The word of the day is “nonagenarian.” That means, someone in her 90s. And when that someone in her 90s self-publishes a memoir in verse, illustrated with a life’s worth of personal photos, you show some respect and blog about it using a very big word.
Dorothy “Dottie” Lindecamp of Normandie Ridge in York decided, like many writers, to write what she knows: her own life.
Her book “Verse Along the Way…” is a collection of poetry, but also a life story. This mix of two genres is becoming its own genre, as many writers are attracted to the built-in start, finish and in-between of the topic (it’s your life, you know all the details already!). Plus, crafting the narrative of one’s life with poetic devices is a way of showing reverence to the people who mean the most.
Certainly, many people touched Dottie Lindecamp’s life. Her poems cover her beloved husband of 69 years, her children, pets, friends, former teachers, her own childhood, her faith, life in war times and much more. In addition to her wide range of subjects, she writes with a strong sense of rhythm and meter that makes her poems light, fun and easy to read.
Of writing itself, Lindecamp says in the preface: “There is satisfaction is self-expression … In the long run, writing has been very rewarding.” She then breaks up her lines of prose to add, “Why verse? Sometimes it just happens. / Verse can say more in fewer words. / It jingles and is fun.”
Another element of fun is the inclusion of personal photos throughout the book — and there are many. Family members and beloved pets are shown next to their verse tributes. In fact, the book as a whole is well-organized into sections like Holidays and Weddings, and there’s even an index in the back.
Keep in mind, this book was self-published. Such organization and attention to detail shows the scope of this poet’s vision, not to mention the love she has for her family and friends, that everyone be included and easily found.
A celebration of the publication of “Verse Along the Way…” was held at Normandie Ridge on August 3. I’m sure that was a fun event, and I hope this charming lady got the recognition she deserves for the hard work and creativity of her project.
“Why would anyone write voluntarily?” Lindecamp asks in her preface. Then answers, “Sometimes we must.”
Couldn’t agree more. Thanks for sharing your life and words, Dottie!