Eleven Gone! Twenty more Coming!

Eleven gone! Twenty more to come!

Days in November, that is, as November has been declared the National Novel Writing Month!


Did you ever say “Yes” to something without thinking about it?


Well, I did! To NaNoWriMo! Don’t ask me why. I said a loud “NO” last year and never planned to do it this year. When however my friend and TW Kath Unsworth invited me to participate, I said “YES” without taking into consideration all that goes on in my life right now.


For the last two weeks in October I was angry with myself for making such a decision without thinking about it. I was also scared because I cannot write novels and had no other plan either.


Numb from fear and embarrassed to give up before I began, I was working overtime to persuade myself that I am not a quitter and once I commit to something, I stay with it until I do …or die.


One day, as I was busying myself so as not to work on ideas for the NaNo challenge, I came across a Bottom Line periodical, dated back in February. It was open to page 11 where an article by Denis Ledoux was posted:


“How to Write Your Memoirs So that Everyone Will Want to Read Them.”


That did it! The title of the post was the spark that ignited a fire in my heart and made my mind spin backwards. My life’s images kept coming at me, asking me to collect and share them. At that moment, I realized that the reason I had said “yes” to NaNo was because my soul knew I had a story to tell, even if only to my children and grandchildren.  I knew that I was the one to write that story.


Years back I had jutted down some notes about my life. Never did anything with them. I could use them now to begin my challenge.


First of November came and I began at the beginning; no plan, no outline. I just kept typing everything that came to mind without discrimination.


These eleven days of writing have been some experience!


Not only forgotten details come forth pouring onto the computer screen, but I also have access to my mother’s memories, many of which stored deep inside, spring out as we get deeper into the past.


Writing each day, I saw a pattern emerge that helped me understand more about my perspective on life.


I remembered details which reinforced my belief that I became who I am because of the way my parents and grandparents taught me  lessons through specific examples and attitudes on handling life.


Reminded of old victories, I recognize that they were essential in helping me deal with my life’s tribulations and hardships and responsible for making me stronger and better at handling crises.


Looking back into failures, I understand why they happened and what I learned from them.


All these reasons give me the incentive to keep coming daily to my NaNo date. Before the week was over, I knew that I could not stop searching back to memories for meaning of what has taken place, yet, never loosing time to place them into the right sequence.  Remembering a jewel of a memory or a scene that is important to me, I put it down knowing that later they’ll find their right place.


 At the end of November, I will have a first draft of what will be, in the future, my legacy and contribution to the next generations of my family; not only connecting them to their ancestors but also sharing with them lessons which could be teaching tools for them to apply to their own lives.


OH, those synchronicities and how meant things fall into place!


For those who would like to leave their legacy to their children and grandchildren, Denis Ledoux offers a few great pointers on how to plan memoirs. Finding them helpful, I include them below:

  • Instead of writing every detail  of your life that comes to mind, “Choose only stories about a single aspect of your life…particularly if it holds important lessons.”
  • “You may share humorous anecdotes from your life.”

When you commit your memories to writing:

  • “Show, don’t tell.”
  • “Be honest.”
  • “Set a specific time to write each day.”
  • “After you’ve written a story, go back and shorten it by 10% to 20%.”
  • “Write an introduction after you have written all your stories.”

If you are interested at learning more about writing your memoirs, among other sites that must exist, you may want to visit Denis Ledoux at: www.TurningMemories.com


Are you writing or have you written you memoirs already?

Love to read anything you want to share with me and others on this topic.


Thank you for coming over!

Wishing you God’s blessings in all you do!




Email address:  katiakantzia@msn.com

About the Author

Katina Vaselopulos

Originally from Greece, Katina Vaselopulos and her husband, have made their home in Chicago for the past 47 years. Their four children and nine grandchildren offer countless adventures. Katina also enjoys cooking and baking, teaching and learning, reading and writing. Her soon-to-be-published book, Sailing Toward Ithaca, takes the reader on a journey through one year of her life. She invites the readers along, to sail through life’s journey open to all possibilities and to nurture relationships with self, others, and God by striving for self-knowledge and inner growth. Other projects include What Is Cooking in Niles, a cookbook of Greek cuisine, and a thesis, “Dostoyevsky’s Major Novels: Polemics against Liberal Thought,” for which she received high honors at Northeastern University of Illinois.


  1. Beautiful Post I love to see someone appreciate a learning curve such as this. I in turn was talked into this mad month of writing by a blogging friend, I guess I had to pass this opportunity onwards lol. I am learning so much too! Keep tapping and at the end we can do a virtual victory dance together Katina.

  2. Kath, You Are Beautiful! An inspiring and encouraging friend who got me out of my comfort zone and into a place I wouldn’t dream of going! Thank you!

    “Tapping” and typing …definitely to the end, with God’s help!

  3. This is so exciting Katina! Now there will not only be one book, but two!! And I so much look forward to reading them!! I am sure your memoir is a wonderful, beautiful story. And what a loving gift for your grandchildren to get to know stories and aspects connected to your life, their past. I send you all my loving thoughts to help you carry on your work.

  4. Lotta mou, thank you for coming over and for your always warm, trusting, and encouraging words! Once I accepted Kath’s invitation and the original fear went away, everything fell into place as words pour out very easily. Thank God, I do not have to plan or plot with fictional characters. Mine are right there and I know them all so well, and now my grandchildren will as well.

    Your loving thoughts mean so much to me, especially as they warm my heart and encourage and inspire my spirit. I am so much waiting for the book to be done and nanowrimo over so that I have more time to connect with old and new friends. I miss you and always think of you with love and gratitude!

  5. I think we do better at jumping in without first evaluating the journey. It doesn’t give fear a chance. That keeps us from taking the very steps we were designed to take. You’ve reminded me to focus on victories as well as failures. Oh, and thanks for the memoir link! I couldn’t be more pleased to be on this particular journey with such a remarkable group of women.

  6. You are right “about jumping in.” Intuitions! Lucky enough when they visit us, we always benefit from taking them to heart!

    I feel blessed to be sharing my journey with amazing people, even though still the “loner” in me and Life find ways to keep me from connecting as much as I want.

    Thanks for coming over, Shelley! I always appreciate the great spirit in you and look forward to sharing more, especially with our memoirs. Glad you liked the memoir link!

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