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” »

Memoir Writing: What to Leave Out

You do not have to tell the whole story. You can tell a truer story by leaving some stuff out. We don’t leave out important events or feelings. We just eliminate side events and feelings. Things that happen that are not part of the thrust of the story are left by the wayside.

In my memoir, Salt and Paper, I left in my difficulties with my son but left out much of the sweet times we had experienced together. I inferred there had been many by showing a few as background but we came to a time when he needed to move away and it was difficult. Continue reading “Memoir Writing: What to Leave Out” »

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” »

Communicating With Your Inner Child

Part of the process of healing beyond thinking but involving your emotions and body is to begin to have a “sense”, a “feeling”, even a picture of your inner child. (Use photographs if you can to remember how s/he felt.)

This inner child process is when your writing skill is not important. What we are looking for is the connection between your adult self now and the youngster you once were. Continue reading “Communicating With Your Inner Child” »

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” »

Counseling and Memoir Writing

Just a note to mention that the more you know yourself and your “psychology”, the better able you will be to write your memoir in a realistic fashion. To understand your instinct (for survival) and how that plays out in you and what you first feel emotionally after that helps make your crisis and or disaster seem more realistic. You see, even though it is real to you, you are telling us on a flat plane of words and paper. It’s up to your writing to make it seem real. Continue reading “Counseling and Memoir Writing” »

Ishmeal Reed

Quite a treat to hear Ishmeal Reed read his poetry at Radar Readings in San Francisco and a section from his latest novel. He is quite a political man and holds his eighty-some years with dignity. He is learning to play a french horn in order to play in a jazz group. Says he has stories to tell and keeps changing genre and disciplines to do so: poetry, prose, memoir, now music. He seems to weather the different stage of life using creativity to keep him updated and real. Continue reading “Ishmeal Reed” »

Memoir: The Scene: Write Better

Your reader is reading your book because the title draws them in. You provide your reader with a powerful emotional experience and great facts as the story develops. If you’re writing a romance, you must create in your reader the illusion that she is falling in love herself. If you’re writing a thriller, you must create in your reader the illusion that he is in mortal danger and has only the tiniest chance of saving his life (and all of humanity). If you’re writing a fantasy, you must create in your reader the illusion that she is actually in another world where all is different and wonderful and magical. If you are writing a memoir, the abuse and triumph is happening to your reader. Continue reading “Memoir: The Scene: Write Better” »


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” »