Just Write

How to Write A Memoir— Part Two

How To Write A Memoir, Part 1 lists a variety of methods for writing personal stories. Part 2 continues with revision and the business of writing. Take care of yourself Writing one’s life story can be difficult. While writing, take good care of yourself. Anytime you are feeling overwhelmed by this writing process, set your work aside. Take a break, get some fresh air, visit with a friend. Read helpful, supportive material such as Toxic Mom’s Toolkit. Organize When editing, save your “cuts” in separate files (either paper file folders or on computer files). You might be able to use these darlings in another personal essay. Use manila file folders to store print material: newspaper articles, photos, handwritten notes, letters, brochures, etc. Revising In the revising stage, delete what might cause embarrassment. Fine tune for accuracy. Shape like a gardener pruning a hydrangea. Take a few snips here, cut a…

Just Write

How To Write A Memoir — Part One

Your Life. You lived it. Surely you can write about it. Right? In How To Write A Memoir, Part 1, we’ll discuss methods and ideas about writing personal stories, with links to published memoirs. How To Write A Memoir, Part 2, we’ll cover organizing, revising and more. You can write in chronological order, or build your story around pivotal events. In the beginning, it doesn’t matter what structure you use. Write in a style that is comfortable for you. Try one way and if isn’t working for you, try something else. Memoirs written in chronological order (with back story woven in): To Have Not by Frances Lefkowitz  and Grief Denied by Pauline Laurent. Rachael Herron, A Life in Stitches, assembles her stories around her knitting experiences. For the first draft, it’s fine to jump around in time. Don’t worry too much about making sense in the early stage of writing….

Just Write

Take note.

It’s early Monday morning. The day is just getting started and it’s very quiet. The softly falling rain has hushed all ambient noises. No cars drive up our country lane. People are still sleeping on this soft-feeling day, not quite ready to begin the busyness of our lives. Even the birds are quiet this morning. And I’m wondering, do you want to write? Do you contemplate ideas to write about as you stay in bed just a little longer in the morning? Do you have brilliant, awesome thoughts for writing while you are driving? As you wait for sleep to settle in, do these brilliant ideas swirl in your head? And they are brilliant, I am sure. You tell yourself you will remember everything until you have time to write. Finally, you sit down to write and those creative ideas seem to have vanished. You stretch to grasp your dazzling…

Book Reviews

Toxic Mom Toolkit by Rayne Wolfe

Rayne Wolfe’s voice is strong, courageous and honest throughout her book, Toxic Mom Toolkit. She writes about her birth mother and adoptive mother — both toxic. Rayne writes about her childhood with clarity and writes about her toxic moms with compassion. Toxic Mom Toolkit travels Rayne’s journey from abusive childhood to learning the necessity of distancing herself from these toxic women. Rayne tells her story without whining, without self-pity, without a poor-me attitude. Toxic Mom Toolkit clearly illustrates what a toxic mother is. Thankfully, she had a wonderful step-mother who showed Rayne unconditional love and kindness, illustrating good mothering. If you don’t have a toxic person in your life: Hooray. You might want to read Rayne’s book for both entertainment and education, in case someone toxic comes along. It could happen, you never know. If you think you have a toxic person in your life, read this book. It will help…

Places to submit

Ruminate is ready for your submission

ru’mi-nate: to chew the cud; to muse; to meditate; to think again; to ponder Ruminate is an award-winning quarterly literary arts print magazine engaging the Christian faith. Ruminate publishes poetry, short stories, photography, visual art reproductions, short fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, essays, reviews, and interviews. Ruminate sponsors four contests each year—poetry, short story, nonfiction and visual arts. Ruminate suggests slowing down and paying attention. “We love laughter. And we delight in telling the truth, asking questions, and doing ‘small things with great love,’ as Mother Theresa said.” You are invited to submit your work. Note from Marlene: Writers Forum of Petaluma presenter Rayne Wolfe, October 15, 2015: Newspaper reporter and columnist, Rayne Wolfe will share her methods for identifying sources, mining for quotable gold and turning interviews into stories. Whether you are focusing on non-fiction, fiction, historical fiction or memoir, Rayne will share her tools for enriching all writing by becoming…