What Do You Know?

What Do You Know?

Recently, a woman I know received a surprise in the mail. A relative of nearly 90 years old had sent a photograph she’d never seen before. It was an old black and white family photo that raised more questions than gave answers — and she already had questions, plenty of

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Evoke the Era

Evoke the Era

Everyday pleasures. My neon green transistor radio. The stack of ’45s I played on my turntable—the Temptations, the Jackson 5. Monday nights watching Laugh-In. Bazooka Bubble Gum. Astro Pops. Fizzies. It’s a 1960s childhood. I flattened my thick wavy hair with egg shampoo and wrapped it around my head every

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Easy As 1-2-3

Easy As 1-2-3

What’s new? Whatever is new in your life makes a great writing topic. It’s where the energy is. Even if you’re already working on something else, try this: 1. Make a list of what’s new in your life right now — the standouts. Go for 3 to 5 topics. It

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Being a Ghostwriter

Being a Ghostwriter

A ghostwriter gets to walk in a lot of different people’s shoes. It’s like being an actor. I’ve been a professional singer, a scientist, a philosopher and theologian—and the list goes on. As a ghostwriter I have to sound like my client and then help them sound even better. Good

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Make Your “Fertile 50” List

Make Your "Fertile 50" List

It’s springtime in Texas, when the bluebonnets are in bloom and women from around the country come together for a conference in Austin to learn more about lifewriting. It’s the “Stories from the Heart” conference of the national organization Story Circle Network, “for women with stories to tell,” April 15

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Show Character

Memoir is about people and experiences. It’s about relationships, connection. And characters — the people in our life stories — are at the heart of it all. I see some of my students and clients writing memoir that can suffer from describing incidents one after another, neglecting the important fact

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Almost Ready for Release!

Almost Ready for Release!

“Girlhood in America: Personal Stories 1910 – 2010,” a book about girlhood through a century, is almost ready for release! I’ve been climbing that steep self-publisher’s learning curve and I’m finally cruising. When you sign a contract with a publishing house, you’re usually looking at two years before your pub

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