How to Write a Memoir without Ticking off the Family

The answer to this question is simple. I have no clue.

June, my parents, my two sisters and my brother are the only characters in A Bittersweet Goodnight with real names. All the rest have been changed. June and my parents are dead so I sent the manuscript to my siblings long before it was ever published to get their opinions on it.

Their reactions varied from interested in what I had to say all the way to denial. I calmly explained that this was my story, from my point of view. I completely understood that their point of view is totally different from mine. It doesn’t make either one right or wrong. I simply felt a reason to send my version out into the world in the form of a memoir.

No one told me not to publish it, or that they had issues with it. So I did and I’m glad I did. It’s like a weight lifted off my chest. But I’ve been smelling cigarette smoke an awful lot lately. June had a love of cigarettes so I feel she’s around whenever I smell whiffs of smoke in my smoke free home. I can’t be sure if she’s happy or mad I told our story. But since she’s the one who set the wheels in motion for A Bittersweet Goodnight, I think June’s message to me is the same it has always been, all is well.


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