If you’ve written only a few vignettes for your memoir and want to give away an early edition for Christmas, (see Wednesday’s post, Your memoir: a matchless Christmas gift*), consider one of these two easy options for compiling your stories—just for now.
Option 1: Assemble your vignettes in a chapbook. I’ve made several and they are fun. If you’re artsy and have time, use homemade paper (your own or someone else’s) for your cover. Add ribbons, yarn, beads, artwork—let your ideas run wild. I found step-by-step instructions for chapbooks at the link below.*
Option 2: Put your vignettes in a three-ring binder. I use the kind with a clear plastic cover with a slit at the top because it allows you to design your own cover. (This format will work fine if you’re putting together an early, partial edition* for a Christmas gift, regardless of how you envision your finished memoir. My published memoir started out as a three-ring binder.)
Here’s a photo of Terri’s cover (she attended a couple of my in-person classes):
Here are a couple of my own binders’ covers:
If you have time before Christmas, include a few photos or other mementos with your vignettes. (If you scrapbook, here’s a timesaver: Make color copies of pages you’ve already created.)
Place the following documents at the beginning of your collection of stories:
- Title Page—the first page your readers will see. Your title will appear on the front cover of your memoir and on your title page. Give yourself a by-line. Your title page might look something like this:
From Valley to Mountaintop
by Elaine Alexander
- Dedication—name those for whom you are writing your stories
- Introduction—state why you’ve written these stories (for ideas, see Deuteronomy 4:9 and Psalm 66:16), and maybe even tell how you chose your title. Explain that your memoir is not an autobiography or genealogy, but rather a slice of your life (some highlights within a certain theme). Include, briefly, what you hope your readers will take away from your stories. At the end of your introduction, sign your name and write the date and place you lived when you wrote it.
- Timeline—optional, if you have one ready; see Sharon Lippincott’s timeline suggestions at the link below.*
In the future, we’ll go over additional components for your finished memoir, but if you’re rushing to arrange an early, partial edition for a Christmas gift, the above will work just fine.
*Links and resources
Your memoir: a matchless Christmas gift,
How to make a chapbook,
Your personal timeline will help your memoir’s readers,
Have you written a story about Christmas for your memoir?
If so, send me your vignette
between now and December 10
and I’ll select one to publish here
the week before Christmas.
See all the details in my November 12 post at this link: