Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Seminars planned to help seniors write memoirs
Recollections » County senior centers will be sites of 11 presentations over the next month.
First Published Mar 13 2014 09:03 pm • Last Updated Mar 13 2014 11:30 pm

Bob Canaan tells it straight to seniors at his seminars on writing memoirs.

"You’re at the absolute right time in your lives to do this. And you have the ticking clock. If not now, then when?" said Canaan, the featured speaker at 11 memoir-writing seminars over the next month at Salt Lake County senior centers.

At a glance

Senior seminars

Over the next month, Bob Canaan will present a dozen seminars — “The Right Time for Writing” — at Salt Lake County senior centers to help people write memoirs. The schedule is:

» March 18, 7 p.m. — River’s Bend Northwest, 300 N. 1300 West

» March 26, 11:30 a.m. — Taylorsville, 4743 S. Plymouth View Dr.

» March 27, 11:30 a.m. — Friendly Neighborhood, 1992 S. 200 East

» March 28, 11:30 a.m. — River’s Bend Northwest, 300 N. 1300 West

» April 4, 10 a.m. — Sandy, 9310 S. 1300 East

» April 8, 10:30 a.m. — Millcreek, 2266 Evergreen Ave.

» April 15, 10 a.m. — Mt. Olympus, 1635 E. Murray-Holladay Road

» April 16, 11 a.m. — West Jordan, 8025 S. 2200 West

» April 22, 11 a.m. — Harman, 4090 S. 3600 West

» April 23, 11 a.m. — Columbus, 220 E. 2430 South

» April 25, 11 a.m. — Eddie P. Mayne Kearns, 4851 W. 4715 South

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"The Right Time for Writing" is the title of the series, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Tuesday at River’s Bend Northwest Senior Center, 300 N. 1300 West.

Canaan, 58, is the owner of Acti-Kare Responsive In-Home Care, a home-health agency specializing in senior and child care. He said seniors have two attributes conducive to writing memoirs — a lifetime of experiences and the time to organize those recollections into a readable text.

People often don’t think their lives are interesting enough for a memoir, he said. But that is rarely the case.

"It’s not about the content. It’s about how you write it," said Canaan, who has authored two of his own memoirs, the first when he was in his 30s, the second about the time he turned 50. "People who lead what many would consider uneventful lives can write extraordinary memoirs if they approach it right."

For starters, writers have to know they’re not writing an autobiography that depends on the facts being all straight.

"It’s not the literal retelling of one’s life but an impressionistic one," Canaan said. "That gives you greater leeway to embellish in the telling of that story. If you remember the key things, you don’t have to remember everything."

Getting started is often the hardest part, he acknowledged, so "I provide a structure for the story writing, sequences that will give [participants] a sense of design and purpose for sustaining their work over a long period of time."

After all, Canaan added, "if you’re going to create a 300- to 400-page memoir, you have to be prepared to spend a couple of hours a day at it."


story continues below
story continues below

Besides leaving a record of one’s life for generations to come, he feels writing a memoir can help seniors keep their minds active, even more than doing crossword puzzles.

"Writing really is thinking," Canaan said. "The two are synonymous. Nothing is more therapeutic in terms of stimulating their minds."

mikeg@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribmikeg



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.