Memoir Catch Up or How’s it Going?

Memoir Catch Up or How’s it Going?

Dear Friends,



This is the time for talking about my memoir. Once a month I will catch you up on how it is going. I will try and do that the first Tuesday of the month. While each Friday I write a review of a picture book and hook it up to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog of ‘Perfect Picture Book Friday.’ However last year I wrote more posts on memoir and did it randomly. If you are interested in reading those entries just go to the tag of memoir and magically you will be transported there.

Another one of my features which I will be doing on Tuesdays is the popular “Clarbojahn Presents!” where I introduce an author and their publishing journey. I have kidlit authors lined up as well as mystery writers. It should be a fun time. Now to tell you about my memoir.

My house holds secrets. It is a silent witness to what went on twenty years ago. The kitchen and living room silent walls of memory. My memoir is waking them up. I find myself reliving what went on back then in horror. When a memory springs forth I ask, “Did that really happen?”, “did that really go down that way?” How could I have been so callous and unloving?” “How could I have done that?”

In horror I relive the events. The situation of my life back then was formed in sorrow, 

shame and guilt. It was formed in stress and unrelenting work. I did not have any luxuries. And neither did my kids. I gave them a more difficult childhood than needed. The four years after my late husband’s death was made much harder by the fact that I was trying to cut down on a medication given to me ten years previously and at that time I had been told never to stop it.

The year after my late husband died I wanted to test that order. I thought that after ten years I may not need the medication I was told to never stop. I wanted to see life how it really was. I felt the medicine gave me rose colored glasses or some other way to see the world that was not the real world. “What is the REAL world?” “What is reality?” Is it some gray dark place or is it some ordinary pink place?”

Who has the right to determine what and how we see it? IS it is up the individual who sees it? It is true that the world is how we see it. Not what it is. The cave and its’ shadows. So difficult to see what is really outside of it? What is really in the sun? Not the cave. Not the dark wall. Who knows what I am talking about? Is it Plato’s discovery or view? What happened when ten people, trapped inside a cave for a long time see the back of the cave and then are freed afraid to look outside because they did not know what was real? Some thought the dark of the cave was real rather than the sun outside. They could not see the difference of their shadows made by the sun or the shadows of the cave.

What a difference the serotonin in our brain makes. Brain chemicals really do make a difference. And giving outside chemicals really does help. They help make the world less dark, less gray. Love is more abundant in a pink world. A world where the sun shines. Where one is not afraid to see the difference of the sun and the shadows the sun makes rather than the shadows the cave makes. I needed to turn around and see outside. What is the real world? The cave or outside of the cave?

Have any of you experienced this? Have any of you seen the world through a haze of gray rather than rose colored glasses? Or glasses of clear glass where one can see clearly? Where one’s love for her children’s was tarnished because of tough living conditions or where one  can love one’s children instead of just just surviving? Please share in the comments.

When all one’s energy goes to survival rather than to viewing other’s needs than the world is even darker and even grayer than necessary.

My memoir of battling my bipolar in the years after my husband died while cutting back on a medicine meant to help my brain chemistry, called; “Spiraling, My Battle With Bipolar Disorder” is in its second draft. Or should I say I am still struggling with the first draft since I am cutting back on extra documents I wrote for each chapter. I have about seven extra documents for each finished chapter. My classmates and I joke about bloated books. It is hard cutting back info, dialog, setting, narrative and memories from a draft so it is actually available for someone to look at.

But that is what I am starting to do. Making do with less.

Till Friday then. Where a  more fun post awaits. A Perfect Picture Book Friday post.




About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
This entry was posted in Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, life story, memoir, personal growth, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Memoir Catch Up or How’s it Going?

  1. Darlene says:

    You are very brave to write this memoir Clara. You will feel so good when it is completed. Cutting out stuff is hard to do but it will read so much better. I am helping a friend write her memoir of abduction and abuse as a child. Painful but necessary. One has to write it all down and then cut and revise. It is the only way. All the best with this. I look forward to the updates.


    • clarbojahn says:

      HI Darlene!

      I agree wtih your statement of the part of revision of cutting down stuff. Right now I am asking myself ” Is this really necessary to my theme” in all the extra documents I have. Being more objective is also helpful. I am looking hard for people who will help me with feedback in this second draft. Do you know anyone?

      I am so proud of you for helping your friend with her memoir of abuse and abduction. she is lucky to have you.

      I feel lucky to have you as a blog follower who comments on my posts. thanks so much for following me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Robyn Campbell says:

    Oh Clar, my heart hurts for you. But there is one thing I know. Writing helps these things. When my brother died, they encouraged us (his sons and me) to write about it. We all have things in life we wish we would have done differently. But we can do things different in the future. That is what counts. I am thinking of you. We never did have that phone call. I’m ALWAYS available. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      Dear sweet friend,

      I have your phone number in my calander book and think of calling you sometimes. Where are you located in USA? I Don’t want to make the mistake of calling at a wrong time! 🙂

      Maybe writing about it helped the first time but now after reliving it so many times it is just not helpful anymore. I want to move on the future and I want to move on with my life now.. I guess this is helpful so I can be more objective in revision and rewriting it. Something I need to be able to do in cutting down irrelevant stuff.

      Hey, Robyn. Wanna phone call now? What time is it where you live? 🙂


  3. What a raw and honest memoir that will no doubt be something that will help many others. I think we each find our own way of dealing with the past. I would listen to your intuition or inner voice. And find a good editor to work with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      Thank you, Patricia for your comment and advice. And your encouragement. I do hope it will help others. It is my sole purpose for writing it. Right now I am tired of reliving the past and just want to move on to the present and move on.

      I fear this is not possible until I Finish this memoir in all it’s versions. I am looking for people to give me feedback and help me move on and finish draft two.

      I Value your comments here on my blog and on my memoir posts. Thanks so much. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You are very brave for sharing your story, Clar. You will help others by doing this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks so much for saying so because that is my hope, to help others. In my past, I have always been happiest when I helped others. I guess that is why I became a nurse.

      Thanks for your kind words as well. 🙂


  5. I agree. You are brave to write and share this story. Good luck as you continue this journey.


  6. jannatwrites says:

    This is a painful thing to write about. Good for you for persevering through the process 🙂


  7. Good luck. It seems like you are doing a marvelous job so far! 😀


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