Tag Archives: Memoir Writing

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.

Writing a Creative Manifesto

Kathleen Adams

March Member Teleseminar

March 17, 2017

11 AM PST  12 PM MST  1 PM CST  2 PM EST

I’m happy to having my colleague and friend Kathleen Adams return to share her wisdom with us. Kathleen is the founder of the Center for Journal Therapy and holds a deep and healing vision for how writing can help us heal, develop the yet to be developed parts of ourselves, and how we can create our work beyond what we had previously imagined.

Kay is going to help us develop our vision today, and invite you to listen into your desires, dreams, and goals. Join us for this exercise in creative visioning through writing your Creative Manifesto. I can’t wait to start!

 

Writing a Creative Manifesto

What are the personal bugaboos that stop you from working on your memoir? Not enough hours in the day? Too much on your plate? Mired in creative doldrums? No privacy? Whatever your bane, it likely causes annoyance at best, despair at worst.

Writing a creative manifesto can bring clarity and resolve to your situation, whatever it may be. Together we’ll gather the bones of your intentions and desires and through a sequenced writing process knit them together into affirmative action. You’ll realistically assess what’s possible, what’s desirable, and what’s simply out of reach for your current reality. You’ll leave with a three-point creative manifesto that can be deepened and expanded beyond our time together.

In this motivational hour you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s important to connect your writing to your core values
  • How to articulate a simple plan for writing success
  • Why “lowering your standards” can bring about a powerful mental shift

Kathleen Adams LPC, PTR is a psychotherapist and poetry/journal therapist in Denver, Colorado. Since 1985 she has pioneered the field of journal therapy. Kay is the founder/director of the Center for Journal Therapy and its professional training academy, the fully on-line Therapeutic Writing Institute, as well as its membership community, the Journalverse. 

 

 

Free Webinar (Monday, April 17): What Made Love Warrior a Best-Selling Memoir?

SIGN UP TO JOIN US for this free one-hour installment of our popular best-seller series.

Monday, April 17th, at 4pm PT | 5pm MT | 6pm CT | 7pm ET

In this hour-long free webinar, Linda Joy and Brooke be exploring memoirs that bare all—and spare no one—using Glennon Doyle Melton’s new memoir, Love Warrior, as a guide. They will address the fears that invariably come up for writers who want to write their deepest truths and expose their most intimate—and often shameful—secrets. The webinar will address the fallouts of such naked writing—and talk about how sharing your truth has a way of both leveling everything and setting you free.

During this Free Webinar You Will Learn:

  1. The hard truths—how to share them, why to share them, and what the consequences are for you, the writer, and the story if you don’t.
  2. Intentional omission. What did Glennon leave out? How did this impact the story and her readers?
  3. How to tackle hard themes, and the balance a memoir must strike when you’re sharing the intimate details of your sometimes-messy life.
  4. Whether the fallout is worth it. A look at the repercussions of writing a memoir, how to determine your tolerance for other people’s reactions, and ways to know whether the timing is right, and if you can weather the possible consequences.

CLICK HERE TO GET MORE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER! It’s FREE.

Brooke & Linda Joy welcome you!

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.

 

The Craft of Creating Believable Characters in Memoir

Jordan Rosenfeld 

February Member Teleseminar

February 17, 2017

11 AM PST    12 PM MST    1 PM CST   2 PM EST

We’re happy that Jordan Rosenfeld will be joining us again to talk about much needed craft issues for memoir writers—creating “characters” in our story, based on people we know. Most memoir writers don’t see that they are not building a character because that person lives in their memory—but the reader can’t see them unless you create and build the character chapter by chapter in your story.

How do you do this—by using character cues such as physical action, dialogue, sensory imagery, internal monologue and analogies. These are techniques that fiction writers use to make their characters believable—people who are not real, but made up, and yet who live in our imagination forever—think Jane Eyre, Mr. Darcey, and David Copperfield. In memoir, Helen MacDonald creates a full character of her hawk, and Cheryl Strayed brings to life herself and her mother, along with the “character” of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Join us for this important webinar by Jordan—she’s been with us before and always delivers powerful and important skills that we as memoir writers need to know.

You will learn:

  1. To understand how to use your point of view consistently to establish yourself as character—you are the protagonist in your own story.
  2. How to use strong character cues so they come alive on the page.
  3. That showing your characters in action is a dynamic way to bring them to life.
  4. How dialogue enriches your characters.

And more… We’ll talk about her book Writing the Intimate Character as a resource for you as you deepen your skills in creating character so they live vividly on the page!

 

Bio

Jordan is author of seven books, most recently: Writing the Intimate Character (Writer’s Digest Books). Her freelance work has appeared in The Atlantic, GOOD, New York Magazine, Scientific American and many more.

Jordanrosenfeld.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