Friday, March 23, 2007

St. Patrick's Day Memoir Workshop

I spent Saturday last, St. Patrick's day in Billings, Montana giving a memoir workshop to members of the AAUW. Fifty five people attended, five over the maximum, and another fifteen came to the luncheon and stayed for the half hour wrap-up session. I am amazed at the number of people who are interested in writing their memoirs for various reason: self-fulfilment, to share with the family, for publication, etc. We had a four hour session with lots of participation and input from the attendees. There were quite a few laughs and when it came to doing the exercises, there was true dedication. One woman said that she suddenly remembered something she hadn't recalled in forty years, since she was a teenager. She read her discovery to those at her table. There was general rejoicing. Each person went away with renewed determination to continue recovering the secrets and lost moments of a past life. I had brought along three dozen copies of my memoir, RUNNING WITH THE BULLS: My Years with the Hemingways. Every copy was sold. Yesterday I received a letter asking for a repeat performance next spring.

Off to Miami next week to talk to Dade County Community College about Hemingway's favorite novel: A FAREWELL TO ARMS. Will let you know all about it.


Tom Smith - The Scooter Crusader said...

Hello Valerie,

Thank you for sharing news about yourself through this BLOG. I'm just learning about you, your time with the Hemingways, and your work as a writer - and I'm definitely going to get your book, "Running With The Bulls"

Hemingway was a true mentor for me during a two-year journey around the world solo by motorscooter Melawend. He was there, through his words, helping me as I wrote articles for newspapers and magazines along the way - He was there as I wrote the 460,000-word book about the journey: IN THE LONG RUN: A Hopeful World Odyssey. During the journey, I crossed several of Hemingway's paths... Pamplona, Paris, Burgos, Mt. Kilimanjaro... Having been so closely tied with the Hemingways, Valerie, you might find parts of the odyssey story interesting, as have some Hemingway scholars (including Josh Silverstein, webmaster of

Valerie, please visit my website at Then, if you wish, please click on an e-mail link and write to me - I'd love to chat with you.

All the best!

Thomas Martin Smith
author of IN THE LONG RUN: A Hopeful World Odyssey
"...more than a little remeniscent of The Lord of the Rings" - posted by a British expat in the MSNBC Travel Forum

gretfed said...

Hi Valerie. How much do you charge for you one-day workshop?