“The Lovely Shall be Choosers” is the title of a Robert Frost poem that tells of the unhappy life of a woman born beautiful. Our Kidnapped Twice is a somewhat similar story, a memoir of a woman born both well-off and pretty, whose early life so shaped what came afterward that only her exceptional strength of character saved her. Even now she is in some jeopardy.
I met Mary Seaman (her maiden name) after she answered the ad I had placed in our local, rural weekly newspaper. The ad offered to help you “tell your story,” write your memoir. Having written one myself– Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion– I knew how to do it, if not expertly, and how to get it published, though not for free. Mary had a life story worth telling; it was a match.
We met Friday afternoons for about two years. We discussed the book and we discussed her life; then Mary went home and wrote, writing longhand in two composition books we exchanged each week. I would read into my computer what she had written, do a minimum of editing, and return the book to her the following Friday, when she would give me the other composition book with her week’s new writing. Thus, using high-tech and low-tech, we got the memoir written, and Mary insisted I be listed as her co-author, giving me more credit than I deserve.
Originally, we jokingly named the book How Not to Live Your Life, as it tells how rotten early years shaped her mistaken middle years, which warped her later years. Only recently has she had a less clouded view of her past than when she started to write. Now nearly bankrupt, living on a farm under difficult conditions, she nonetheless perseveres, doing what needs to be done, enjoying her cats and her wildlife, keeping afloat so far.
If “the unexamined life is not worth living,” then examining where one has been and what one has done can add value even to very disappointing previous years. Such insight gives hope that one’s future can be better than one’s past. Where there is life, there is hope. Where there is hope, there is life.
For you, our readers, Mary and I wish that you will find this memoir interesting, informative, even at times entertaining.
You can contact us at:
Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D.
264 East Drive
Walden, NY 12586
The memoir is available from amazon.com and from its publisher Outskirts Press.
Until 30 November, free pdf efile of book will be sent to you by email on request. http://firstname.lastname@example.org