Archive for the Living the Writing Life Category

The Virtues of Vulnerability

The Virtues of Vulnerability

When is a writer vulnerable? How about every day. In her still-popular Ted Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” a research professor who has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, and the best-selling author of several books on related topics, Brene Brown says that part of

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You’re Writing “Just for Family”?!

You're Writing "Just for Family"?!

When I started teaching memoir in 1996, twenty-two people came to my class eager to write their life stories. Some of those stories kept them awake at night, and they got up and wrote into the wee hours. A few followed my suggestion and kept a notepad by their bed

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Get Help on the Memoir Writing Journey

Get Help on the Memoir Writing Journey

To give you an idea of what I do as a memoir consultant and developmental editor, I’ll share some about the path I helped this author take to complete his memoir and have it successfully published.

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There’s a Seat for You At the Writer’s Table

There's a Seat for You At the Writer's Table

As writers, some of your best mentors are successful writers in your genre. But you have to read them! Stephen King says, “If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

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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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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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What Would You Do?

Maybe it’s the nature of inspiration, but inspiration always comes when I’m not looking for it. Recently, it came in the form of a helicopter tour that was a dream come true for a dear friend who didn’t expect to see her 50th birthday. In fact, Kim didn’t think she’d

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Journaling: The Precious Pulse

Journaling was my first best friend growing up. I didn’t know it with that first hardcover diary with lock and tiny key someone gave me for my 10th birthday, but it wasn’t long before I found out just how good it was to write about what was going on and

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The Deadline

I start writing at 11 pm. The deadline is midnight. Ever been there? It ain’t pretty. But I like deadlines. They get me going. They keep me going when I could say I don’t have time for this. Once I start something I have to finish it, especially when I

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