Author Archives: Erica

What Made Love Warrior a Best-selling Memoir?

An Examination of a Memoir That Bares the Soul (And Spares No One)

4-WEEK CLASS
Class dates (Mondays): April 24, May 1, May 8, May 15
4pm PT | 5pm MT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET

Classes are one hour long and we record all sessions so that you can watch the recordings if you have to miss a class.

 

EARLY REGISTRATION: $75 through April 17th

Regular registration: $89

Go to this page to register.

 

love-warriorLove Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton, has the kind of elements of pain that most memoirists struggle to write. She grapples with addiction, painful insecurities, her husband’s infidelity, maternal overwhelm, her rocky marriage, and questions about her own lack of sex drive. Tackling a single one of these issues is tough; to expose all of them and handle them with care is enormously brave. In this free webinar, memoir experts Linda Joy Myers and Brooke Warner will address the fears that invariably come up for writers looking to write their deepest truths and expose their most intimate—and often shameful—secrets. This webinar will address the fallouts too—and touch upon how sharing your truth has a way of both leveling everything and setting you free.

 

Class 1. Why Theme Is Memoir’s North Star (April 24)

  • How theme informs your scenes and why to keep your themes front and center while you write.
  • How to use through-threads to highlight your themes.
  • Tracking Glennon Doyle Melton’s hard themes of infidelity, eating disorders, and sexual dysfunction juxtaposed against the hopeful ones of healing, commitment, and love.
  • Tips for how to think about theme in your own writing, and why nailing down your own themes is the best gift you can give yourself as a memoirist.

Class 2. The Singular Power of a Clear Narrative Voice (May 1)

  • A look at Glennon Doyle Melton’s use of the Voice of Innocence vs Voice of Experience and how to integrate both of these narrative techniques into your own writing.
  • The power of sequencing—keeping your reader on track with what you knew when to create a more intimate and compelling narrative.
  • Pacing 101—tracking Love Warrior’s timeline and structure to showcase how to control your pacing, and why it matters in good storytelling.
  • Outlier narrative techniques in Love Warrior—and how they support the story and add to good storytelling.

Class 3. Reflection and Takeaway—Bringing Home Why Any of It Matters (May 8)

  • Understanding the difference between reflection and takeaway, using examples from Love Warrior.
  • Why takeaway can elevate a good memoir to a great memoir.
  • How Glennon Doyle Melton uses takeaway to pierce the hearts of her readers and invite them more deeply into an exploration of their own lives.
  • How and where to integrate reflection and takeaway into your own memoir so it’s both seamless and packs a punch.

Class 4. Baring It All and the Fallout (May 15)

  • The real-life fallout of writing about intimate and personal topics and family.
  • Glennon Doyle Melton in the news following the dissolution of her marriage after writing this memoir—and what she’s had to say about it.
  • How to decide what you’re going to share, and how to float test bubbles to see if you’re ready for the consequences.
  • The payoff of baring it all.

 

EARLY REGISTRATION: $75 through April 17th

Regular registration: $89

Go to this page to register.

The Problem of Men in Memoir

Jed Diamond, Ph.D., LCSW

April Member Webinar

April 21, 2017

11 AM PDT  12 PM MDT  1 PM CDT  2 PM EDT

It isn’t easy being a man or writing about men. Yet we all have men in our lives. We were all conceived in the magic moment a lucky sperm was allowed entrance by a welcoming egg. Fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, grandsons; many are important figures in our lives, but writing about them can be difficult.

As a an author and psychotherapist for more than 40 years, I have helped men and the women who love them to live long and well. In this seminar, I will help you better understand the nature of men so you can write more deeply and honestly about the males in your life.

In my first book, Inside Out: Becoming My Own Man, I recall the day my father took an overdose of sleeping pills and was hospitalized at Camarillo State Hospital, north of Los Angeles. I was five years old and grew up wondering what happened to my father and whether I would someday “go crazy” and end up in the “nuthouse.” When my first son, Jemal, was born in 1969, I made a vow that I would be a different kind of father than my father had been able to be for me and I would work to create a different kind of world where families didn’t go through the traumas that my family experienced.

After reading Mark Wolynn’s book, It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle, I expanded my understanding of men to include my mother’s father, the man I was named after, who died suddenly when my mother was five years old. My mother never talked about him, but he was always a powerful, yet shadowy, presence in my life.

I came to realize that I could never feel totally successful in my life, or in my relationships, until I came to peace with my father and the other male members of my family.

In this revealing and engaging hour you’ll learn:

  • How to understand the conscious and subconscious power men have in our lives.
  • Why men are the way they are—From the Y chromosome to the male brain.
  • To recognize the importance of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in understanding men.
  • How to get inside the heart and soul of men who are reluctant to talk so you can “hear the sound that male cells sing.”
  • Why we must address male shame and how to tell the truth about men without wounding them further.

Jed Diamond, Ph.D., LCSW, is one of the world’s leading experts on men’s health. He has written 14 books including international best-sellers, Surviving Male Menopause, Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, and The Irritable Male Syndrome: Understanding and Managing the 4 Key Causes of Depression and Aggression. His most recent book, The Enlightened Marriage: The 5 Transformative Stages of Relationships and Why the Best is Still to Come was released in 2016. Visit him at www.MenAlive.com and www.TheEnlightenedMarriage.com.

 


This is our monthly member webinar and is for NAMW members only.  If you are a NAMW member, you will receive the webinar access information via email and can also find it in the Members Area by clicking the Event Phone Numbers link.

If you are not a NAMW member yet, we encourage you to join!  Click here to learn about what other benefits are reserved for our members only.

Current Events

What Made Love Warrior a Best-selling Memoir?

An Examination of a Memoir That Bares the Soul (And Spares No One)

4-WEEK CLASS
Class dates (Mondays): April 24, May 1, May 8, May 15
4pm PT | 5pm MT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET

Classes are one hour long and we record all sessions so that you can watch the recordings if you have to miss a class.

Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton, has the kind of elements of pain that most memoirists struggle to write. She grapples with addiction, painful insecurities, her husband’s infidelity, maternal overwhelm, her rocky marriage, and questions about her own lack of sex drive. Tackling a single one of these issues is tough; to expose all of them and handle them with care is enormously brave. In this free webinar, memoir experts Linda Joy Myers and Brooke Warner will address the fears that invariably come up for writers looking to write their deepest truths and expose their most intimate—and often shameful—secrets. This webinar will address the fallouts too—and touch upon how sharing your truth has a way of both leveling everything and setting you free.


Turn Up the Dial on Your Memoir: How to Bring More Heart and Craft to Your Story 

Friday, April 28

Please take a moment to look at the 6 amazing sessions we have lined up. We’re so jazzed, too, about who’s joining us and what they have to share. Recordings for all sessions will be available to registrants the day following the event.

 

OUR LINE-UP:

• Julie BartonNYT bestselling author of Dog Medicine
•Jenni Ferrari-Adler is a longtime agent at Union Literary in New York 
• Linda Joy Myers, PhD, award-winning memoirist and President of the National Association of Memoir Writers 
• Jordan Rosenfeld, author of seven books, most recently Writing the Intimate Character 
• Deborah Siegel, PhD, author and Coach-in-Chief at Girl Meets Voice, Inc. 
• Brooke Warner, author and Publisher of She Writes Press

SIGN UP TODAY: $39 for all 6 sessions.

 


Magic of Memoir 2017 Intensive

September 22-24
Corte Madera, CA

Last year’s Magic of Memoir conference in Oakland, CA, was amazing. People wanted more, but they also wanted to dive deeper. So this year we’re taking a break from the conference and answering your call.

The Magic of Memoir 2017 Intensive starts Friday night and ends on Sunday, and there’s an application process to get in. Spaces are open now for 30 serious memoir students. We can’t wait to read your applications. We’re looking forward to all your stories, and after the amazing work we saw at our Magic of Memoir conference last year, we know this weekend will be incredible.

Check out the full details of the program here.

Applications (and a refundable deposit of $99) due June 1st.

 

APRIL Roundtable Webinar- FREE to All- April 6, 2017

Betsy Graziani Fasbinder

Exposed: Telling Our Deep Truths in Memoir or Fiction

April 6, 2017

 4 PM PDT  5 PM MDT  6 PM CDT  7 PM EDT  

We want to welcome Betsy Graziani Fasbinder to our book discussion this month. We have been in the same writing group for over fourteen years, the Bellas, and here at NAMW we are celebrating her first memoir, Filling Her Shoes, but it’s not her first book. Three years ago her novel Fire and Water was published from which she drew personal experiences to create a fictional story. The core of a story is the truth you need to tell, and today we’re going to hear from Betsy how she transitioned from fiction writer to the full out exposure in a memoir. Congratulations Betsy!

_______________________________________________________________

When Betsy Graziani Fasbinder was about to marry her husband, a widowed father, she knew she’d also become her first son’s second mother. She knew that she didn’t want to become any version of a wicked stepmother common in fairytales, and she was determined not to repeat her own abusive family history.

Filling Her Shoes: A Memoir of an Inherited Family is the story of a woman who stepped into the shoes of another mother taken too soon, and learning along the way that she’d need to find her own stride in the journey her new family would walk together.  This is the story of how love and loss are not opposites, but cohabitants in family life and how family is the richest inheritance of all.

Why I wrote and published this story now

I wrote these stories originally just for myself.  When I was becoming Max’s mother, none of the parenting books in the bookstore offered me what I needed. Either they were about welcoming a new baby or becoming a stepparent after a divorce. Neither of these described what I faced, so  I wrote my story to gain perspective in those moments. At the time, I also felt that I didn’t want to burden my son or my husband, who had suffered such a tragic loss, with the doubts and fears that I was carrying in my role.  Now, my older son is an adult, 32 years old. He’s happy, thriving, and living independently. I no longer feel the need to protect anyone from my own emotional process of the events of our lives. I needed this time not only to gain perspective, but to know that the story has a happy ending.

  • The vulnerability of writing yourself as a character in your story.
  • The importance of making emotion sensory in scenes…the “show don’t tell”, and techniques for writing that create a vivid story.
  • Finding the universality of a very personal story so readers can connect.
  • Discovering that “truth” can be told in both fiction and memoir.
  • The power of pacing, and using light and dark stories to give readers a chance to breathe between tough scenes.
  • Discovering that even in fiction, if we’re writing emotional truth, themes of our own lives inevitably come through.
  • Though the plot and circumstances between fiction and memoir are vastly different, the themes seemed to have their own gravitational pull, tugging us back to the truth that we need to tell.

 

Bio

Betsy Graziani Fasbinder has been a writer her entire life, and began to share her work with others in her early forties. She has been a licensed therapist for 25 years. Her debut novel, Fire & Water has been honored with an honorary mention in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York Book Festivals. An excerpted chapter of Filling Her Shoes was published in Women’s Day Magazine. Betsy lives in Marin County, California with her husband, Tom, in their intermittently empty nest. They just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Their old dog, Edgar (Edgar Allan Paw) is her most faithful writing companion.

Trainer, Leadership Consultant, Marriage Family Therapist

www.betsygrazianifasbinder.com

Twitter @BetsyGFasbinder

 

Audio and webinar recording below:

2017-04-06 16.01 NAMW Free Roundtable Discussions from Linda Joy Myers on Vimeo.

Featured NAMW Member – Rena Graham


Book Synopsis

INFALLIBLE: A Modern Mystical Memoir tells the story of an ambitious young interior designer, living a life of freedom and novelty, in 1980s San Francisco. She thought she’d left her past behind and attained the glamourous new life she’d fought hard for. Then the violence started: four seemingly random attacks in two years, the last almost fatal. These coincided with some of the worst violence San Francisco had also endured: the Jonestown massacre in the jungles of Guyana by local cult leader Jim Jones, the double murder of George Moscone and Harvey Milk and the subsequent White Night Riots. Was there a connection between her mugging, attempted car-jacking, street attack and stabbing and the violence that rocked The City she dearly loved?

Searching for help after exhausting conventional medical and legal sources, she met a one-armed astrologer who told her she had the most difficult chart he’d ever seen. His uncanny level of prescience and clear-headed guidance helped her move forward in life and heal the deep trauma she’d suffered. But what of the thirty difficult years ahead that he tried to prepare her for? What would she believe and which of his prophecies would come true? How did her belief influence the fate he saw for her? Would she eventually engage the future he saw for her, one so different from the one she strived to achieve?

Rena’s voice is as distinctive as the tale she’s chosen to tell. She plumbs experiences that could have sidelined others to bring the reader universal questions regarding belief and fate. Written from the mature, reflective voice of someone who lived and evaluated those years, this is a book for anyone who might wonder at their own odd destiny. Bold writing, telling dialogue and provocative characterization are highlights on this dramatic, yet humorous debut memoir.

Bio
Rena writes short and long form creative non-fiction and is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. Originally from the U.S., her work’s been published there and in Canada, where she currently makes her home. Cobalt Review, The Bookends Review, and the upcoming inaugural edition (spring 2017) of Chroma Magazine have all featured her work. She’s also had pieces shortlisted in Malahat Review’s Open Season awards and The Writer’s Union of Canada Short Prose Competition. Her work as an editor and ghostwriter helps writers and non-writers get their personal stories on the page.

Testimonials

Myers makes a compelling case for the power of words as a form of healing and growth.

James W. Pennebaker, Ph.D. professor of psychology, The University of Texas at Austin and author, Opening Up and Writing To Heal

...the NAMW memoir classes with Linda Joy Myers are wonderful

Kathy Pooler