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No longer just “Messing with Memoir”

December 22, 2021

It’s finally getting real! I’m excited–not quite as excited as I was in 1981 or so when I signed my first book contract, but elated that I’ve hooked up with a good publisher, especially for a book and title that readers helped me select and encouraged me to write. We’ll get to the title in a minute.

Writing a new book is always risky, and this time I’ve written this one partly for historical purposes. The editor is assuring me that memoir and biography seem to have staying power: “Memoirs and Biographies are a popular read and stay current longer then other genres.” She may have just been stroking my ego but they seem to be my favored genres at this stage of my life.

I’ve chosen Masthof ( and I like that they have published thousands of titles featuring local history, life stories, memoirs, Anabaptist, Pennsylvania Dutch, Amish, Mennonite, Brethren and more. They say, “Our main passion is preserving history for the next generation.” They have a quarterly supplement they mail or email to over 7,000 customers and also send out a quarterly supplement targeting bookstores.

So …. mini drum-roll, the title we’ve chosen is:
Memoir of an Unimagined Career: 43 Years Inside Mennonite Media.

And, a peek at the first couple paragraphs:

My writing career began accidentally when six incarcerated men shuffled into the gymnasium at Middlebury School (Middlebury, Indiana) in handcuffs for a scare-them-straight assembly. … Armed guards stood on either side of the mock jail cells represented by steel bars, set up like a makeshift cow pen. The men stood behind the bars and one by one told the story of how he landed in Michigan State Prison.

I felt nervous and excited about what could happen in the presence of these bad guys. Most of my classmates were listening intently, almost spellbound. You could hear every cough and sh-sh-shush from a teacher in that mostly still gymnasium. Would they try to escape in that low security setting? What would the guards do?


We hope the book will pique reader interest and preserve an amazing history of a fine church media organization that always had as it’s main goal, reaching out beyond the church. It will be fun to share the book with you — but that’s at least six months away. Stay tuned here for things like cover reveals, foreword writer, table of contents.

Meanwhile, I wish all readers a gentle and fulfilling Christmas (not the food, not the presents) but the joy of being alive and focusing on a miraculous birth over 2000 years ago. Blessings!

  1. Congratulations to getting this far through a challenging year to say the least. Best wishes as you bring this memoir to life on the shelf in 2022, Melodie!

    • Sometimes the writing and editing is what gave me excitement and energy for everything else! I looked forward to it. Thanks for your comments, as always, Marian.

  2. Congratulations!! I’m so happy to hear your memoir is going forward. Looking forward to updates. 🙂

    • Yes, I got the affirmation email before we left on our trip and was anxious to seal it up once I got back home. 🙂 And thanks for your wonderful help proofing!

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