While encountering crazed loons, widow-making portages, and temperamental automobiles, they also discover more about each other and their long-deceased father. (Left) In recent years, with a desire to instill their love of the area into their own children, they include them in their voyages, and the legacy continues. Their exploits are woven throughout with humor,
emotion, and warmth.
What is the date you began writing this memoir and the date when you completed the memoir? I began writing these stories down as part of a writing workshop in 2009. I finished the book in 2014.
What were your writing habits while writing this memoir- did you drink something as you wrote, listen to music, write in pen and paper, directly on laptop; specific time of day? I am a discipline nut, so am faithful about my writing time. I have developed the concept of “anchor time,” which means I dedicate 2-3 hours every Saturday to writing. Before the pandemic, I usually spent this time at a favorite coffee shop with a large cup of afternoon coffee and a cinnamon roll, or sometimes at the local library, with coffee/seltzer and a granola bar.
My wife has been supportive of this time and realizes how much it means to me. I also write during the week, as I can, but if I don’t get to it I know that at a minimum, I got my anchor time in. It is a large part of my success. (Above Right: Jim with wife Donna in December 0f 2019)
Some of my memoir took place over 40 years ago, but I remember many of the details vividly. People often say, “How do you remember these things? I can’t even remember 5 years ago.” It is my sincere belief that good writers have a gift for noticing details and how they see life. Of course, fact checking is essential to a factual memoir, so I do a fair amount of that.
His daughter Alison was there and it was a sacred moment between all of us present. It chokes me up every time I think about that day. Here’s the excerpt.
I also have five published books of poetry, Thoughts from a Line at the DMV, Genetically Speaking, Reciting from Memory, Written Life, and On a RoadMemoir is my first love and poetry is my mistress. I think poetry helps you become a better writer overall, but that's just me.
Also, none of writing is about the money for me. It is for the love of the craft. One person telling me that my writing impacted them is worth more than a lot of royalties. But don’t get me wrong, the money helps. Ha!
Next to his wife and his two above average children, his seven books, Dirty Shirt, The Portland House, Thoughts from a Line at the DMV, Genetically Speaking, On A Road, Reciting From Memory and Written Life are his biggest pride and joys. He’s working towards a Pulitzer, but at the moment would settle for a few good Amazon Reviews and a little beer money.