By Wanda St. Hilaire
Years ago, my mother asked me a highly intuitive question.
“I feel there’s something you want to do and you’re not doing it. Am I right?”
“As a matter of fact, yes.”
I was a writer with a burning desire to weave my travel tales, but I wanted to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I told my mum I was afraid of people’s opinions —especially my family, about some of my wanton adventures.
“Write it. Do what you have to do. Don’t worry about what others think.”
At my premiere book signing event in the now defunct Indigo Spirit Mount Royal, a tall, handsome man walked in the door. Scanning the store, he spotted me sitting alone at the little corner table with my stack of hot-off-the-press books. With long strides, he headed directly for me. Picking up the book, he asked me to tell him about my Cuban misadventure. He cracked the book open and read the first word at a chapter break, aloud: Unbef——lievable.
“I’ll take it!”
At the next signing, a woman walked up and said nothing. She picked up the book and opened it. Gasping, she quickly closed it, and gently placed it back on the pile.
“Are there many swear words in this book?” she asked, lips pursed, a hand grasping her blouse together tightly at the neck.
“I would have to say … yes.”
She ran off, displeasure swirling behind her like a chemtrail.
Fear of disapproval, or even rejection, are powerful reasons for reluctance when writing anything memoir. If you wish to write about yourself, decide that you will not take feedback personally. We, as writers, will never please everyone.
The following are a few fundamentals for writing a captivating travel memoir:
About the Author
Her prime passion is the thrill of travel—of experiencing other cultures, traditions, lifestyles, and languages—thus expanding her perspective.
Wanda St. Hilaire has a predilection and passion for all things Latin, and she believes life is too short not to do what you love, where you love. She spends time writing in Mexico for inspiration, and to escape the frozen landscapes of Alberta.
Through writing, St. Hilaire shares what she’s learned from the high peaks of adventure and love, to the dark valleys of illness and heartbreak. Her mission is to help people overcome the self, and tap into their wise inner guidance system. Her wish is to inspire others to live true to their unique and beautiful nature.
Wanda is the author of the following books:
Fragments of French: An Unexpected Journey of the Heart
Of Love, Life, and Journeys: Companion Poetry to Fragments of French, second edition
The Cuban Chronicles
I’m So Sorry It’s Cancer: An Exceptional Guidebook for Navigating Your Way to Health and Happiness
This article appeared in the Opal Writers’ Magazine (July/August 2019 issue)
You can read this magazine free here: https://issuu.com/opalpublishing/docs/july_owm