Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guest Post by Author Boyd Lemon




Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages
By Boyd Lemon

Twelve years after my third divorce I began writing a memoir about my marriages.  Digging Deep: A writer Uncovers His Marriages has just been released by the publisher, Outskirts Press.*  My journey in writing the memoir was excruciatingly painful, but in the end healed me and brought me the peace that I had never achieved by simply “moving on” after each divorce.  I believe the book can help others to deal with issues in their own relationships.

The impetus for writing the memoir came from a suggestion by the then 26 year old woman whom I call Kate in the memoir.  After 40 plus years practicing law in California, I had moved to Boston to live platonically with Kate, a singer-songwriter attending a music college in Boston.  Guided by her critiques and encouragement I had written a dozen short stories before I left California and continued writing short fiction and a few essays in Boston.

I wanted to write, and I knew I needed a change from life in California where my four children and grandchildren lived.  Boston is a writing city, and I had always enjoyed it when I had visited.  Kate could continue helping me with my writing.  She is a talented writer and teacher, despite her youth.

I didn’t go to Boston intending to write a memoir.  I was itching to write a book, and, of course, a novel came to mind.  When I mentioned that to Kate, she suggested I write a memoir about my three marriages.  “There’s gold there,” she said.  Encouraged by Kate, I started drafting the memoir, not having any idea how it would make me feel.  I finished the first draft six months later.  It was painful reliving the incidents of conflict in my marriages and how it affected my four children, but I had no idea how painful what was to come would be. 

When Kate read the draft, she said it didn’t work, that I could do better.  She advised me to throw it away and start over.  I needed to understand and write about my role in the destruction of my marriages, she said.  I realized she was right.  With her help, the help of another mentor, the great writing teacher and writer, Natalie Goldberg, and dogged persistence, I began digging and meditating and agonizing and thinking and digging some more, and what I came up with as I wrote shocks me even now.  What I had buried was astounding.  The process was excruciating, but in the end healed me.  I learned that writing can do that.

I submitted it to three different editors, in addition to Kate, and a proofreader and revised it numerous times.  Rather than wait the months, sometimes years, that it takes an unknown author to find an agent and then a publisher, I sent it to an author services, print-on-demand publisher, Outskirts Press.  They were a pleasure to work with and put up with my numerous changes and edits before I finally approved the final proofs.  

At the urging of several artists, I used a drawing that I had done of myself for the cover.  That was a thrill to see in itself.  I am hopeful that people will be attracted by it, buy the book and benefit by it.  Relationships these days are terribly difficult, and I feel privileged to write a book that I think might help people understand and deal with their relationships.

*Digging Deep: A Writer Uncovers His Marriages is available on Boyd Lemon’s website, http://www.BoydLemon-Writer.com in print and Kindle formats, or, if you prefer, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and by order from your local bookstore.
Thanks for visiting Boyd, best of luck with the book!!
Patricia

3 comments:

  1. Good to see you here, Boyd. Relationships have always been difficult. These days, and in the past - they will always be hard. What makes them seem harder now is the fact that people disclose much more than they used to. It would have been both unwise and unheard of to complain or show that marriages were anything but conventional and normal even as recently as the 70s. As a child of the 50s, I remember the strain at home and it still affects the way I think about my childhood. There is more conflict than we think ... everywhere. It is amazing to see you deal with yours and lend it to the world. I have no doubt many will find consolation and advice in your words. Good luck and I hope you sell gazillions.

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  2. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Rosanne. I truly hope that my book will help some people to take a look at how they are relating to their partners in what has become a tricky difficult relationship in these times.

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