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” »

Step-by-Step Makes Memoir Easier

Each step is a manageable, doable task. One day at a time, each step takes you closer to your goal. Once you get going, you can also look at:

New Writer Tips for Memoir

You want to be a writer. It is best then to have a finished and edited piece of work. For you, perhaps, you’ll write a memoir that inspires people to do the best they can. Following your own lessons and words, you start with a product. You show the product to people who read or read/write and listen closely to what they say. You might ask if you can give the pieced again once you have taken their advice and made changes.
(Make the ones that seem correct and leave the rest.) So far, these readers are your audience. Your best audience and they have no reason to fool you. People like to help and want to give positive feedback so make it easy for them with your best writing and listening ear. Continue reading “New Writer Tips for Memoir” »

Steps to Beginnng a Memoir/Motivation

Before you begin your memoir, make sure you know why you are writing it. Write a letter to a young person you love in your life and tell her/him what it is you learned most by living your years. What would you most want him to know. This will show the value system you want to show in your memoir: the importance of adventuring and risk-taking, being seen for who you are, finding peace and contentment and ways to do that, living up to an ideal as best you can or helping others to be their best along with yourself. There are as many motivations as there are people. That’s why every memoir has potential value. Continue reading “Steps to Beginnng a Memoir/Motivation” »

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” »

Collaging Chapters into a Book

When you write your memoir you can do it by memory and then piece the short pieces together adding transitions between the pieces or chapters.  An important thing to remember is that each piece must start with a compelling sentence that leads the reader into the action right away. It’s like a scene in a movie. If you can see it, you are showing us and not telling us.  Save the telling for connections between scenes. So, start with action, connect with a bit of narrative, more action (scene) and when ready end with a question, a mystery, a conclusion left partly unknown or sometimes with a conclusion. Continue reading “Collaging Chapters into a Book” »

Starting to Outline

I am quite right-brained and so it’s hard for me to outline my writing. I can do it best by talking to someone and then following the dots of our conversation. Luckily, I like to conclude or finish things once they are started so I’ll keep working until I have enough to feel like I know “which way the horse is going.” What I have noticed is that more left-brained writers outline easily and yet, sometimes, have a harder time making  their text sing with strong verbs, metaphors and poetic writing. Continue reading “Starting to Outline” »

Organizing Your Book

Together the last two days with author to frame her book. She has years of great material but it needs to be organized. We started with theme of book, went to deciding on a working title, and now are in the process of determining sections and what ideas will go under each section. It’s easy to brainstorm with another because you stay on track. Continue reading “Organizing Your Book” »

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” »