By Dottie Price (Photo by Tim Hanger)

When my husband Madison and I read about the Memoir Writing Class listed in the Osher Class Catalogue, we talked about it and thought it would be interesting to pursue. I liked the idea of writing about past experiences to save for our children and grandchildren; however, I had no idea how to structure them or even where to begin. We decided to sign up for the class and find out what we could.

Nancy Owens, class facilitator, has been writing and continues to write her own personal memoir. She has been extremely helpful to the participants in the class. She provides suggestions or “triggers,” as she calls them, to get class members started. Those persons involved in the memoir writing class encourage and stimulate each other. We read our efforts to the class, which stimulates all of us to keep on task.

An unexpected but very pleasurable experience is the emotion which comes to consciousness as memories are examined. You are the best person to tell stories about your life experiences, achievements and disappointments, both happy and sad.

The Memoir Writing Class is continuing. Four to five classes occur in each of the Spring, Summer and Fall semesters of the Osher year. The class is a participation experience and each class member will begin to create a memoir. The number of class members varies from as few as five to as many as twelve.

As we write, we keep our compositions in a plastic sleeve, within a three ring notebook. Stories may be hand-written or typed as each person chooses. In this way the writer can rearrange or add more to the stories as they are written.

Three of us presented a Memoir Writing Workshop on Friday morning, June 1, at the UR Reunion Weekend. On August 20, we have been asked to present a similar overview to independent-living residents at Covenant Woods retirement community.

Our experience has been exciting, gratifying and fun. The atmosphere is friendly, encouraging, informative and completely nonjudgmental.

Try it—you’ll like it.