks,, everyone.

You've given us plenty of good ideas. 

I'd like to share with you all MIL's memory of a photograph taken of her shortly before her High School graduation and her journey to the USA. 

'On that rock at the Western Mountain I was experiencing a magic moment of my own.  The world was all my own.  I was thinking of the Universe; looking at the sky; breathing the clean air; feeling the wind blowing my hair;and dreaming of what my future could be'.   

ladyknight1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7800
  • Operating the logic hammer since 1987.
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2013, 12:14:41 PM »
I also have something in my eye. What a way with words!

Calistoga

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 401
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2013, 12:23:13 PM »
Add a little note at the beginning saying that the words are exactly as she wrote them because you felt it was important to capture her spirit. I might touch up misspellings or obvious typos(To avoid confusion), but leave grammar and colloquialisms be.

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17800
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 01:06:50 PM »
lovely idea! and if you can stick a few photos in here and there, so much the better.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

BeagleMommy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3205
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2013, 01:13:23 PM »
I think that eye thing is contagious.  How lovely.  I agree with correcting obvious spelling/grammatical errors (i.e. there vs. their), but leave everything in her voice.

lady_disdain

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5917
    • Contemporary Jewelry
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2013, 01:16:33 PM »
I would correct the typos, at the most. I would certainly leave the repetitions - it is her story, as she told it. If she repeated things, then it shows how important that event was. If future generations will laugh at that, then shame on them.

NutellaNut

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 426
Re: MIL's Memoir
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2013, 01:17:03 PM »
I did this with a collection of poems, songs, and stories that my grandmother wrote, and I corrected typos and certain grammatical errors, but left most of it as she had written, even if as an editor I thought it needed work.  I wanted it to represent my Nana's truest self.

But I had somewhat different considerations because we only found them when she passed away.  Everyone loved seeing it at her memorial.

Needless to say, I wish with all my heart that I'd been able to make that booklet for my Nana when she was still alive to see it and to hear how much her friends and family loved what she had written.  Please go ahead and do this for your MIL.