Author Archives: Erica

October Roundtable Discussion – FREE to All

What I Learned from Screenwriters about Structuring a Memoir

Betty Hafner

October 6, 2016

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

 

not-exactly-loveYou may have heard the question, “What’s the better training for writers—an MFA or New York?”  Well, neither for me. When I started writing in earnest, I chose to stay put and learn everything I could from books, workshops, writers’ conferences, webinars and wherever Google sent me. This is all to say I’ve had no formal training in writing.

So after two years of writing about my marriage in the ’70s, I was stuck. I had simply a collection of chapters full of drama, because those were the situations I was able to remember most clearly. It didn’t feel like it was becoming a book though. That’s when the screenwriters came in, not literally, of course. I just dug into materials where various film consultants and writers discussed how to shape a story into one that would really mean something to an audience or readers. It was a significant turning point for me, and I’d like to share some of those lessons with you.

Among other things, we’ll discuss:

  • Pulling together a collection of related personal essays into a memoir.
  • Using the classic three-act dramatic structure to help shape your memoir.
  • Seeing the story you’re telling about your life as a journey.
  • The importance of scenes in memoirs.
  • What makes the setup in your story so important.

 

Biography

betty-hafnerBetty Hafner lives outside Washington, DC and has written a popular monthly book review column for twelve years in The Town Courier newspapers in Montgomery County, MD. With a M. S. in counseling she was a teacher and counselor in high schools and colleges for twenty-five years. She continues to lead workshops, give talks and facilitate groups. She wrote two practical career-change books that stemmed from her workshops―Where Do I Go From Here? (Lippincott) and The Nurse’s Guide to Starting a Small Business (Pilot Books). Always ready to converse, she also loves telling stories through her drawings and photographs.

 

Learn more at http://www.bettyhafner.com/book/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bettyhafnerauthor/

Twitter https://twitter.com/BettyHafner

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bettyhafner/

 

Listen to the recording below:

Featured NAMW Member – Charlene Jones

The Stain

THE-STAIN-220Near Lake Eire in the 17 century, Tahni weds Chief Takoda in a glorious meadow that exactly matches the beautiful meadow of her night dreams. She lives a life of happiness until Takoda does not return. Tahni’s breaking heart leaves her vulnerable to the medicine man, Chaytan, who uses his powers to connect his life with hers, beyond time.

In London England in the 1890’s Mary stands wretched in a corner of the asylum rocking an invisible baby, yearning to get to the meadow she sees just beyond this world. A single visitor claims her, taking her from the institution. Who ishe? Can she truly heal from her heartache, betrayal and loss?

Contemporary middle-aged Diana weaves the tale of her life, including the rape she endured as a young girl, the madness that followed and her trail of meditation and travel that led to healing. Her listener, the mysterious, attractive Jake awakens feelings she had thought she’d never have again. Can she trust her heart and her life to his hands?

Three women, their lives bound by a single, horrifying event, replay madness, betrayal, loss and brutality until one of them finds a way to clear them all from the karmic suffering of The Stain.

 

Medicine Buddha/Medicine Mind

Medicine Buddha Front Cover (1)Want to know more about how your brain works? Want to learn to work with your mind, instead of against it? Ever think about those images from dreams, from when you read a really good book or just from daydreaming? Ever wonder what those images mean?

GET THIS BOOK! Here the seams between our experience of mental visualizations (we use Tibetan icon Medicine Buddha as our example) and what the latest in Neuroscience has to say about images, join in easy to read, simple language.

Excerpt from the book:

“Whenever we speak, act, or even think, untold numbers of dendrites light up, stoking an electrical charge that runs along a neuron and since neurons like to chat with their neighbors, other neurons join in. These others are especially encouraged to join whenever the same action, the same speech, the same thought occurs.”

 

Current Project: My Impossible Life a memoir

 

Bio

Charlene JonesCharlene Diane Jones, M.Ed/M.A., Meditation Teacher, Psychotherapist, Author, Writing Coach, Science Explorer, Mother, Grandmother, Mate. After 45 years of meditating with Tibetan Vajrayana (in simple terms Tibetan Visualization), 45 years of knowing each meditation session helped her just that bit more toward clarity, joy and non-clinging awareness, she stumbled on Neuroscience. Immediately she recognized here was the answer to HOW Visualization works to create a stronger, more coherent psyche.

Website: www.soulsciences.net

Labor Day and Back to School Sale 2016

 It’s time to celebrate Labor Day and Back to School here at NAMW!

From September 3 through September 5, 2016 at midnight, NAMW is offering $20 off the cost of an annual membership to NAMW!

Here at NAMW, we think of the end of summer and the new crispness of autumn as a chance for new beginnings. I always think the beginning of September is a perfect time to pick up projects that languished over the summer and recommit myself to my work. It’s a great time to refocus and reset goals, and make plans for our projects as if we are going back to school. I don’t know about you, but I loved those new notebooks, pencils, and the aroma of new books, and still love to buy new pens!

And here at NAMW, we offer so many opportunities to learn, from our Member Teleseminars and Roundtables to our special Telesummits and Group Coaching. You have access to the recordings of these events when you become a member.

So we say, let’s KICKSTART our focus with a sale on NAMW annual membership!

If you are working on your memoir, and want to learn craft, get inspiration, and have accountability to develop your memoir, please join us. We want to support you to get your memoir written and published.

Become a member today!

To celebrate new beginnings, NAMW is offering $20 off the cost of annual membership and renewals from Saturday September 3rd through Monday September 5th!

NAMW new Memberships are  $149 SALE $129 
NAMW Renewals are $139 SALE $119

Current and lapsed members are encouraged to take advantage of this sale!

If you’re still unsure about joining, here are just a few great reasons why it pays to be a NAMW member:

  • FREE access to Live Monthly Teleseminars and FREE downloadable recordings of over 70 archived Teleseminars
  • Free downloadable recordings of our past Telesummits, with valuable topics such as “From Story to Sold! Becoming a Successful Memoir Author”
  • Special Member Discounts for Workshops, Online Classes, and Webinars
  • Receive three FREE e-books on the memoir-writing craft by renowned authors
    PDF download of the NAMW e-Book: Memoir Writing as a Healing Journey by Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D.
  • Access to information on contests, grants, and publishers as well as exposure to cutting-edge news and information about the memoir-writing field
  • All members of NAMW are invited to sign up for once a month group laser coaching sessions with Linda Joy Myers
  • Opportunities to share your successes and new publications with other memoir writers and ask questions on our NAMW Members-Only Facebook group

…And much, much more!

We hope in the spirit of the new “school year,” you’ll decide to take your relationship with NAMW to the next level and join as a member.

 

New, current and expired members are encouraged to take advantage of this sale. 

If you are a member, be sure you are logged in to get the additional discount and we’ll simply add 12 months to whatever amount of time currently exists on your membership.  It’s that easy!

We hope to see you at the next teleseminar!

 

Dancing with the Muse—How Writing Prompts Evoke Spontaneous, Authentic Writing

Judy ReevesJudy Reeves
September Member Teleseminar
September 23, 2016
11 AM PDT    12 PM MDT    1 PM CDT   2 PM EDT

Someone says, “Write about a full moon,” and a slight hum of response tickles the writer’s fingers. Just a word: “mosaic” or “iridescent” or “skin,” and images appear as if by magic. A line from a poem: “A year after your death…” or from a book: “She learned to tell time with her skin” and stories begin to form without our even knowing it. These writing prompts are music that invites us to dance. Just a word, a phrase, an evocative quote and the writer sets her own rhythm and makes up her own steps. Effective writing prompts of the sort we’ll discuss, tap into the intuitive and cause a spilling forth images and words, rememberings and imaginings, unique to each writer. The prompt itself may not have much, if anything, to do with what finally gets written. It serves only as a starting point, a place for the writer to swoop off the cliff and glide into the winds of her imagination and memory.

We are going to take some time to write from a prompt. Join us to dance with your writing!

 

What members will gain/learn from the discussion:

  • How writing prompts tap into the intuitive and evoke spontaneous, authentic writing
  • How to use writing prompts for a work-in-progress, to begin something new, or to go deeper into a piece or a section or scene
  • What makes an effective, evocative writing prompt
  • Where to find/how to create your own prompts
  • The effects of spontaneity in using prompts for generating fresh material

 

Judy Reeves bio: 

Wild Women, Wild VoicesJudy Reeves is a writer, teacher and writing practice provocateur whose books include A Writer’s Book of Days, named “Best Nonfiction” in the 2010 San Diego Book Awards; Writing Alone, Writing Together; A Creative Writer’s Kit and The Writer’s Retreat Kit. Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has appeared in the San Diego ReaderThe Frozen Moment; A Year in Ink; Connotations Press; Serving House Journal; Waymark; and Expressive Writing, Classroom and Community, and other journals and anthologies. Two plays, written with a women’s writing ensemble, were produced by the Fritz Theater. In addition to leading private writing workshops and retreats, Judy teaches at San Diego Writers, Ink, a nonprofit literary organization she co-founded, and at writing conferences internationally. Her latest release is the Wild Women, Wild Voices-Writing from Your Authentic Wildness. Her website is judyreeveswriter.com.  She blogs at livelymuse.com.

 

 

 

September Roundtable Discussion – FREE to All

Grant FaulknerWhy NaNoWriMo is Important for Memoirists

Presentation by Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month 

September 15, 2016

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

Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month, November 1-30, known as NaNoWriMo will join us to talk about how you can join this worldwide writing frenzy and get a first draft done in a month.

It’s a great way to kick off the “school” year to hear from the person who heads up this international effort to celebrate writing. NaNoWriMo has created a phenomena that adds hundreds, even thousands, new writers each year to the annual National Novel Writing Month celebration. Here’s how it works: you sign up on the website and commit to writing 50,000 words during the month of November. Not only does it light a fire under you to get a LOT of writing done, you’re joining thousands people all over the world who are doing the same thing: committing to writing through writer’s block, procrastination, and confusion to get words on the page.

And great news:  you do not have to be a novelist to join NaNoWriMo. Grant and I are going to talk about how it all works and what the benefits are to you as memoirists. Many memoirists join to blow past all the issues that slow them down. When it comes down to it, if you have a word count to fulfill and accountability, you will write more.

We will talk about:

  1. What is NaNoWriMo and how did it get started.
  2. How you can join and how it works.
  3. What memoirists can gain from joining NaNoWriMo and how it can help you write your memoir.
  4. What is the expected outcome at the end; What does “winning” mean?
  5. What happens after it’s over—on your own again.

Writers say that NaNoWriMo was one of the most satisfying writing experiences they have had.

 

Bio

Grant Faulkner likes big stories and small stories. He is the Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), the co-founder of 100 Word Story, and a founding member of San Francisco’s Flash Fiction Collective. His essays on creative writing have appeared in The New York Times, Poets & Writers, Writer’s Digest, and The Writer, and his stories have appeared in dozens of literary journals. He recently published a collection of 100-word stories, Fissures, and is currently writing a book of essays on creativity that will be published by Chronicle Books in the fall of 2017.

National Novel Writing Month

100 Word Story

Learn more about Grant on his website.

You can follow Grant on Twitter here.

 

Listen to the recording below:

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