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Sat, April 20

Transferring your life experiences to paper

Are you an older adult who has been mulling over the idea of writing your memoir? Do you think about it, get overwhelmed, then put your memoir-writing thoughts aside? Perhaps you need the guidance of an experienced coach to get you started down this path. Prescott-area seniors will have the opportunity to participate in an eight-week class entitled "My Life, My Story" starting on Sept. 23.

"Life writing, or memoir, is your perspective on your own life. It is personal recollection and reflection on your life as you knew it," writes Victoria Smith in the syllabus for this class. "What matters is what happened to you. It gives others insight into what it was to live your particular life, in your times - what you saw, felt, and observed about the life you lived."

Maybe you possess boxes of journals, folders filled with hand-written letters, or photo albums from bygone eras. Yet the thought of assimilating this information into a memoir is overwhelming. Or maybe you possess only the pictures in your mind, and you want to transfer these to paper for your children, grandchildren or friends. Either scenario requires taking a first step.

"No human has a full perspective on what happens in life - least of all, the life that we are living," Smith writes. "The real story is in how it happened to us. Stories are about individuals. That is what makes them interesting."

This eight-week course will take place from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Prescott on Fridays beginning Sept. 23, ending with the last class on Nov. 11. There is a $50 fee for the entire class. However, with scholarships available, don't let finances be a barrier to your participation. Class size is limited so that each participant can really have the focus and attention needed to cultivate individual creative writing processes.

Materials will be provided by facilitators Victoria and Greg Smith, who are volunteers for the WYGC prevention program known as "Senior Peer." They are certified integral coaches via New Ventures West, and they bring different backgrounds and interests to the class. Victoria is a retired attorney, while Greg is a retired machinist, long-distance bicyclist and former Marine.

To participate, you must be over age 55, have transportation to attend, and be eager to write your memoir. Those who meet all of these requirements may call Victoria at 420-9705 to register. Space is limited.

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