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A Pandemic Project: VINE seniors write, publish book of memories

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 6:42 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Vine Adult Community Center Memoir Writing Group was formed in 2011, a group of seniors that met weekly to share stories they wrote about their lives.

When the pandemic hit, one of the members thought it’d be a great time for a “pandemic project” to raise money for the Vine Community Center.

So they wove together stories to publish their very own book.

For nine months the writing group worked together, to make their idea for a published book of memories a reality.

“We started to collect stories, we had 12 teams who worked within our group to self publish the book. So here we were a bunch of amateurs going through the process of publishing a book, from proofing to editing to selecting a title, selecting a cover, to hiring corporate graphics to do the printing,” said Facilitator of Vine Memoirs Writing Group, Linda Good.

To create the book “Preserving Memories”. A collection of memoirs totalling 57 stories from 21 authors. Including two stories from authors who passed away before the launch.

“Our authors are ranging in age from 60′s, 70′s, 80′s and 90′s, so there’s a wealth of wisdom and experience in this book,” said Good.

“I have a legacy to my father in the book,” said Memoir Writing Group Member, Barbara Keating. “Some are very serious, about world crises, life challenges, others are humorous like [about] mismatched socks,”.

The publishing was made possible thanks to a grant by the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council and donations from group members.

The group says they are excited to share their memories but are also excited about the close friendships made with fellow authors along the way.

“One of our goals in addition to publishing the book was to make sure all of us would remain friends and that has worked really well,” said Good.

All proceeds from book sales go directly to Vine Faith and Action Community Center to support the arts program.

The book will be available for purchase on Monday, October 1 at Vine Faith and Action, Vine Home Thrift Store as well as the St. Peter Arts Center.

The group also invites the public to their book launch party for a day of free refreshments and memoir reading at VINE, Monday, October 4th.

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