Public Memoir Roundtables

August Roundtable Webinar- FREE to All – August 3, 2017

There Was a Fire Here: A memoir that rose from the ashes

Risa Nye

August 3, 2017

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

My book began as a string of short pieces, each one memorializing something of importance I’d lost in the 1991 fire that destroyed over three thousand homes in my city. The fire made an appearance in nearly everything I wrote afterward, either in passing or as a focal point. I didn’t imagine that the pieces I was writing would somehow fit themselves into a book. It took many years, a dedicated effort through an MFA program, a year of not writing, and some excellent coaching to see that these memories—and more—could be stitched successfully into a memoir.

The story I wanted to tell wasn’t just my story: it involved a widely publicized event that cost 25 people their lives. I had to make sure I got the details right to honor them and others. Luckily, I had the chance to do interviews. I’d also kept newspaper articles and a journal from that momentous time. My biggest challenge was digging deep into my memory to recall the horror of those early days, and confronting the moments when I was at my lowest.

What you will learn:

  • My book came out on the 25th anniversary of the fire. It’s never too late to start a project when it involves a story that will not let you go
  • Even if it begins as a disorganized “crazy quilt,” and you doubt it will ever become a book people will want to read, others can help you visualize the story you want to tell and help silence that inner critic who asks, “So what?,” “Who cares?,” and “Why now?”
  • You have choices about how to frame and structure your memoir: how I modeled mine after several of my favorite memoirists
  • Do the research, ask the questions, get it as right as you can—then keep writing
  • The cover matters! How to make sure the cover reflects the story within

Risa Nye is a California native. Her books, articles, and essays can be found at www.risanye.com. She co-edited the anthology Writin’ on Empty: Parents Reveal the Upside, Downside, and Everything in Between When Children Leave the Nest. Her Ms. Barstool column and other articles appear in Berkeleyside.com. She also writes for EatDrinkFilms.com. She returned to graduate school in 2009 and earned an MFA in Creative Writing. Her memoir, There Was a Fire Here (SheWritesPress) was published in 2016.

July Roundtable Webinar- FREE to All – July 6, 2017

How I Wrote My Memoir: One Sentence a Day

Thais Derich

July 6, 2017 

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

We are grateful that Thais Derich can join us for this FREE Roundtable Discussion teleseminar. She will discuss how she wrote her book, hired an agent by the hour, and found her publisher. Thais will surprise you when you learn about her unconventional path to publishing, her entrepreneurial spirit, and her passion for social justice in our writing.

Thais Nye Derich, in her memoir, Second Chance: A Mother’s Quest for a Natural Birth After a Cesarean, falls under the power of clinician-directed medical birth rather than one guided by the body’s own intuitive knowledge.

Derich’s story telling is empowering and she gains strength and healing through her vulnerability on the page. However, she writes her story, too, in solidarity with other women and their birth stories, refusing to whitewash the difficulties while still celebrating the moments of joy. It is fitting that she ends her memoir balanced between these difficulties and the joys.

You will learn:

  • How Derich wrote her book using this mantra: “one sentence a day.”
  • The ways that your memoir picks you.
  • How your story is bigger than yourself.
  • Learn how writing and speaking about a cause are different.
  • How to be a writer with young children.
  • How to balance family, work, and the art of writing.

Derich speaks about her story and the intersection between birth and social justice. Derich’s past work has been published in Salon, BlogHer, BabyCenter, Literary Mama, Wild Violet Literary Magazine, Forge Journal, SFGate, the San Francisco Examiner, among others and performed live at the Listen to Your Mother show. A chapter of Second Chance was a finalist out of 500 entries for the Creative Non-Fiction Magazine’s baby anthology. She now lives in beautiful Marin County, where she is writing her second book.

 

Listen to the recording below:

June Roundtable Webinar- FREE to All- June 15, 2017

Rifka Kreiter

EVOLUTION OF A MEMOIR–EVERYTHING IN ITS OWN TIME

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

June 15, 2017

We are so pleased that Rifka Kreiter will be joining us. Her book Home Free will take us back to the era of the sixties, and the adventures that were life changing for Rifka. We all go on a journey into the past as we write our memoir, and we discover and uncover surprises, ahas, and “oh, I did that?” moments along the way. It’s a journey that ultimately is rewarding, and I’m glad that we get to speak with Rifka about the life story that has become her book, and her challenges along the way to write and publish her memoir.

From Rifka:

I will speak about the nearly twenty-year journey to publication of my book Home Free: Adventures of  child of the Sixties. The journey began with writing group pieces that seemed to cry out,  “We wanna be a book.”   Classes, workshops, writing groups followed, as well as long fallow periods, illustrating one teacher’s counsel that “for some pieces, you have to do more living before you’re ready to write it.”  And then there was the “onerous” publishing process, with its many trials.

Motivations that kept me going were:

  • Self-examination: Coming to terms with my difficult personal history
  • Fun: The pleasure of revisiting the experience of being young in that extraordinary time and sharing my stories of adventure
  • Bearing witness: The deep satisfaction of describing the amazing grace that transformed my life. I felt, if only one reader found encouragement and hope in my story, that would make it worthwhile.

Members Will:

  • Find out how to keep persisting despite obstacles to write the book of your heart.
  • Be encouraged to find tools to free your inner writer, such as Morning Pages.
  • Discover techniques I found helpful in dealing with the inner critic
  • Learn about querying agents and publishers, and how I made the decisions I did.

 

Bio

An astrologer once told Rifka Kreiter that a certain planetary conjunction in her chart signifies “an unusual life, full of unexpected happenings,” and this has certainly proved true.

Home Free recounts her peripatetic early life in New York, LA and San Diego.  She studied acting at New York’s High School of Performing Arts, philosophy at City College of New York and Clinical Psychology at Adelphi University.  She has worked as a waitress, hatcheck girl and hearing researcher.  She was Continuity Director at a New York radio station and Assistant Convention Manager at the Concord Resort Hotel in the Catskill Mountains.

Since 1976 she has been following an ancient yogic path and she lived in a meditation ashram for ten years. Rifka currently teaches meditation and has a day job.  At age 55 she (finally) met her life partner, an Upper West Side psychotherapist.  They live happily together in suburban New Jersey.  Contact her at rifkakreiter.com.

 

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!

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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.

March Roundtable Webinar- FREE to All- March 9, 2017

Donna Stoneham

Critical Keys for Thriving as a Writer

March 9, 2017

 4 PM PST  5 PM MST  6 PM CST  7 PM EST  

Have you held yourself back from getting a book out into the world because you feared rejection?  Have you ever considered that you might be as afraid to succeed as you are to fail?

In her book, The Thriver’s Edge:  Seven Keys to Transform the Way You Live, Love and Lead, transformational leadership expert and executive coach Dr. Donna Stoneham show readers how to move from surviving to thriving.  Through personal stories, case studies of clients, and sharing what she’s learned over her twenty-five-year coaching and teaching career, Donna discusses why people are as afraid to succeed as they are to fail.  Using her THRIVER model, she creates a path to help readers uncover the beliefs and fears that hold them back from more fully expressing their potential, then provides tools and reflection questions for how to break those obstacles and create the life they yearn to live.  Practical, applicable, and transformative, The Thriver’s Edge is a “coach in a book” that teaches readers to unleash their potential, fulfill their dreams, and offer their best to the world.

In this webinar, Donna will discuss the fears that hold writers back.  She will provide practical tools to break through those fears by applying some of the keys to thriving from her book.  You will learn:

  • About the Jonah Complex and why many of us fear success as much as failure.
  • How to tune into and leverage your inner champion and the soul-tenders in your life, rather than the inner-critic and the doubt-planters that seek to hold you back.
  • Skillful ways to manage your inner critic when it rears its ugly head.
  • What it takes to create and sustain the resilience you need as a writer.
  • Ways to deepen self-trust and follow your inner compass.
  • How to live “at cause” versus “at effect” in your writing career.

Bio:  About Donna Stoneham, Ph.D.

Donna Stoneham, PhD, is a master executive coach, transformational leadership expert, facilitator, author, spiritual activist and speaker.

For the past twenty-five years, Donna has helped several thousand Fortune 1000 and not-for-profit leaders, teams, and organizations unleash their power to thrive™ and create powerful results in their work and lives through her company, Positive Impact, LLC (www.positiveimpacllc.com.)  Donna holds a Ph.D. with a concentration in Learning and Change in Human Systems from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is a certified Integral Coach®.

Donna is the author of the award-winning book, The Thriver’s Edge: Seven Keys to Transform the Way You Live, Love, and Lead (finalist in National Indie Best Book Awards, USA Best Book Awards, and International Book Awards) and named by Buzz Feed as “Nine Awesome Books for Your Kick-Ass Career.” She’s a contributor in two books, The Coaching Code and Ask Coach (October, 2016). (www.donnastoneham.com).  As one of the world’s leading coaches, Donna will be featured in the upcoming full length documentary, Leap! The Coaching Movie (www.coachingmovie.com) (2017).  Donna is working on her next book, 52 Weeks to Thrive (2018) and a book of resistance poetry that will be released in 2017.

Donna has written for the International Journal of Coaches in Organizations, TD Magazine, Conscious Lifestyle Magazine, and The Globe and Mail.  She’s been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, and The Huffington Post and has been a guest on ABC, NBC, and Fox affiliates, Sirius Radio, IHeartRadio and on numerous radio shows throughout the US.

Take Donna’s thriver quiz: http://donnastoneham.com/thrivers-quiz/  or follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DonnaStonehamPhD/ or Twitter @DonnaStoneham.

 

Audio and webinar recording below:

MP3 File

 

 

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