Loose Endings in Memoir

In life we often have loose ends in our story. Nothing is really resolved. Things go on anyway. People come in and out of our life and we don’t do much to hold them because we are distracted or don’t care that much. Events come and go and we mean to participate again but we have a knee injury or time goes by too quickly to do it again. So much is started and drifts away. Much is said but not done. We are busy and let things be. We follow up on thoughts and ideas and sometimes, we don’t. In more recent  fiction this is shown and called an open endings toan event, thought, idea. We don’t know what happened to that person and what changed her mind. Continue reading “Loose Endings in Memoir” »

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” »

Ordinary Life into Memoir A Plus

Readers are interested in how ordinary people solved a situation and made “good” of it. Famous is fine to read but it’s people like the reader that they can best relate to.

For those of us who live ordinary lives but something happened that seems extra- ordinary, you may decide to write a memoir of what you learned from the experience.  You need to decide when the experience really started and what time period you want to cover. Continue reading “Ordinary Life into Memoir A Plus” »

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” »

How to Motivate to Write and Keep Writing

This post continues from the one before. I have to say that there are times I have been too busy to write with a child or my day job, family or social plans. Sometimes all my time goes into the business side of queries, proposals, agents, editor like the last book that was published, Stirring the Waters. We spent months on the unusual editing. It had to be read aloud to hear the music and if the beat was correct. In the no writing times, I consider it a break from the essential part that I love in order to balance my life with other things that call. Continue reading “How to Motivate to Write and Keep Writing” »

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” »

Counseling Medical Problems Give Meaning to Memoir

In the last few months I have worked using hypnotherapy and counseling to help with the emotional part of pain and illness. We never create illness but there is always an emotional component and this is the component we can lighten or eliminate. There was a student who started to be afraid to fly and needed to do so for her research. Using hypnosis there were two stark memories of losing someone suddenly. Not to plane crashes but instantly. The sorrow and fear had transferred to flying. Continue reading “Counseling Medical Problems Give Meaning to Memoir” »

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.