Writing Tips for Memoir: A Story in Time

When you are writing a story that takes place over a long period of time, be sure to let the reader know the timeline. They need to know when things are happening, how much time has passed, and what led up to the event. Don’t let the reader figure it out for herself. That’s too much work for the reader. Let the story bring her along in the flow of the story with a sense of time moving over skipped periods. You can start a list of transitional phrases to help the reader move smoothly to a new time. Add to the list as you think of more:

As time passed by I realized..

Once I realized ___, I could settle into __

For awhile, ..

Content to let my days be filled with__, I let time.. Continue reading “Writing Tips for Memoir: A Story in Time” »

Memoir as Revenge

What should we do when we want revenge in memoir?

 One thing I would caution you not to write about or do is revenge. It is never okay to write for the public with the motive of revenge. Write your own revenge thoughts in a/your journal for yourself to vent your feelings. Revenge seems to come back to you one way or another: the other will see it and be unnecessarily angry, even justifiably angry, or you’ll move past those feelings and wish you hadn’t published such anger. It’s ok to feel that way as part of your beginning healing process but to write it in first person may hurt you in the long run. And the other.

Write a short story fiction about the incident or short story somewhat fictional tale and send these out for publication. Keep the true facts and people and incident private if the motivation is to hurt someone else. Continue reading “Memoir as Revenge” »

Chapters from Memoir as Magazine Pieces

Here to do a memoir for client. Snowy day and lots of work ahead.  Great story but needs shaping to most important period. Lots there.  Determined that showing her family’s love and loyalty to each other most important and relying safety information important too.  Questions about publishing first in essays in well-known and small press magazines.

Yes, it’s a good idea. Keep it to a third of manuscript.

 

Dragon Software (Talk Into)

Just read a snippet in the SF Chronicle today 10-14-2012 that there is a version of the Dragon Software that is free and you can talk into it instead of inputting on computer. Anyone know more about this?

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” »

Writing and the Egrets

Went on a walk in Alameda, CA, about thirty minutes from where I live on the marsh in Emeryville, to see the egrets nesting. Although we have egrets here, I understand there are about twenty places in this San Francisco Bay area that they actually build a nest and lay their eggs. They nest in colonies and the trees they pick and return to year after year are often called colonized trees because many nests are built in one tree or an several close by trees. Continue reading “Writing and the Egrets” »

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” »

Dialogue in Memoir: An Element of Fiction

Most who write memoir have an important story to tell of surviving hardship or letting us go on an amazing adventure with them into new worlds of some kind. We know that the best memoirs come to life on the page because the author uses elements of fiction, such as dialogue.  At the same time, a memoir writer wants to be honest and write what only happened. No stories of abuse that didn’t happen and no mountain not climbed. However, to use dialogue is a tricky venture. Continue reading “Dialogue in Memoir: An Element of Fiction” »