A Day in the Life of a Writer, memoir, the craft of writing

A Day in the Life of a Writer: Getting started on your memoir

When you want to write a memoir, it’s difficult to know where to start. You hear people discuss themes, and character arcs, and think, “I just want to tell about my life. Just start at the beginning, y’know?” Yes. And no. Where exactly is the beginning? And the beginning of what? A memoir is not… Read More A Day in the Life of a Writer: Getting started on your memoir

memoir, Writing

The Opposite of Down and the 5-Second-Rule

*Jake has not been found. Thank you for checking. From Notes from the Universe: “Raise your sights and broaden your steps. Because doing one without the other is the same as doing neither.” One time, I was advising a security guard student who had been shooting at 3-yard targets and his groups were sufficiently close that… Read More The Opposite of Down and the 5-Second-Rule

A Day in the Life of a Writer, Grace, memoir, Writing

A Day in the Life of a Writer: Excavation via fresh hurts

Sometimes I only have a scent.  Ivory Soap. Pine sap. Old Spice. It’s faint, like an afterimage, as Atwood writes in The Handmaid’s Tale. Other times, I catch a memory when I noodle about something peripheral, like the weather of my childhood. And other times, I am knocked into a pit by something that happens,… Read More A Day in the Life of a Writer: Excavation via fresh hurts

A Day in the Life of a Writer, Authors, memoir, Out of the Woods, Writing

Wrestling with the story

For the past few years I’ve struggled with what I –and others–have perceived to be a gaping hole in my memoir.  Today I realized that the gaping hole is actually the end of that part of my story; I think I need to focus on excavating what I already have and delete what comes after.… Read More Wrestling with the story

memoir, Out of the Woods, Writing

Out of the Woods intro

When I was little, my mother read fairy tales to me. She never read stories about fainting princesses who languished until a handsome prince rescued them. She read Little Red Riding Hood to me, and Hansel and Gretel, and Babes in the Wood. When I learned to read, I read them every night before bed. … Read More Out of the Woods intro

A Day in the Life of a Writer, memoir, Writing

How to excavate a story from your past: Memoir ideas

  Telling a story from one’s childhood is not the same as excavating it.  One may think that simply writing out a vignette from one’s childhood addresses issues plainly, but it ain’t so. Here’s the thing: First you have to write out the memory exactly as it has been playing in your head for the… Read More How to excavate a story from your past: Memoir ideas

memoir, Writing

Back in the saddle: Memoir Revision

It’s been about eight months since I finished the first draft of my memoir.  I’ve finally mustered the nerve to work on it–for a while I was afraid I’d give myself another stroke, and I already had enough on my plate, anyway, with my new jobs.  Now that the semester’s winding down (two more weeks!)… Read More Back in the saddle: Memoir Revision

book reviews, nonfiction

Stop Time, by Frank Conroy–review

That Frank Conroy’s memoir is titled Stop-Time is intriguing, in that within his story there is a sense of no-time.  While we know from the author blurb that he was born in 1936, and thus understand that he grew up in the 1940s, and while he vividly paints his physical surroundings, Conroy doesn’t include many… Read More Stop Time, by Frank Conroy–review

book reviews, nonfiction

Review- Louise Wisechild, Sue William Silverman, and others

Childhood abuse is in the news so often that the term itself is almost a cliché. A reader might be tempted to think, upon seeing yet another memoir of abuse on the store shelves, that here is just another tragic story in a long line of many; that it has nothing new to say; that… Read More Review- Louise Wisechild, Sue William Silverman, and others