An Alternative Way to Write a Memoir/Journal Keeping

Salt and Paper: 65 Candles 

A daily reflection that is immediate and an accumulation of life experience in poetry and prose fragments placing a heartfelt yet realistic light on difficult subjects as the author speaks of aging: a friend’s slow demise with Alzheimer’s; the life-long effect of a brother’s mental illness; the present, lived aging process; the interlacing of four generations—and the creative writing life that responds with compassion, humor, and art. Continue reading “An Alternative Way to Write a Memoir/Journal Keeping” »

Jennifer Eagen’s Novels

Eagen won the Pulitzer Price for A Visit from the Goon Squad which is a richly layered character driven book. The “goon squad” is a metaphor for age coming to her characters, some maturing in wisdom and some with quirks of personality. This is book of human nature by an author who isn’t into violence but isn’t afraid of the “shadow forces” in us all. A telling of  people which includes their shadow impulses gives us a glimpse into our common reality not readily shown. Continue reading “Jennifer Eagen’s Novels” »

Alison Bechtel’s New Book Are You My Mother?

Just saw Alison Bechtel at San Francisco’s Booksmith Height Street. (What a neighborhood to remind us of the 60’s and the “flower children” we once were.) It was a crowd of all ages and orientations and the store actually felt warm and inviting with the energy of the crowd coming from folks that wanted connecting. This is what Alison does for us. She helps us connect with her experiences of family and allows us to appreciate the truth in what we have lived, rather than the illusions of our defense. Continue reading “Alison Bechtel’s New Book Are You My Mother?” »

Adult Children

It may hurt, but it’s great when an adult child of ours does tell us something that is bothering them about us. It’s our time to listen and be willing to really hear. Can you imagine what it would have felt like if our parents could have done this. Or, maybe they have and you had the good feeling of release that “your” truth is out in the open and you are not a child to this person anymore but on equal footing. This truth telling can help your child to truly feel adult and help her/him on his way. Continue reading “Adult Children” »

Relationship With Adult Children

Lately I’ve been thinking about our relationship with our adult children and what new challenges we mothers have if our children feel safe enough to tell us what was difficult about our mothering. We may know our children need to separate from us and use the teen years or young adulthood to step into adulthood as a man or woman. And we may know that they do this, not necessarily by distance, but by speaking freely to us about our relationship with them. Continue reading “Relationship With Adult Children” »

Writing Your Experiences in Poetry- Beyond the Substance/The Craft

When I edit poetry for publication, I read to see that these elements are strong.

1. Fresh Language–no common phrases/language used as jargon

2. Show, don’t tell –Don’t teach, preach or explain but show us through imagery. “A picture worth a thousand words. Continue reading “Writing Your Experiences in Poetry- Beyond the Substance/The Craft” »

Deciding If to Edit Memoir

A memoir just came across my desk that has an interesting discussion of gender. The s/he or girl as boy et al.  I found it interesting. Really wonderful poetic language. S/he, an author with a book for a prize I once judged so she has a good, beginning platform. In the end, I didn’t feel it had substance enough and couldn’t decide why since I so much liked what she was exploring. Continue reading “Deciding If to Edit Memoir” »

Transitions

Transitions can be a scary time but, if you think about it, you are transitioning all the time. One thing that is constant is change. We change age and our desires and needs naturally change. How can you expect life stay the same? The important thing is to know this is normal and allow yourself space and time to sort things through.

Often people feel this inner change between 40 and 60 years. When did you start to feel the need for change and what was it like? What is it like now?

Counseling for Change-of-Life Crisis

Some information from a counselor in private practice for 24 years and ideas to solve any concerns.

Confused about self what you want to do? Wondering about partnership or wanting a partnership? Prefer to be alone? Drinking too much? Feel like running away and starting life afresh?  Stage-of life crisis?

This could be a function of aging and wanting more out of your life. Turn this time into positive growth, instead of a resentful, unhappy time. Just to know that this could be a normal process of maturity may be helpful. It’s just a time to re-evaluate and decide what you want to do next. Continue reading “Counseling for Change-of-Life Crisis” »