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” »

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” »

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?” »

Ghost Writing or “as told to…”

In ghost writing or “as told to…” you have a story to tell and it may be difficult for you to write it down. Maybe you trust the story but not your own writing. Maybe you don’t have time but want a book out in your name. When you work with a ghost writer or “as told to…” writer, it is up to you of how you want to be helped and whether you want her name on your book. Continue reading “Ghost Writing or “as told to…”” »

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” »

Element of fiction for memoir writing: The

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. Continue reading “Element of fiction for memoir writing: The” »

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” »