Thank you for hosting my launch tour today, Robbie. I’m thrilled to be here to share my new book with your friends.
During the launch tour, I want to talk about memoir writing. Here is my topic for today.
How did I write my memoir?
During my fifty-three weeks of the cancer journey, especially the six months of full-time bio chemotherapy, I was so sick that all the days blended in together.
Emails – As soon as I found out about my cancer, I emailed the updates to my family and friends. They emailed back to show me their support. I saved all the emails.
Records – I kept all the medical records in a binder with tabs to organize the doctor’s referrals, doctor’s appointments, visit summaries, insurance authorizations, testing instructions, testing results, lab results, treatment schedules, and discharge summaries.
Journals – Whenever my head was a little clear, I wrote my journal. Sometimes I just wrote on scratch paper. I saved all the writing.
Mails or cards – Family and friends sent me the get-well cards periodically. I kept all the cards and I still have them.
Starting in 2016, I attempted to write my story. I wrote tidbits to post on my blog. They were superficial information from my memory.
I got serious about writing my story in 2020. The first thing I did was copy and paste the emails in chronological order. I read them repeatedly to reacquaint myself with what had happened. I highlighted the details pertinent to my story.
I reread my journal and transcribed the parts relating to my treatment onto the computer.
Life is not linear. There were many parallel events that happened during my cancer journey, especially during the time I was diagnosed. Some of the events played significant roles at this juncture of my life. Some were important, but they would need explanation and become a distraction from my focus. During my editing, I deleted the distractions. There is a difference between an important detail and a rabbit hole. I paid attention not to creating many rabbit holes hidden in the fields.
I took part in the NaNoWriMo Camp in July 2020. After I collected, organized, and selected my data, I wrote my first draft and posted it on NaNoWriMo. Then I submitted my first chapter to my writing group at the beginning of 2021. The group gave me some positive feedback about needing improvement on the presentation of my story.
In the following year, I read books and took classes on memoir writing. I continued to do writing and rewrite, edit, and re-edit the manuscript. I rearranged my chapters and began the memoir with my focus first, then brought in the backstory afterward. At the beginning of 2022, I submitted my first chapter to the writing group again. This time around, the members said my story was compelling and that I was honest in telling my story.
It is the members of this writing group who facilitated my final presentation on The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival.
The book information.
About The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival by Miriam Hurdle
In the summer of 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with melanoma-an aggressive and invasive cancer in her internal organs. The survival rate before 2008 was low. Besides risking harsh treatments for a slim chance of survival, Miriam had hoops to jump through. By the time she received treatment at the beginning of 2009, her cancer had progressed from stage II to stage IV. It was a rough and uphill winding road. But alongside her was support and encouragement. Accompanied by the love of her family and community, this is Miriam’s journey of faith and miracle. It is a heartwarming story of resilience, courage, and the will to live.
In 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with a life threatening and unusual melanoma. There were no signs of this tumour that was stealthily growing in her body and she discovered its presence quite by accident. This turned out to be the first step towards her successful fight against this disease. Finding the cancer early did not help spare her any of the trauma of the intense treatments that followed, but it did give her a bit of time to find the right doctor to treat her and decide on the best treatment plan.
My mother is a cancer survivor so this story was intensely personal for me. As Miriam’s shock at her diagnosis and search for the best way forward unfolded, I recalled my own experiences at my mother’s side as the news and subsequent decisions rocked our family.
Miriam’s descriptions of each step of her journey, from visiting an unsympathetic first doctor to finding the right doctor to administer her treatment, planning time off work for the treatment, planning the financial aspects of the treatment and the time off work, and planning day-to-day aspects like meals, and getting to appointments are all detailed and make this story highly relatable.
Miriam had support for amazing family and friends and this in itself is a testament to her excellent character and kind nature.
Miriam reveals in vivid detail the particulars of her treatments and the effects they had on her body, both mentally and physically and the reader walks in her shoes with her.
An incredibly powerful book about a strong woman’s fight for survival against high odds. I recommend it highly.
Purchase links Amazon
Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her publications include Songs of Heartstrings, and the children’s book, Tina Lost in a Crowd. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.
Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching, and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.
Contact Miriam Hurdle
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW