Make My Day: Bite Size Memoir

What makes your day?  I have to admit, the first time I read Lisa’s prompt for her bite size memoir challenge, the first image that struck me was of my old friend Clint, or should I say Dirty Harry. But my other friend Geoff took that idea running and made a much better job of it than I.

But aside from looking down the business end of a 44 Magnum and being, how shall we say, coerced into making someone’s day,  it is in the small moments of life that we find the most joy. Those indescribable moments when somebody takes the time to say or do something nice for no other reason than they actually mean it and not because they have an ulterior motive.

Or when our kids call to say hi, just because.  Or when you hold the door open for someone, male, female, young, old, who cares, and they actually take the time to say ‘thank you’.  Or when we remember to send a friend a message to say we’re thinking about them. These things really do make our day and it doesn’t take much.

These past few weeks have been harrowing, not least of all because I have only just managed to go without painkillers these past four days after four weeks of agony thanks to  a tooth extraction which turned into a surgical extraction. I will leave the rest to your imagination.

Towards the end of October, I might have mentioned (oops) that I was going to take some time away from blogging this month. As in the entire month.  Well, as you can see, that hasn’t happened.  Don’t ask me why.  I fear I will end up waffling so I will write more about that later.

I recently attended my first gathering of literary prize winners. It was inspirational listening to a few of the winners reading excerpts from their poetry, short stories and novels and telling of their journeys to publication.  It really fired me up to keep writing and write some more, and some more after that.

Afterwards I chatted to a few of them. It was my first time meeting a group of writers (offline!) but I was one of the few who turned up who either wasn’t a winner or a friend or family member of one (I found out about this event through my local bookstore). When asked by one or two in conversation, ‘Are you a writer?’ it felt wonderful to reply, ‘Well, yes, actually, I am!’  And without making any apology for it.   That really made my day.

Hubby and I took a walk yesterday through the gardens and grounds of the glorious Forde Abbey, a private home open to the public from March to the end of November.  Aspie D came with us.  She took lots of photos, including a few silly ones of us larking about.  Now that really made my day.

Forde Abbey on a dark, November day (c) Sherri Matthews 2014

Forde Abbey on a dark, November day
(c) Sherri Matthews 2014

But my thoughts hide in the shadows as I grieve for the recent loss of a dear family friend and struggle with the endless problems caused by my dear old dad’s release from prison this week. He is 82, in poor health and at this point, there is nothing else I can add to the story.  But I’m sure things won’t stay quiet for long.

With these thoughts in mind, and always so grateful for the small touches, the priceless gifts of the overwhelming kindness of family and friends, online and off, it is this story, in 150 words, no more, no less, that I tell today:

Make My Day

The first article I ever submitted to a magazine was about my relationship with my alcoholic father and the peace I had eventually found in our relationship.

Following Prima’s instructions for submission, I posted my manuscript and waited. And waited. Weeks went by and nothing.

That’s it, I thought. I’m not up to the mark, they didn’t like my story. But something niggled away at me. I decided to go for broke and followed up by email. Again, I waited.

Two weeks later I took a call from the editor of Prima; she wanted to publish my story. I was ecstatic. But Dad was busy robbing a bank at the time (I later discovered) and I needed his agreement.

At last, from prison, Dad told me how proud he was of my writing and gave me the one thing I ever asked of him – his blessing to write his story.

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
This entry was posted in Bite Size Memoir, Blogging, My Dad's Alcoholic Prison, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

99 Responses to Make My Day: Bite Size Memoir

  1. Denise says:

    I don’t think there are many people who could pack quite as much into a memoir as you have there. I look forward to reading the whole thing 🙂 Sorry to hear about the teeth, that is a real pain.

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    • Sherri says:

      I suppose because I’m so used to the way my Dad has lived his life and having come to accept it, even though it still brings a lot or stress and worry, I was grateful to him that he gave me his blessing to write about him. I struggled with this whole not wanting to air the family’s dirty laundry thing because I didn’t want it to be that kind of story. That my dad understands this does mean a lot to me. Ahh…thanks Denise, yes, I didn’t really intend to write about it, but it’s such a relief to be feeling better, it was my worse dentist nightmare 👿

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  2. OW my lovely Sherri! Just the thought of it makes me clench my jaw. I hope you’re not in any pain any more. It sounds like life is quite stressful now for you with your dad coming home, although it must have been brilliant to meet with a whole gaggle of scribblers. I’ve met authors individually, but it would be the happiest thing in the world to be in the midst of a pile of them. I hope you have a wonderful week with no aches, and pains, and strains. HUGS! XXXX

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks lovely Jo 😉 OW is right!!! I wouldn’t have even mentioned except for the fact that I can now dare believe I’m getting better. I’ve had pain but this pain was awful. At one point I was alternating strong pain killers every 2 hours and even then it barely touched it. There was even talk of going to the oral surgeon…I’m having none of that. Some of the root tip was left behind which was the problem. It was a wierd tooth that should have been removed years ago. The good thing is I don’t have a gap 😮 Yes, it was the first time I’ve ever sat amongst a whole group of scribblers, it felt like another world! You would have loved it 🙂 You are a star, and I hope this week is better in every respect too, except that my laptop is playing up so I might disappear yet…but trying to pre-empt it. Never a dully moment eh? Love & Hugs to you too xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 🙂

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  3. Oh, my, what a tough background you have. I know about the alcohol thing in a close family member and how difficult it is, but can’t say that any of my relatives have robbed a bank. I love your straight-out-with-it honesty. Amazing about the book and so glad that your dad gave his permission.
    Teeth. Ouch. They’re great when they’re working but hellish otherwise. I’ve experienced two abscesses and that was enough. Poor you.

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    • Sherri says:

      Ouch…abscesses are awful, so I hear, but never had one. Now that I’ve had this recent episode of pain thanks to an extraction which required the dentist cutting into bone to get fragments of root that had broken off, I can now well imagine. Hellish is right. Ahh…thanks Sarah. I have shared here about my dad on and off. For so long I hoped and believed he would give up the drink but came to a place of acceptance that he wouldn’t some time ago. He robs banks (or rather attempts to) to get back inside. Prison is the only home he knows now but at least there he is looked after. Sad but true.

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  4. TanGental says:

    Your middle name should be Segue because of the way you weave from one thought or anecdote to the next without anyone seeing the joins. You know, had they invented the roller-coaster but with deep comfortable armchairs for the passengers rather than those terrifying restraints they put you in and called it roller-sofas, that would be your style of writing. You take us on a roller-sofa through your life and we sink back, peering through our fingers and yet feel safe. Great post and I’m touched for the shout out for my little ho-hum humdrum piece. I’ve read yours carefully, absorbed the lesson of pithy continuity and will try harder! Oh and teeth are the ultimate buggeration, aren’t they? May your smiles only be happy ones and not rictus grimaces.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Well I rather like that Geoff, especially as I don’t have a middle name 😉 Seriously though, how do you come up with such amazing analogies? I love that – ‘roller-sofas’ – particularly as I am deathly afraid of roller coasters! I’m very humbled by your critique of my writing style, wow. See. You share your lyrical, almost poetic words and all I can say is wow. But you do honour me with such wonderful and helpful feedback Geoff, for that I incredibly grateful. And as for the tooth problem, yes, a buggeration indeed (such a deliciously colourful word that) . Thankfully there is no gap so hopefully I can indeed smile as grimace-free as possible now that the pain is at last subsiding… long may it rein 😉

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      • TanGental says:

        Splendid. If my old man read my purple prose (for that is all it is) he’d say, ‘Boy that’s all well and good but remember no one really likes a smsrt arse’ Keeps you grounded remembering that. Anyway I always find a compliment is the perfect analgesic.

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      • Sherri says:

        Haha…that’s a great line, love your dad 🙂 Purple prose though? Naaaa…..definitely not. I love your style of writing and I can’t wait to read your book. You are right Geoff, and thank you, a compliment certainly does the trick 🙂

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  5. It’s our adversity that makes us strong and gives us something to write about, not so Sherri? The father-daughter connection is so important in a girl’s life and what pain it causes when that connection is screwed up, eh? You seemed to have worked it out with the old man. Hope the old tooth problem is well on the mend. All the best. xo

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Jennifer, how lovely to see you again. Oh yes, you are so right, what pain and what writing fodder, even though that is the last thing we think of at the time. I came to peace about my dad a long time ago once I accepted that he was never going to stop drinking. Now I have a great deal of compassion for him in his twilight years. Many thanks for your kind wishes, things seem to be settling down at long last. I hope things are going well with you 🙂 xo

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  6. cardamone5 says:

    Lovely Sherri. I take it this is a true story, given your lead in. I am sorry for your recent emotional and physical pain. I hope you heal soon.

    Love,
    E

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  7. Amy says:

    Hope you will feel better soon, Sherri.

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  8. You nailed the memoir challenge, Sherri. My heart goes out to you as you grieve the loss of your dear friend. I’m happy to hear Aspie D brought some smiles with her silly photos. Take care of yourself. xo

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    • Sherri says:

      It was good to have a silly day like that Jill…laughter is indeed the best medicine, even when some tooth pain lingers (but much better at last!) 😉 Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and you take care of you too xoxo

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  9. Your tooth story makes my crown experience positively diminutive. I hope the pain is all gone now. What a lot you have on your plate at the moment. My sincere condolences on the loss of your dear friend, and I can imagine how mixed your feelings must be about your dad’s release. I’m happy that you had such a lovely day out that beautiful abbey, and that Aspie had fun too with her photography. Yes, you are a writer, and a really good one too. 🙂 xx

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, so kind of you, thank you so much Sylvia but I’m sorry you’ve had tooth issues too. I haven’t have had any problems since I was in my early teens (braces and all that) so this was a shock to say the least 😮 I only shared about it because I’m so glad I’m getting better at last 🙂 That is so kind of you. It never fails does it to prove that laughter is indeed the best medicine 😀 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • I chipped a tooth when I bit into some 5 grain toast, whilst up in NJ. It turned out to be a very expensive breakfast. 😦

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      • Sherri says:

        Oh no! That’s horrible, so sorry to hear that Sylvia. I have to be careful what I eat and on the side I’m not used to as the two teeth either side of the extraction site are so sensitive still (but getting better) and I am trying to avoid bread like that at the moment. Our teeth are great – until they go wrong 😦 Hope you are all fixed up now 🙂

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  10. Allison says:

    Dear, dear Sherri,

    I am so sorry to hear of your pain, loss, and struggle. And at the same time, your spirit is glowing and you manage to write perfectly about what grounding joy the ‘little things’ are. You are amazing and I am amazed. 🙂

    You have definitely inspired me to seek out other writers offline, too. Always new ways to connect and explore. And bravo for saying you are a writer without apologizing! You are 100% a writer through and through. And a brilliant, warm and clever one at that!! 🙂

    I’m sending you big, big hugs and kisses and holding you in my heart, friend.

    Peace, love and light, always,

    Allison xxxooooxoxoxo

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    • Sherri says:

      What an absolutely beautiful message, thank you so much dear Allison. You have touched me greatly, I am deeply humbled by it. To inspire one another, what a great thing that is. May I send you the very same peace, love and light. As your words always bring to me. Bless you my friend 🙂 xxoxoxoxoox

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh Sherri, I am truly sorry to hear about your tooth extraction problems. I have found that tooth pain can be the absolute worst to deal with. I have to agree with you that it’s the little things that make my day. Sometimes just a hello from a stranger makes me smile 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Tooth pain is truly the absolute worst isn’t it? There isn’t anything that helps. I was on really strong painkillers for ages and even then they barely took the edge off. That was scary and really got me down. The only reason I shared about is becasue I’m so relieved that I’m over the worse, thank goodness. Thank you so much for your lovely, kind message Heather 🙂

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  12. bulldog says:

    Gosh the mouth thing sounds painful…

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  13. Rachel M says:

    Forde Abbey looks gorgeous. Sorry to hear about your tooth. I’m terrified of dentists and doctors for that matter. I’m the worst patient ever and not very good at dealing with pain. All the best with the big stuff happening this week. I hope it goes ok.

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    • Sherri says:

      I’ll post some more pics of Forde Abbey Rachel, it is beautiful there, particularly at this time of year with the dark skies and winter garden. I like it like that 🙂 Oh this was my dentist nightmare. I’m with you, I detest going even for my 6 monthly check ups and I haven’t had any problems for decades. So this was a big shock and I never want to go through it again. Thank you for your kind thoughts Rachel, means a lot.

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  14. A painful tooth can take over your life and mind. Hope you’re on the mend. A body can take only so much…
    I agree, you write your mini-memoirs straight from the hip without mincing words. Can’t wait to read the completed version. We will, will we not? No rush. ❤ ❤ ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh Tess, it did take over, it was absolutely horrible. There was no relief so now I’m on the upswing after four weeks I thought it was worth mentioning 😮 I didn’t dare before as I tried to work through it but even the strong painkillers barely touched it 👿 Well, you are very kind Tess, thank you for having such faith in me, I do hope so! I am doing my best (despite saying I was going to take some time off blogging to do so…) to write on. Think those pain killers messed with my head, lol. BTW, I really did love your interview today 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤ ~( * _ * ) ~~

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      • I remember a bad tooth I couldn’t even get to make an appointment for because the receptionist wouldn’t make room for me. After two weeks, it abscessed. I feel your pain.
        Thanks so much about the interview. It was fun and surreal now that I think of it. 😮 😮 😮

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      • Sherri says:

        OUCH 👿 Oh, you poor thing, that’s awful. You know the kind of pain I’m talking about. I hope neither of us ever have to go through that kind of pain again 😦
        Ahh…well, I love following you around the blogosphere Tess…stalker that I am, haha 😀 😛 😉

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  15. Your wonderful post inspired some nostalgic memories of my early writing days. I recall attending one writer’s conference where the speaker said that out of the 100 or so writers in the room, only 10% would earn a living from their craft. His words caused me to become more determined to turn my writing into a career. My guides listened to my heart and things magically unfolded (with lots of writing and hard work on my part as well) and I did go on to earn a good living as a writer for which I am very grateful. Hope things work out with your Dad and you can spend some quality years together. Hugs, Bev.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much for your wonderfully inspiring comment Bev. I find this so encouraging, as I did when talking to the other writers, to keep writing, not give up (and yes, as you say, it is a lot of hard work) and keep my vision of book publication alive, taking steps every single day towards my goals. You share a great success story. Thank you too for your kind word for my dad. In this situation, I have to take one day at a time, it’s been like this for so long. But at least I will be able to see him soon, unless he goes out drinking and disappears below the radar again as is the usual pattern. I try to keep positive. Hugs back 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. jennypellett says:

    Oh Sherri you are having a hard time of it at the moment. I do hope your tooth pain goes away soon – there’s nothing worse.
    Nice you got to have a day out with your daughter though – it helps to get out in the air and do something silly especially if you’re grieving, too – poor you.
    And you are absolutely right – it’s the little things that make your day. I met an old friend for lunch today who presented me with a signed copy of Simon Armitage’s poems. It was a wonderful surprise to have an un-birthday gift. We had a lovely day catching up. I wouldn’t trade my mates for anything!

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…thanks Jenny, I appreciate your kind thoughts. I’ll keep you posted. Yes, it was so good that C came with us. We all had fun despite the grey, wet day but that didn’t matter. I do love a bit of silliness 🙂 Got some nice pics of the autumn colours reflecting in the lakes (except I’m having problems downloading photos onto my laptop as well as with my emails which is a pain to say the least…never a dull moment, eh?). What a lovely gesture and gift from your friend, un-birthday gifts are so often the best kinds aren’t they? Days like that catching up with friends are treasures. They, and laughter, do indeed make the heart sing 🙂

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  17. restlessjo says:

    Those 150 words are a heart warmer, Sherri, as is the image of Aspie mucking about taking photos. Hope your week stays peaceful and pain free. 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Jo, I’m glad for that, and yes, let’s hope so. I only shared about the tooth thing because I am so relieved I’m feeling better 🙂 Now I’ve got ‘pain’ with my emails not working and not being able to upload photos. Modern technology eh? Hope you are getting on well with your new phone, talking of which, coming over now 🙂

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  18. My goodness! You just packed two over sized biographical volumes into that piece! As someone who came from a full blown dysfunctional family driven by alcohol and insanity I know the anguish that is packed behind those few sentences. You have just become my new hero!!

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    • Sherri says:

      I’m deeply moved by your words Pauline, thank you for sharing with me. I don’t know about hero though…certainly never been called that before. Just dealing with the stuff of life and hoping to make some sense of it all 😉

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  19. I agree with Geoff that we are in roller sofas as we read your memoir and you do segue seamlessly from one annecdote to the next without a hitch. That tooth sounds painful and hope you are now more than just surviving without your pain killers. I have always found writer’s conferences to be inspirational and motivating particularly if they have workshops attached. Sherri you have to keep going with that memoir. You have so many people just itching to read it (and I’m one). Your flash is perfect. The ideal for any memoir writer is to have the people, for whom they are effectively doing their biography, have permission to write their story. Legally and ethically. I can understand how it made your day. Lots of love, cyber hugs being sent to you at this difficult time. ❤ ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Isn’t ‘roller-sofa’ great? As I replied to Geoff, I detest roller coasters so this seems like the better option 😉 Ahh, thanks Irene, I am now able to get on with life without the pain killers, long may it rein. Don’t worry, I am writing and although I haven’t disappeared from blogging, I will be blogging less for a time. Hoping that will be the happy medium. Yes, it did make my day when Dad gave me his blessing. I never wanted any of my memoir writing to be about ‘airing the family’s dirty laundry’. I also wanted my mother and kids to be okay with it all. It can be a tricky issue with memoir though, as we both know. As always my friend I thank you so much for your wonderfully encouraging words and the love and hugs. Helps a lot that and I send the very same back to you. Time for a walk to clear away the cobwebs methinks…ready? ❤ 🙂

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  20. Sherri, I am so sorry about your loss. And your pain with your tooth extraction. And your Dad. It seems like everything is heaped on you right now. I am familiar with the desire to be extra kind to people, especially when I am out and about. That possibly something I might do or say might make someone’s day. I know the little things mean a lot to me. Firstly, I hope things get better. And secondly, I think you and I are a lot a like. Thirdly, your writing will definitely get better as a result of all this. Trust me on that one. I know.

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    • Sherri says:

      You are so kind Hollis, thank you very much for your kind wishes and encouragement. I write posts like these as a sort of update since I’ve written about my dad from the start, but I never wanted my blog to be defined by his alcoholism (or my daughter’s struggles with Asperger’s) but I do wear my heart on my sleeve and have never been able to pretend things are okay when they aren’t. All part of life’s rich pattern, except that sometimes things do pile up and I admit, it has seemed that way recently 😮 I like that you think you and I are a lot a like 🙂

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      • Sherri. I forgot to tell you I searched and searched for that “in- the – shower” Nivea lotion and I found it!!!!! I can’t wait to use it. Not the best place to thank you, here, but I wanted to thank you none the less.

        I wear my ❤️on my sleeve too. I have a boatload of problems right now as well. I use the blog as a giddy release. So one might never know. But when I say we are alike, I mean it on a deep level. Thanks for always being so kind. People are not anymore and I want you to know I appreciate it. Hope your situation improves in leaps and bounds. Hollis x

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      • Sherri says:

        Dear Hollis, I am very moved by your message, this means so much to me that you feel this way. But I am so sorry that you are going through so many problems at the moment (and I really do understand about that ‘giddy release’, which is why I realised that taking a month off blogging wasn’t a good idea for my sanity o_O ). Kindness doesn’t cost anything and I know just what you mean, and that is one of the first things I noticed about you, how utterly kind and caring you are, genuinely so. Oh I wish I could give you a great big hug right about now…you know I would… ❤

        As for the Nivea, all I can say is yaay!!!!..oh I'm so glad you found it 😀 I hope you love it as much as I do but I'm sure you will 🙂 Do let me know!

        Thank you again Hollis, you have really made my day and I hope that I can bring a smile to your day in return 🙂 ❤ xo

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  21. Lisa Reiter says:

    What lovely comments from lovely friends. They say it all here with a great big vote for you to keep on with your memoir. Fantastic too that your Dad consents to you sharing these anecdotes about him. I want to laugh (“But Dad was busy robbing a bank at the time”) and cry with you which is what many readers hope to gain from reading a truthful account of a life struggled with but lived and learned through. My experience tells me so far that memoirs are a longer, more demanding ‘write’ than any fiction and we shouldn’t worry that it’s not plain sailing. It’s surely part of the necessary crafting.

    Big hugs and as for the tooth. Ugh – Pain is SO wearing. I dare not imagine what that’s been like!

    Lisa xx

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    • Sherri says:

      You know Lisa, I thought of a few things for your prompt but I just couldn’t get this story out of my head, with my dad very much on my mind – how my writing about him all hinged on his blessing. But I never expected him to tell me that so far as he was concerned, he was ‘an open book’. So that really did make my day, big time 🙂 Haha…well, one has to keep a sense of humour in these things. I’m glad it made you laugh. I am so often reminded of the sheer absurdity of my dad’s actions. Despite everything, we have always shared a great deal of laughter. Dear old crook dad (as Geoff called him). I once Googled him only to find the headline on a local e-newpaper which said ‘Bungling Bandit’ and then ‘Old Aged Pensioner Attempts to Rob Bank’. It was reading an article about him that prompted me to write more about him because I wanted to remember the man behind those newspaper headlines, the man who had once had a family and who gave me some wonderful childhood memories. I know I can’t change anything but I can tell the story. Isn’t this so wonderful about memoir writing Lisa? We can make sure to get these stories out of our hearts and onto paper, the sharing of our souls, but you are right about it being a difficult craft by way of the nature of the beast. The tooth thing was horrible, I admit. I only shared it because I’m so glad it’s better now..really dragged me down. Thanks so much for your lovely comment and for another great prompt. See you soon 🙂 xx

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  22. Your short but dramatic little story made my day as did the fact that you proudly proclaimed to award-winning writers that you were a writer yourself. I really hope you tooth is feeling a lot better….

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  23. Heyjude says:

    Finally managed to get some time to look at blogs! My heart goes out to you Sherri, you have had it rough lately, and constant pain is no fun, especially in the facial region, it’s impossible to ignore. Sorry to hear about your loss, and I can only imagine the anxiety the release of your Dad is causing you. I really enjoy dropping into the summerhouse to listen to your stories and rants and observations of life. Hope things improve all round. Take care my friend xx

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    • Sherri says:

      Hey Jude! What a lovely surprise to see you here, all the way from down under 🙂 I’ve missed you dropping in, but you know the kettle is always on – coffee for you, tea for me – and a nice bottle of something chilling at the ready at the summerhouse. Ahh…well, you know enough about my crazy life, and you also know I share these things as updates and certainly not for sympathy. Life kicks us all about at times but I do admit, it’s been particularly trying of late. Not to mention I am now having technical problems, unable to download photographs and unable to download emails. Grrrrr…But enough of all that. Thanks for listening and leaving your lovely comment, you made my day my friend 🙂 Have a wonderful time and see you soon xx

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  24. Mabel Kwong says:

    Oh dear, Sherri. I hope you’re feeling better from all that dental work, it sounds very painful! 😦 But it’s so heartening to hear you go out there and mingling and chatting with likeminded writers. I’m sure they all believed you when you confidently said you are a writer 😉 You are so right in saying that the smallest things in life give us a lot of joy. We usually don’t think twice about doing or giving a small gesture like opening the door or offering a piece of chocolate to someone – it comes straight from the heart ❤

    Thank you for sharing that bittersweet story with us, Sherri. Very touching and heartfelt.

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    • Sherri says:

      I am feeling much better, thank you so much Mabel. I shared as my way of saying ‘Yes, I am over the worst at long last!’ It was awful though, tooth pain is horrendous. My worst dentist nightmare which I sincerely hope never to repeat o_O Ahh…well, it is the small things that mean so much isn’t it? Also yes, it did make my day to be able to say ‘yes, actually, I am a writer!’. As you have made my day with your, as always, lovely comment and kind words my dear. Bless you…and I wish for you a beautiful day filled with kindness and smiles 😀 ❤

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  25. Sherri we all have secrets and none of us are perfect, I think that is something I have realised as I age. We all fall down and some fall further than others. I think no matter what, your story will shine and I am happy to hear your father gave his blessings. Well done for sharing it. They are the best kind of story, something written from the heart.

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    • Sherri says:

      Bless you Kath, thank you so much for your supportive and encouraging words. I share about my dear old dad from time to time as no matter what, he is a part of my life. I can’t change anything but writing about these things, with his blessing, helps me make sense of it all. You are very kind 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Simple as that for me: “when somebody takes the time to say or do something nice for no other reason than they actually mean it and not because they have an ulterior motive.”

    So, I love the post. Really. I was all ready to write this long comment (because you know how I feel about “please” and “thank you” and holding doors and RAKs and oh my gosh! Your tooth – hope you’re feeling better — and GORGEOUS abbey photo!) until I read your flash.

    Wow. That is powerful. Thank you for sharing. ❤

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…Sarah, I love your comments 🙂 You and I are definitely on the same page, having just read your post about this very subject and how we detest rudeness… (and I will be over to you again shortly to catch up, having techy problems too with emails and things just to slow me down even more than before, grrrrr…..). So, I read all of this and then, well, your last line, it really moved me and I thank you greatly for all you say, I really do ❤

      Like

  27. artistinsa says:

    Gosh, you have been through so much lately – so glad you made time for yourself to have a day out. I hope your tooth gets well soon and that your dad makes positive progress after his release.

    Like

  28. TBM says:

    So sorry to hear about your tooth and all the pain. I hear it’s one of the worst types of pain. And on top of that, the loss of a friend and your father. You do have a lot going on and my thoughts are with you.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh…well, it’s all part of life’s rich pattern isn’t it? Sometimes these things come all at once like this, but yes, I could have coped a little better if it hadn’t been for that awful tooth pain. It drained me. Soooo glad it’s better now, phew 😉 Thanks so much TB, you are very kind and thoughtful.

      Like

  29. quirkybooks says:

    Hi Sherri, glad to hear you are off the painkillers. You are having a hard time of it. I feel for you. The loss of a friend, I am so sorry about – My thoughts are with you. In regard to your dad, all you can do is look forward with him now, he’s paid the price by going to prison for what he’s done. To be honest, some murderers and rapists don’t get very long in prison. Robbing a bank is bad and if anyone died as a result that then would be horrifically worse, but money is money at the end of the day. I would never rob, but that’s me. We all have our issues, faults and problems. Thank you for being so open and honest with us. I am glad your dad gave you permission to write his story – One that needs to be told no doubt; in only a way that you can. I hope your mouth continues to heal and that you find peace, joy, love and light, in your life again soon. Hugs xxxxxxxx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement Sandra, it really means a lot. My dad’s alcoholism is what drives him to commit his crimes. But now with his age and poor health I do worry for him. He is still very independent though and very hard to help. All I can do is take one day at a time, it’s been like this for decades.
      I am feeling much better, thank you. That tooth problem really got me down and hope never to go through that again. Thank you again for your beautiful message…you made my day 🙂 Bless you…and feeling those hugs… ❤ xxxxx

      Like

      • quirkybooks says:

        Hi Sherri, you are very welcome. It’s so hard for you. Watching your dad suffer like that must be very painful. We sometimes forget, the ones commiting crimes, have families that love them and whose own lives must end up shattered sometimes. I have a ex friend, who I used to be close to. I had to part company from her this year, as we were no longer making each other happy and our friendship had deteriorated. I won’t go into hurtful stuff, but just say I felt she didn’t accept me for who I am anymore. She had her own problems to deal with. Sometimes she would drink, and her problems would become worse because of it. I don’t think she realised that drink was sometimes a problem for her. It affected her relationship with her kids too. Who are grown up but still in her life a lot. I gave up alcohol when I was 19 years old. I don’t need it, I get high on life, and orange juice. Give me an orange juice and I am well away.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          Haha…well away on orange juice, I love that, you’ve given me a great laugh and I needed that today, thanks Sandra 🙂 I love that you are high on life 😀 I’m so sorry about your friend though, especially as she has kids. Sadly, alcohol abuse can make people very selfish. And sometimes friendships run their course. Thanks again for your kind thoughts and words, really does mean a lot…
          Hope you are doing okay with all you’ve had going on lately and have a good week ahead…hugs… ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  30. Little things matter a lot in life. They make us feel better on bad days. I always like what you have to write about your dad and your relationship. It’s a sad and moving story and as his release from prison approaches I can imagine how conflicted you must feel.
    I hope that you are feeling better with your tooh issues. Small parts of our bodies matter so much when they go wrong.
    As always, best wishes to you.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      And as always Evelyne, I thank you from my heart for your heartfelt thoughts and kind wishes. I am so grateful that I can write so honestly here about my dad and my relationship with him, for it is not in an attempt to gain any sympathy, but because when I read comments such as yours, I know that this is but a thread of a story woven into the tapestry of all our stories, no matter how good, bad or ugly. Life’s rich pattern. And all I can do is sew one stitch at a time, with a little help from my friends 🙂

      Like

  31. Sherri,
    You take all the truly raw deals in your life and through your writing turn them into something from which we can all gain and learn. It is truly your rare & beautiful gift my dear friend.
    With you. xoxo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Ahh my dear friend, your kind words always make my day, but then you already know that 🙂 But I am humbled as I wonder at your beautiful message. One Hundred Percent… WITH YOU ❤ xoxo

      Like

  32. Luanne says:

    LOVE that delivery of your “punch line,” Sherri. Wowza. Congrats on the publication, the “blessing,” the getting through being his daughter to being the amazing woman you are, the literary meeting where you “confess” to being a writer! xo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      And I LOVE your comment Luanne!! Thank you so much, you are very kind (although I’m not so sure about the amazing part, but hey, I’ll take it, haha 🙂 )and I’m glad that I was able to ‘come out’ as a writer like that 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  33. I hope you are feeling much better Sherri! I hate that you had to go through that ordeal but hopefully the worst of it is behind you. What a great post. It really is the little things that can make our day. Very proud to see you enjoying yourself in the literary circle 🙂 Yes, you ARE a writer and don’t you dare stop. I loved the ending about your dad. At least he gave you his blessing for publication, which may be one of the best gifts of all…

    Like

  34. Marie Keates says:

    Here’s hoping you dad can stay in the straight and narrow now. It sounds like he’s given you a run for your money and all credit to you both for building a relationship dispite all the problems

    Like

  35. reocochran says:

    Sherri, you didn’t lead with the death of your dear friend, or your worries about your Dad, but I felt it hanging there in between your words. I hope that your not taking time off in October means you found it kept your mind active and you could not give ‘us’ up! ha ha!
    Also, enjoyed your special ‘treats’ mentioned, ones where unexpected call or special moment aore made. I also liked the photo and story accompanied by your trip to see Forde Abbey. I am so glad you were having a lark, enjoying your time spent with hubby and daughter, too.
    Last, but not least, so sorry for your painful mouth situation! I hate tooth extractions and the long time it takes, (doesn’t it seem longer as we age?) to get healed!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Dear Robin, you are indeed extremely perceptive on all counts and I thank you so very much for your lovely comment and kind words ❤ Your kindness and visits here mean a great deal to me. I have struggled with keeping up my blogging and writing this week but it is what happens at such times, and I certainly would miss you all far too much. I seek to get the balance right in all respects. Have a wonderful weekend 🙂

      Like

  36. I won’t burden you with a lot of words. Just WOW! Hugs, MH

    Like

  37. My first reaction was like yours, Sherri: Clint Eastwood. My mother’s response to that over-popularity of “Go ahead, make my day” was “Oh, go make your bed.” The dementia was just starting then.
    As always, I love everything you write about your dad.

    Like

  38. I’m learning to be braver with my writing as well. Someone wiser than me says we are all a little broken, and perhaps our childhoods are what we spend the rest of our lives trying to recover from. You have turned the pain into a beautiful story. Thanks Sherri.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Imelda says:

    Oh, that must have been a miserable month and I am glad you are on the mend. Your writing speaks of life – while you write about the things that make a beautiful day, you mentioned about things that cause sadness, without missing a beat. Isn’t that what life is about, an interplay of all the nice and not so nice things happening to us. I wish you and your Dad well. It must be a major adjustment time for both of you. Last but not least, you ARE a writer. There is no doubt to that. Congratulations on the published story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  40. prior says:

    Hey Sherri – wow – the writer’s meeting sounds wonderful on so many accounts – and how comfy you are in your own skin – and I know you know this – but just keep doing what you do …. and how cool to have your dad’s permission – I also with you peace and strength with his being out and all the little things that may come your way with that 🙂 ❤ – and now I am going back to read this post again – I wish I had time to read some of the fun comments – but for now I will make the time to reread this tasty post. 🙂 ttyl mon amie (((hugs)))

    Liked by 1 person

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