Last year it was book clubs; this year, it is memoirs. Every other Baby Boomer's parent, feeling the cool hand of death approaching, is scribbling down his/her life's experiences, to have a record for the grandchildren is the excuse, but really it's a hope to get published, achieve that longed-for fifteen minutes of fame. As an acquiring editor for Bridge Works, I receive many of these heartfelt but amateurish writings, and feel bad that someone has convinced the authors that the world is waiting for their life records.
But Granny keeps at it, and today there is a reward. It's called self-publishing. Today, that old geezer who was praised in the St. Louis Post Dispatch for his innovative presidency of Rotary does not have to die anonymously. He simply gives LuLu or X-Libris a copy of his ink-stained, tear-stained manuscript and the self-publishing titans will produce as many copies as desired, complete with a dashing book jacket, blurbs by friends, and even photos or drawings never meant to be seen by other than the family. Most self-published writers think the expense is well worth it.
In today's world, no one's life goes unremarked and there are definitely second acts for anyone with know-how.