Featured NAMW Member

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.

Featured NAMW Member – Peter Gibb

Book Synopsis

King of Doubt is a story of well-meaning but clumsy parents, pedophile teachers, the mistakes of youth, lessons learned from unlikely sources, inner and outer adventure. And love. It is the story of one man’s (and the universal) quest to identify the illusive soul and fashion a life of meaning and connection, played out across time and continents. Beneath a surface of success, crippling doubt stalks the protagonist. A desperate need for approval holds him prisoner. What had been a distraction becomes a dungeon of despair. As the book approaches its climax, Peter has yet to deal with a depression that threatens to destroy everything he has lived and worked towards. This remarkable story of how Peter transforms himself and his life, from doubt to wonder, and the unlikely ally who reappears to help him at his time of trial, will fill you with delight at life’s possibilities and leave you dancing with hope.

Bio

Peter was raised in Scotland and England before coming to U.S. Though he was always interested in writing, he served a 50 year apprenticeship that included work with U.S. Foreign Service, High School and College Teaching, Acting, ESL, foreign language teaching, military service, home remodeling, and organizational development. He wrote two novels and a number of children’s books before succumbing to the lure of memoir. Peter and his wife Wendy live in Ashland, OR. They have finally succeeded in locating all 3 of their children on the west coast, between the Bay Area and Portland.

For more information about Peter Gibb, please visit www.PeterGibb.org or contact him at peter@petergibb.org.  King of Doubt will be available after February 6, 2017 on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, iBooks and in paperback from your local bookstore.

 

Featured NAMW Member – Patricia Dunn

Book Synopsis

Patricia was “cracked open” at age two by a nearly fatal accidental fall.  Her earliest memory is that of the unseen hands that lovingly carried her down an entire staircase.  This gracious act performed by an anonymous presence occurred within weeks of the sudden death of her eighteen-year-old sister.

Growing up in a family devastated by death and dysfunction, Patricia became increasingly aware of the many enigmatic incidents that infused themselves into her life.  By far, the most profound of these was a chill day in November of her ninth year when a premonition demanded that she remain home from school.   This was to be the day that her chronically ill father would die.  Home alone with him, Patricia was unaware that he was dead until she reached out to wake him from his day-long sleep.  In that moment, two things happened.  Her hand registered the ice-cold flesh of her father’s arm and she was pulled implausibly into a place of bliss hearing the last words she would ever hear her father speak – words of comfort, spoken from the other side.

Left with a disabled older sister and a mother plundered by grief, Patricia took on the role of peacemaker.  While her outer world was confined by walls of despair and frustration, Patricia’s inner world took on new depth and breadth.

The place was New York City during the 1960’s.  Even in this world of cultural tumult, she found nothing to explain or even validate these glimpses into the unseen.  What she was being taught by the good Dominican sisters swayed far from the mark.  As her home life degraded into darkened rooms and silence punctuated by the pain-fueled bickering of her mother and sister, she turned to books and her love for drawing.  These became her teachers and her sanctuary as she learned to navigate two worlds.

The struggle to understand both of these worlds and find the nexus between them, became her secret obsession.  Search for meaning both in the seen world, so fragile and temporary and the unseen world so tantalizing and unpredictable, led her down many esoteric paths.

In this memoir, Patricia winds her story around the chronological recounting of a multitude of these inscrutable vignettes, depicting them both through illustration and the written word.  This is a story of one woman’s search for meaning.

 

Bio

The hauntingly beautiful Delaware River Valley is home to Patricia and her husband of nearly thirty years.  Patricia has been writing since childhood and drawing since infancy.  Mostly self-taught, she can cite many talented individuals who have mentored her along the way.  Mostly a writer of short stories, having published two, Patricia’s memoir is her first book-length work.  Patricia has worked as a counselor, a legal assistant and as an art director.  She is the winner of The People’s Choice Award at the Niagara Falls International Plein Air Painter’s Worldwide Paint-out.

Featured NAMW Member – Cindi Michael

The Sportscaster’s Daughter

SportscastersDaughter_VERSA.inddMillions of people watched sportscaster George Michael each week on the Sports Machine, including sometimes his daughter Cindi. Cindi Michael appears to live a charmed life: she’s happily married, has a successful career, and is a loving mom to two wonderful children. Yet she longs for a father who hasn’t spoken to her in twenty years, and even secretly watches him on TV when the longing becomes unbearable.

When Cindi was eleven, her father fought for sole custody of her and her siblings, raising three children on his own despite being a bachelor and rock ’n’ roll DJ in New York. But with his rising fame as the host of the popular show Sports Machine, his 80-hour-a-week work schedule, and his second marriage, the close relationship Cindi shared with her father began to crack; she did everything to earn his love and attention, but for perfectionist George, it was never enough—and when she was eighteen and a freshman in college, in a burst of anger, he told her never to come home again. As the years went on, Cindi struggled to steel her heart while still remaining hopeful that they would one day reconcile, just as her father did with his own dad, and transcend painful family patterns that span generations. Candid, moving, and ultimately hopeful, The Sportscaster’s Daughter is a family story of forgiveness, faith , and strength.

 

Bio

cindimichaellowresAfter moving from Maryland to Switzerland to Texas to Michigan, Cindi Michael now lives in rural New Jersey, not far from where she spent the golden years of her childhood highlighted in her memoir. She’s happily married to an Englishman and is a die-hard football and swim team mom. Her day job as a technology and big data expert takes her to clients around the world, and she is the author of five business and technology books. She holds a BA in English from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Rice University. She has won two creative writing awards for her short stories.

 

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

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