My Journey

From mind to paper and back again.

Chapter 20 – Life Writing

on May 23, 2009

Activity 20.2

Working within an MOD Organisation, cancer, illness, Open University, retraining, coaching, Race for Life.

Activity 20.4

Mum – Childminder, 2 sisters and a brother, born in 60’s in Manchester.

The day starts early during the week, the first one arrives at seven thirty. I have to get my own kids up before the pick-up run and school drop off. My kids have a much different up bringing to my own, two sisters and a brother to contend with, to be seen and heard – although I was daddy’s little girl. Being born the youngest gave me that advantage, a cuddle was always waiting for me at the end of the day. The sixty’s and seventy’s made Mum the boss of the house with dad coming home from the mines filthy. They could often be heard arguing late at night, mum smoking and dad with a tipple. Manchester was a cloud of smog back then, although it hasn’t particularly changed much.

Alyssa Milano – Actress, one brother, Born in the 70’s in New York.

Alyssa is the daughter of two very successful parents, her mother was the daughter of a fashion designer and her father was a film music editor. She was born in the busy city of Brooklyn, New York. In later life the family moved to Staten Island where she was raised with her younger brother Cory. As a child she had many acting roles, the first of which was a role in the touring Annie and in 1988 she filmed a teen workout video Teen Steam.

In 1998 Alyssa took a role in the longest standing series with all female leads, Charmed, she also began to produce the show in later series. She played Phoebe Halliwell, one of three sisters and a witch, battling demons and looking for love. In real life though Alyssa has been lucky in love, having dated professional athletes, singers such as Justin Timberlake and is now engaged to a Creative Arts Agent and planning the perfect wedding.

Activity 20.6

Notes on reading 34, Page 549, Course Book.

Dennis Overbye’s biography of Albert Einstein

What does the preface cover?

How long Einstein has been dead

How he relates to current events

How he went from clerk to acclaimed scientist

How the biographer knows the subject and what was happening with the subjects family at the time of meeting

The sources of documents the biographer uses and how the information is verified

How the biographers thought and feelings have affected the choices he made and what he has written

How the book is different from others on the same subject and how he made it stand out from others on the bookshelf

The biographers aims when he was writing the book

Activity 20.7

A Draft Preface

This is an autobiographical piece about probably the most difficult time in my life. The writing is set from Summer 2005 onwards, the school holidays when I was a busy carefree sports coach working seven days a week with children and teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds in Manchester. The writing will follow my journey to and from doctors and hospital appointments, sometimes with family, other times alone. We will travel through difficult social outings and conversations, through the smiles and tears, and the rough patches of my relationship with my ex-boyfriend.

As the subject of my piece is me, I have the knowledge to be able to write about the events from firsthand experience, the feelings and memories are mine and mine alone. My memory is fallible though and I have backed up the jigsaw pieces in my memory by using my diary entries from the period as an image to follow to put them together in the right order and make sure what I write is accurate from the time. Because the memories are mine there are likely to be biases towards events and people recalled in the writing and I am sorry if I portray things in a different manner to how people remember them.

The changes in my personal circumstances affected and caused changes in my work, my friendships and family relationships as well. I owe a large part of my current personality to how I felt and reacted to this period in my private history and it has helped me build myself as a person. I would like to say that it has had a positive effect on me and made me a better person, and in some ways I’m sure it has, in others though, this part of my life has held me back from being myself, from growing as a person and flourishing.

I will also look at how I think this period in my life has affected those around me, these will be my own opinions though and not necessarily the same as the person I am referring to. I believe this writing will help me to put the past firmly behind me and deal with some issues that I still have because of what I went through at that time, also I think it may prevent me from having to deal with further issues in the future with my partner and in my social life. I would also like to be able to pass my experience on to my partner and my children, even their families to prove that Cancer is something that can be beaten, that you can move on from it and live a healthy happy, full life.

This is a way for me to realise how this has a affected me, made me who I am today, and affects the choices I make in life in general and on smaller issues as well. I would like to know how it has affected how I take chances and not worry about the outcome before it has even begun, to be able to deal with change when it happen and take it in my stride when it does.

Word count – 526

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