Write To Remember

Rated 4.50/5 based on 4 reviews
This is an OPEN, perma-free book to honor the memory of precious loved ones. Writing a tribute is an act of gratitude and a priceless gift to future generations. If you ever wanted to write something to celebrate the life of a favorite relative, submit your 4K-10K word tribute/memoir; if it's good I'll add it as a Chapter and re-publish. Find me on social media (Phil McQuillan or @mcquillan_phil) More
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About Phil McQuillan

Philip Jude McQuillan was born in 1954 in Michigan. He spent his early school years in Philadelphia, PA and Vineland, NJ. After a brief career in commercial shipping, he moved to Costa Rica and spent 20 years there raising a family, teaching English and Spanish in his free time. In 2001, he returned to the US with his second family, and eventually moved back to his hometown to spend time with his father in his waning years.

A first-time author, Philip draws inspiration from his father Philip Louis McQuillan.

He encourages everyone to write about someone they knew and loved. Having passed away, their stories are sacred memories. Please do not let them be forgotten. Whether you decide to author a book of your own, or choose to add a story to his book Grandfather's Uncle, your gain is the same— you will enrich your life and the lives of your family and friends.

Learn more about Phil McQuillan


Mehreen Ahmed reviewed on on Nov. 3, 2014

Mehreen Ahmed"s Review

Evidently Philip McQuillan's "Grandfather's Uncle" is an extremely well written memoir. It would be a marvelous read for others who, like me, are interested in their family tree and fond family memories. This writer enhances his story by bold-typing his father's favorite words and phrases and weaving them into the fabric of this tale, which to some extent highlights the elegant speech of a bygone era. This is an important and very personal aspect of his wonderful reminiscence.

I also felt that his choice of book title — Grandfather’s Uncle — correctly focuses attention on the fleetingness of any kind of notoriety or fame in life, especially for those whose only "fame" has been being dearly loved by a small circle of family and friends. These are the people that the hypothetical grandfather’s uncle and author Philip McQuillan encourage surviving family members to memorialize in writing. Use of "grandfathers uncle" in the book title is merely a literary tactic to remind readers, who may think of themselves too as objects of scant literary interest, that it depends on them whether their beloved departed are meticulously remembered or not.

The writer's memory lines can pin point the heart of matters; as far as his family details are concerned, while he may not remember what he had eaten for breakfast last morning, the essence of his father Big Philip is captured for all posterity to enjoy.

Literally, as people hardly remember one's grandfather's uncle, all our relatives will soon become a distant memory — like dust they will be swept away in the unseen wind of time. This book inspires me to write my family memoir, about which subject I had been procrastinating. Sufficiently encouraged, I realize that I should sit down and do just that.
(review of free book)
Gisela Hausmann reviewed on on Oct. 14, 2014

Philip McQuillan’s short book is not only wonderfully sweet, loving and deeply touching, it also raises a very important question:
“Who among us can remember, much less write even a scrap about the life of our grandfather’s uncle?”

As it so happens my family is struck with longevity; almost everybody, who did not die during the war, lived past their 90th birthday. That means that I personally knew one of my great-grandfathers and one of my great-grandmothers. However, since every able man had to serve during WWII I knew neither one of my grandfathers; both of them died at the Eastern Front, in Russia.
Which makes Philip McQuillan’s point – I know nothing about them! While I have heard some stories, I have no idea how they walked and talked, how they laughed and loved.

McQuillan decided to hinder that his father would become part of such a void; he is keeping his father alive – with a book. A wonderful writer Mc Quillan created a portrait, which lets “Big Philip” (his dad) become a part of every reader’s life:
“…He was a man of simple pleasures who loved reading, cooking and getting in a few rounds of golf or tennis. A swim in the ocean, a game of cards, classical music and great literature—these were a few of his favorite things. It always seemed that whatever he was doing, that was also his favorite thing. I have yet to meet anyone with so few dislikes, so few complaints and such a wonderful acceptance of life just as it is…”

It turns out that Big Philip also loved poetry and quoting famous authors (‘the masters’), he also read and reread them. Big Philip liked to prepare chicken (no dinner was complete without a bird), loved the lighthearted competition of a card game, and most certainly his vegetable garden. (The book includes a picture of Big Philip working the garden.)

As I am listing only these very few facts I am proving the author’s point: I know more about his dad than about my own grandfather.
I like this author’s dad. In particular I like the fact that “Big Philip” used special words to give his life and his perception of the world his flavor:
“… his own inimitable brand of understated humor. That, as you can see, was one of his favorite words. Inimitable—a wonderful word that describes him completely; truly he was one of a kind!...”

Big Philip also liked the word ‘connoisseur’ and to me it is clear that he was a connoisseur of life itself. It must have been the teaching of these special qualities, which made his son, “little Philip”, reach beyond just telling the story. ‘Little Philip’, now author Philip McQuillan, is encouraging his readers to participate and share stories about important people in their lives. I think it a wonderful idea. Grandfathers are supposed to be story tellers. Once their stories are written down they can stay story tellers forever. Seriously hoping that McQuillan can take such a project off the ground. In theory I could even see it as a sort of project for cultural understanding. Who knows what we could learn from grandfathers from different countries. Getting carried away I could even see this as a world-wide project for father’s day.

An awesome idea, Philip, keep on going! You are onto something!

Your book is highly recommended.

Gisela Hausmann, author & blogger
(review of free book)
Michael McGrinder reviewed on on Aug. 2, 2014

Grandfather's Uncle is a delightful story, and Phil McQuillan can be happy that he has accomplished his purpose, i.e. making sure his dad is remembered for the guy he was. We're asked to recall our own family members, and I had a moment of resonance when I read that Big Phil's mom wrangled a family of twelve. My own mother was the oldest of twelve in Ireland, and was the only girl. Every time her mother had a baby she was pulled out of school to take care of the family. I learned to take a punch from her. A little too often. It was nice to meet Big Phil and the rest of the McQuillan family. Nice work.
(review of free book)
Yvonne Crowe reviewed on on July 30, 2014

What a heartwarming tribute from a son to his father with whom he obviously had a comfortable relationship and learned so much from. I wonder if he is a mirror image? I suspect so.

The author invites the reader to voice their opinion about his writing ability. Without a doubt I say as he brought to life for me the man toiling in his garden to provide for his family; and the teacher, the lover of words. His respect for his parent shows through strongly, yet he also acknowledges his father's charming idiosyncrasies.

The keen gardener in his father, and to some extent his mother, evoked memories of the household garden with its fresh flavors which was the norm in my era. No running down to supermarkets to purchase vegetables that had languished in chillers, or fruit that is picked green and ripened in some obscure ways I don't want to think about.

Thank you Phil for this salute to your father and bringing him to life for me. Your mother reminds me of my father's mother, a stalwart Scots married to the gentle Irishman who left it to her to run the household of 13 people and bring some semblance of order to it.

Yvonne Crowe, author of The Magdalene Conspiracy and The First Madonna.
(review of free book)
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