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.

 

The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes

I changed my mind and it feels good to do so. I didn’t enjoy the lackluster voice of the protagonist in The Sense of An Ending until I sat down and read it for a length of time; sometimes reading a chunk of a book at one time makes a difference to me in how I can register a book’s tone and voice. Well, I  settled in with in and came to like this 60’s man who was really an ordinary “every man” who took what life gave him and made it enough. Not pro-active until the end. The book became an alternative to Catcher in the Rye with the same sensibility. Continue reading “The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes” »

Reading and Writing Helps Memoir

Read for Benecia Literary Arts and audience seemed to like the female touch in Salt and Paper: 65 Candles. Cooperative, peaceful, spiritual, living life with meaning of contribution and higher calling.

Reading Julian Barnes for a book group led by Pat Holt, former SF Chronicle’s book review. We’re thinking of what would make a modern classic where woman are portrayed realistically as powerful as they often are. Enough of the put downs of women and what is womanly. Julian Barnes book is The Sense of an Ending and is about memory. Continue reading “Reading and Writing Helps Memoir” »

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” »

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” »

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” »