is the only memoir I've written. Since my wife and I have been together for 28 years, we've shared a great deal of what happens in the book. But memories vary; the same event may have more than one point of view or interpretation. So we made an agreement: if her recollections differed from mine, we wouldn't argue about the difference. Otherwise, the debatable minutia would have skewed the book. Once the memoir was finished, we found that nearly all of our recollections matched. But we argued extensively about one sentence. It described the plaque on our attorney's office door. He was giving up his law practice and "moving into the film business." Jody and I wrote purposely terrible scripts for his small production company. Hot Splash
went straight to video and late-night USA TV. We were supposed to write a "biker flicker." Then financing fell through. But our attorney/director's masterpiece was Snake Island
. In the memoir, I describe our involvement with these Ed Wood-like creations and say that the plaque on his office door read, "James Ingrassia, Snake Island Productions." Jody swore that the plaque read — well, I just asked her. She doesn't remember. But nine months ago, she was certain that it didn't say "Snake Island." Our debate lasted for a week. Finally, I couldn't decide if I remembered the sign correctly, or if I'd invented it for an unpublished novel I'd written. She was certain, I became less certain, and as we were editing the book, I said, "Fine, it's out." We agreed on "The brass plaque nailed to the wooden door read James Ingrassia, Attorney-at-Law."
Overall, our agreement worked. But, in the end, it's your memoir. Consequently, whatever you recall is "right" even if, occasionally, it's debatable.