Guest Bloggers

Writing Family Stories

Guest Blogger Nancy Julien Kopp encourages writing family stories as a gift to family members. When stories are only told around the holiday dinner table, they eventually get lost. Writing the stories ensures that they will live on, that those stories will be a continuing gift to other family members. Many people want to write their family stories, but don’t know how to begin. There is no set place or time to begin. It’s not necessary to start with the first ancestor you remember. The starting spot is anywhere, about anyone, or anyplace. Begin with the most vivid memory you have. Type your family stories, put them in a binder, and assemble them any way you like: By the person, by the era, by the ones you like best. It does not matter how you put your book of family stories together. What is important is that you do it….

Guest Bloggers

Crystallize A Moment

Today’s guest blogger Nancy Julien Kopp muses about capturing and crystalizing a moment. The Wall Street Journal had an article profiling Maggie Smith, a contemporary poet. One of her quotes was simple but said a lot. “A poem doesn’t have to tell a story; it can just crystallize a moment.” I read it two or three times, then copied it on a notepad.  If you’ve ever been stopped by a beautiful sight or sound and wanted to write a poem, you’ll understand her thought to crystallize a moment. There’s no set number of verses to do that, no rhyming pattern, or anything else . . . just crystallize a moment. Maybe you’ve watched your children interacting, and there was a moment that you wanted to keep forever. It’s then that you should get that little notepad you keep nearby and jot down the thoughts you had. If you don’t do…

Book Reviews

Writing as a Path to Healing

In reference to The Write Spot:  Writing as a Path to Healing, author Elizabeth Beechwood said, “The contributing writers delve into the pain of their past, reveal their vulnerabilities, and share the lessons they’ve learned with all of us. Their courage is written on every page of this collection.”  After reading my contributor’s copy of editor, Marlene Cullen’s newest anthology, I am in full agreement with Ms. Beechwood. Especially the last sentence regarding courage written on every page. It is not easy to write about traumatic events, but twenty-one people have done so and were willing to share stories and poems with readers. The writers come from various walks of life and offer readers a look into difficult times they experienced at some point. These writers all used writing as a step on their path to healing and to offer support to others. Some who write about troubled parts of their…

Guest Bloggers

On Top Of Your Game

My dear friend, Nancy Julien Kopp blogs at Writer Granny’s World by Nancy Julien Kopp. Last year, Nancy posted: In mid-November, I posted a review of The Write Spot: Possibilities.  The anthology consists of stories, essays, and poems by several writers. At the end of each offering is a prompt that might have inspired what they wrote and also a paragraph or two of advice for writers. Ahhh, advice. It can be given, but is it always accepted? Not by a longshot. Sometimes, we read the advice of other writers with a shield in front of us. The attitude can be Go ahead, teach me something I don’t already know. At other times, we’re wide open to any advice given. We want to soak it up like water in a sponge.  I’ve been skimming through the book again looking at the advice the writers offered. I consider it a gift to us,…

Guest Bloggers

The Courage to Write

My new writing friend, Nancy Julien Kopp, writes beautiful and inspiring posts on her blog, Writer Granny’s World by Nancy Julien Kopp. New Writers Need To Believe—Memoirs and Family Stories, by Nancy Julien Kopp Ever hear naysayers in the world of those who want to write a memoir or family stories who utter things like: I’m not a professional writer. I can’t write like some people do. I want to write the story but I wouldn’t know where to start. My grammar is not good enough to write. My writing is boring. All of the above can be overcome. But the first thing you must do is believe that you can write a memoir or a book of family stories. Sounds easy? Maybe. Possible? Yes. It takes some courage to do something new. Look at the people who zipline. Looks like fun but maybe a bit scary, too. Those who…