Memoir Writing, Undressing My Soul

Unfinished Portrait of me by my mother Sheila Buchanan Buell

It’s been another extended week of editing. Going out pulling invasive weeds here in Australia, then locking myself up with my computer, with comments from my Beta Reader and my editor. Based on their feedback I pull out and plant more words into my memoir.

Sometimes I wonder, why am I exposing myself like this? Am I an exhibitionist? My mother painted beautiful nudes. I always wanted to be an artist’s model. That would be an impossible task for me. I’d never sit still. Mother did one portrait of me, and never finished it because I couldn’t sit still.

Instead of posing I undress my soul writing this memoir. It isn’t about my work, nor my travels from place to place, although they are mentioned. It is about my search for meaning and relationships. In the memoir I try to show what may have caused me to make serious mistakes, and how I recovered from them. My hope is that others will benefit from my story, as I have benefited from telling it.

I also want to show how lucky I’ve been and how lucky young women today are because they have rights that did not exist when I was a young woman. Yes I could vote, I could go to college, but if I wanted a job, I needed to plan to be a teacher or work for the telephone company. No company other than the telephone company was interested in interviewing female graduates when graduated with honors in 1968.

Women today need to protect their rights, and continue to work towards respect and equality in the world.

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