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” »

How to Motivate Writing and Continue Writing

1. Others Can Help You Write

Just as in exercise or weight loss, you’ll do better if you have a partner or someone to report your process to. It helps to feel accountable for what you said you’d do. There have been times all I could do was write one piece for my writing group or write list of characters and their description when partnering with a friend. You can use a writing coach to help you; she can help you for an hour in time of need so you can move on.  You only really need one person to be on your side encouraging you. If the first page is too blank, start on page two.

Continue reading “How to Motivate Writing and Continue Writing” »

Bhanu Kapil and Voice/Memoir and Counseling

Bhanu Kapil was in town from Naropa University and did a performance piece as a red bundle on the floor. With words from her voice on tape we saw her life as a living body, a body downed by migration and loss. She shows through the small movement of her body through the
cloth that she is alive and moving but barely so, a human under assault.

The idea of a voice from the body is one that we all need to consider. How would our story be told from the body? Are you cut off as many are? Would you need to use your body to be in present time and it would have to be your practice? What words are left out of your narrative if your body is barely alive? Joyous, liberty, spunk? What verbs are not being used? Continue reading “Bhanu Kapil and Voice/Memoir and Counseling” »

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.

 

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?” »

Linda Sexton’s Reading, Anne’s Daughter, A Memoir

Linda was one of the readers at 333 in Sausalito, CA, Thursday night reading from her memoir, Half in Love: A Story of Surviving Suicide. Her famous mother took her own life when Linda was twenty, after years of  depression. Linda, struggled with her own depression and suicide attempts, and writes of her life with honesty and compassion to her troubled mother and herself. Continue reading “Linda Sexton’s Reading, Anne’s Daughter, A Memoir” »

Visaul Art As Poetry

I have talked before about how all the arts feed into an artist’s sensibility. I went to the play RED at the Berkeley Rep which was a two man show of Mark Rothko and his assistant. Rothko had an interest and talents in music, writing, philosopher and was, of course, one of the leading artists of Abstract Expressionist. In his large works of color blocks he wanted to show an absolute, uncompromising purity. His signature works were large single colored rectangles over a hovering ground. Continue reading “Visaul Art As Poetry” »

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” »