The metal inside the old peanut butter and mayonnaise jars weighed heavily in my arms as I carried them up from my dad’s basement workshop. Some of the hardware in the jar was shiny and straight, catching the light sharply, others were rounded and softer in color, dull browns, and…

I’ve been studying first lines and first pages of memoirs. I’ve rewritten mine at least a million times. Well, maybe not that many, but at least many times as I’ve rewritten the intro for this article. We all know that openings matter. People need to be wowed to keep reading.

Catherine Lanser

Narrative nonfiction and memoir. Querying my memoir about my family, told through the lens of brain tumor and father’s stroke. www.catherinelanser.com

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