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Thursday, October 06, 2011


Amber Lea Starfire

Karen, wonderful post, both for its honesty and sense of reflection. I have also kept journals (diaries) all my life, and I have also burned some of them--an act for which I am eternally sorry. Yes, if someone were to read my journals, they would either get the wrong idea about who I was (I whine a lot in my journals) or they would be bored to tears. But he or she would also find some occasional profound thinking, descriptions of a particular life and time, and a real story between those pages.

After my mother passed away, I found boxes filled with letters and journals, dating back to 1935, when she was twelve, along with her autobiography, all of which I consider to be incredible treasures. What a horrible thing it would have been, had she chosen to destroy all that. Through reading her words, I have gotten to know her in a way that was impossible while she was alive, and it has helped me come to terms with who she was as a person, not just a parent. She left a legacy of story that I hope to add to as a sort of family history.

I now teach creative writing and journaling courses, and I encourage everyone to keep their journals and include them in their wills. I also explore ways to use journals for memoir writing (you can read more about this on my website, Journals can be the basis for so much more.

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