May 15, 2011

Memoir-izing, copy edits, a blog memoir about writing a memoir - aka the Very Meta Post

Last night at 2:30 AM, I finally sent the copy edit they sent to me back to my publisher, McClelland and Stewart.

I think I was supposed to read through and approve stuff. But as I read it, I made a FEW changes.

One of the great difficulties about writing this memoir (which is an embarrassing thing because it's like getting a greatest hits album when you think you're actually putting out relevant music still - it has a pre-emptive retrospective feel and makes you want to protest, "Not dead, yet!"), is synthesising the present, the past and the use of the present tense and the past tense.

I know, it's confusing, and that's why I felt it was very important to contract the sense of time in the book.

There was a past past and a present present. And some memories felt like they happened just yesterday rather than years or decades ago.

So like an good tailor trying to get panels of wool to fit together when they don't, I pounded, steamed, invisible pin-tucked and set-in the parts to make a near seamless whole. I opted for narrative elegance over chronological exactitude.

Any how, more thoughts on all this later.

I'll be blogging about the memoir process at So subscribe or whatever one does to find out more about this strange and difficult, vexing, near mind-bending process.

I'm working on a little post about exactly how the book came about and for budding writers you may find it interesting as I really thought I would never write one myself. So check the other site out.

Also, the cover is finally up at McClelland & Stewart.

The Measure of a Man
The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit

by JJ Lee

published by McClelland & Stewart

Add to Cart Available September 20, 2011

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