Time is ripe for a memoir

by Gayle Wilson

  • <p>JENNIFER BROWDY, PHOTO</p><p>A collage of Jennifer Browdy&#8217;s maternal family, which she made as a child.</p>
  • <p>CONTRIBUTED PHOTO</p><p>Jennifer Browdy is a &#0010;writer, instructor and &#0010;publisher who has a home on Bush Island in Lunenburg County.</p>

As the world experiences this latest historical event, the COVID-19 pandemic, now is a poignant time for people to consider creating their memoir.

So suggests Jennifer Browdy, a writer, instructor and publisher who divides her time between Nova Scotia's Bush Island and Massachusetts and offers a series of memoir-writing workshops.

It's also a time to put things in perspective, Browdy advised in a recent email promoting the workshops.

"It helps to think back over my family history, recognizing the challenges my ancestors lived through, and saluting the resilience and determination that kept them going day to day, even in dark times.

"I think of my grandparents, who came of age during the Great Depression, which forced them to move with their children into my great-grandparents' narrow row house in Brooklyn. They struggled but they worked hard and pulled together and they made it through the war years; only to face another huge challenge when my aunt Flo, their oldest daughter and (according to her little sister, my mom) the beauty and charmer of the family, was stricken with polio as a young woman...

"Now we are living through another time of struggle. Though we can't know the challenges that await us around the bend of each day, we can call on the courage of our ancestors when we need a little more backbone," says Browdy.

Browdy is encouraging people, "especially in these hard times, to use their contemplative memoir writing as a chance to bring positive memories to mind."

Her latest online writing workshop series, entitled Seeking Joy, starts June 11.For more information, go to www.jenniferbrowdy.com

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