Tricia Pimental @a_movable
“Has your husband read this?”
I had sent Carol, the leader of my former writers’ group in Ocala, Florida, a draft of my latest book for comment. Now living in Portugal, I was still in touch with her by email.
“Sure,” I wrote back confidently. “In fact, he’s formatting it.”
Later a hint of doubt crept into my mind. Keith hadn’t even gotten close to the more revelatory sections of A Movable Marriage, a playful title inspired by Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast.
And therein lies one of the biggest challenges for the memoirist: to tell, or not to tell. If so, how much? We’re assuming, of course, any “telling” will be honest.
But let’s face it: often there is disagreement with a spouse, family member, or friend on the details of a past situation or occurrence, even about something as simple as what someone wore last night. Imagine the nightmares crime investigators encounter, taking and analyzing statements from various supposed eyewitnesses to the same event.
Another obstacle I encountered was obtaining permission to publish certain photos in my book. Although they were all my personal property, a fine line is drawn when it comes to reprinting the likeness of a famous personage, as the lingo goes. I’d run into this one before, in my first memoir. I had reached out to Playboy Enterprises for permission to print certain pictures, and they were not entirely cooperative. I eventually did reach a compromise and was able to present the story of my conversion to Christianity the way I wanted to (in Rabbit Trail: How a Former Playboy Bunny Found Her Way). I also had to deal again with that first issue, protecting an individual’s privacy while dealing with sensitive past memories.
I wrote Rabbit Trail to expose New Age and other misguided belief systems. The impetus for AMM was entirely different. One day I was asked by my homebody, homesteading, neighbor in Utah why Keith and I moved so much. I laughingly reassured her that we were neither in the military nor the Witness Protection Program. “That’s the book I want to read,” she said. “I want to know all the places you’ve been and how you manage to stay married to your crazy nomadic husband.”
The seed planted when Keith and I lived in New Hampshire a few years before had just been liberally watered.
Expatriating to Portugal in 2012, life became filled with new challenges: adapting to a different culture, learning another language, frequent visits back to the U.S. to see family, and accompanying my spouse on never-ending, often National Lampoon-style road trips. We moved a half-dozen times in the first five years in our adopted country, as I compiled snippets along the way for my book.
By spring of 2016 I was signing copies of A Movable Marriage at our local bookstore near Lisbon, with members of our church and expat groups there to support me. Little did they (or I) know yet another move was on the horizon.
Next time: An American Author in Portugal: Living and the Writing Life Overseas
Native New Yorker Tricia Pimental has written three award-winning books: recounts the wandering path she took before becoming a Christian; Shas been called “honest and engaging,” “delightfully entertaining,” and “refreshingly down to earth” in an Epic Book Quest 5-star review.
As Portugal Correspondent for International Living, Tricia has written and a video series, . She contributes monthly to both the digital and print magazines and speaks bi-annually at conferences and other events in the US and Portugal.
Tricia has been featured on CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg’s Peter Greenberg Worldwide, Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch with Catey Hill, Business Insider, Dance Past Sunset with Brant Huddleston, Generation Bold Talk Radio with Adrian Berg, and elsewhere.
She and her husband, Keith, reside in Portugal, but she retains membership in her beloved Florida Writers Association. She invites you to visit her at triciapimental.com.