HOW I ACQUIRED THE BLOG, WHICH BECAME THIS BOOK

My first writing as a child was done in a school note-book, using a wooden lead pencil kept sharp by my father’s pocket knife. The following fifty-five stories would never have been written without the advent of computers to make it easier. Word documents, an iPad, cutting and pasting, a PC, and the delete key were used to record and organize these writings.

The stories describe growing up in rural Tennessee in the 1930’s and 1940’s, watching the local landscape change as the (TVA) Tennessee Valley Authority dammed the Tennessee River creating Kentucky Lake and bringing electricity to our area.

Other stories include losing a brother in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, living in Japan and Spain as a military wife, giving birth to two sons and a daughter, and losing a son to HIV contracted through a blood transfusion. My interests in birding, music, art, literature, photography, and dream-interpretation are mentioned, as well as politics, religion, romance among the elderly, and various other absurdities.

In 2015, my 89-year-old hiker/birder, close woman-friend died unexpectedly. Concurrently, my 87-year-old gentleman friend and I had a spat about politics and stopped seeing each other. To fill this sudden gaping void in my life, I joined (WAG) the Writers Alliance of Gainesville as an 86th birthday gift to myself. It was not my nature to sit around alone while growing older.

WAG turned out to be the perfect answer. A memoir critique pod accepted me, and I submitted at least one story per month for the ensuing thirty-seven months the POD lasted. Fellow pod members have included Phil Springer (who sadly moved away), Becky Micha, Bob Crow, Sandra Strang, and Jackie Trudeau. All were encouraging and wise. They were adept at critiquing my stories, which they did with due diligence. I paid close attention to their every suggestion. I also regularly attended book-marketing meetings and participated in other WAG events, always learning from the more experienced members.

Ellen, my grandson Andrew’s lovely new bride, helped me start the blog, pattieremembers.wordpress.com, and together, they taught me how to post my stories. Another grandson, Stephen, helped with posting appropriate photos to the blog.

My son, Eric, offered useful editing advice for each story passed by him. My 93-year-old brother-in-law, Dudley Parker, was a valuable source of information about the way things were back in the old days when we were next-door farm children. My daughter, Clea, offered encouragement and help with the title and art work on the front cover.  

Experienced authors and writers in WAG are knowledgeable about self-publishing and are generous in their willingness to advise and encourage novices like me. I benefitted enormously from their assistance and will be forever grateful for their help and friendship. You know who you are, Skipper, Susie, Richard, Connie, Mallory, Pat, and Ran.

Through contact with my friends and published authors in WAG, I began to consider publishing my own collection of stories. In part, my stories are a tribute to my humble, but practical, “no-frills” upbringing in the rural community of Standing Rock Creek, Tennessee.

Read on and enjoy my stories. To the best of my memory, they are true. I have included the good, the bad, and the ugly. Be prepared for warts, considerable tragedy, occasional irreverence, some good laughs, and a few revelations that border on the risqué! It is true life!

(This to be used as introductory chapter when/if book is published)

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