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The Role of Memory in Writing Memoirs | Mary Gottschalk

Member Teleseminar December 13, 2013

11 AM PDT    12 PM MDT     1 PM CDT     2 PM EDT

Mary Gottschalk

We are pleased to present Mary Gottschalk, author of Sailing Down the Moonbeam. Memoirs are, by their nature, selective in the ideas and information they offer to the reader. But as she wrote her memoir, Mary discovered how important it is to understand the limitations of one’s own memory.  She will talk about the different kinds of memory, how we remember things, and why we remember them.  We will talk about truth and reliability in memoir, how we use memory in memoir and why we need to let memories “steep.”

You will learn more about:

  • The different types of memory
  • The gap between truth and memory
  • The value of letting memories steep
  • Approaches to using memory in writing a memoir
  • Understanding how writing itself shapes memory


Mary has made a career out of changing careers. After finishing her MBA, she spent nearly thirty years in the financial markets, working as an economist, a banker and a financial consultant to major corporations.  She has worked in New York, New Zealand, Australia, Central America, Europe, and amazingly, Des Moines, Iowa.  Twice, she left finance to provide financial and strategic planning services to the nonprofit community, first in New York and later in Des Moines.

She also dropped out in the mid-1980’s to embark on the multi-year sailing voyage that is the subject of her memoir, Sailing Down the Moonbeam. In Mary’s view, sailing is a metaphor for life: you can’t control your environment … nothing ever works out according to plan … you often end up someplace different than you set out to go.

In her latest incarnation, she defines herself as a writer.  She is working on her first novel, does freelance writing, and lectures on a variety of subjects related to her memoir.


  1. gertmcqueen says:

    excellent article and thoughts to ponder, I’m sure the workshop will help many memory is a strange thing and if NOT used correctly can cause serious harm to self and others when put down in print, memories are not always facts.

    John Adams, 2nd President of the USA said…’facts are stubborn things’.

    Myself and family have been harmed greatly via the ‘memories’ of a reunited sibling whose book was proven to be libelous and pulled from publication. But, this sib continues to speak her ‘memories’ versus the ‘facts’ because she has an ax to grind.
    So please…if writing memoirs be sure you are writing fact and not memory.

  2. Carolina Evans-Roman says:

    Do I need to registar for the member teleseminar on Dec. 13, 20013. I am a member. And will this be recorded if I cannot make the teleseminar at the time designated for my time zone? Thank you.

  3. Betty Kuhn says:

    I would love to join you for the teleseminar.

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