The 2009 San Francisco Writers Conference begins just one week from today. It's a terrific three days of stimulating interaction with the literary community. I'll be there pitching my book of bio-vignettes, TellTale Souls: Keeping Spirits Alive One Story at a Time. Wish me luck! And I hope to meet you there... The Sixth San Francisco Writers Conference 'Building Bridges to Better Tomorrows' February 13 - 15, 2009 Key Conference Features Friday, Saturday, Sunday workshops, panels and other sessions The 2009 SFWC Anthology: More Bridges (published by iUniverse/AuthorSolutions!) Ask a Pro (formerly Speed Dating For Editors) - Asking questions of and pitching books to New York and California editors Speed Dating for Agents - Pitching books one-on-one to New York and California agents ($50 option) Pitch contests, Open mic readings, Gala party, networking opps galore Our San Francisco Writers Conference Writing Contest Attendees can receive free feedback on their work
I'll tell you what "bio-vignette" means to me and what my extensive search for it turned up. When I began to teach people how to capture the character of their mothers', I wanted them to tell a short story about "her" that in the telling would give the listener a good idea who this woman is, at her core, by illuminating an anecdote or moments in time on paper. I asked people to reveal the essence of "her" character in a short and sudden memoir, where "she" is the main attraction. This brings us to memoir, a record, chronicle, or account of a person's life? According to Inkspell: Memoir is a piece of autobiographical writing, usually shorter in nature than a comprehensive autobiography. The memoir, especially as it is being used in publishing today, often tries to capture certain highlights or meaningful moments in one's past, often including a contemplation of the meaning of that event at the time of the writing of the memoir. The memoir may be more emotional and concerned
"I'm hooked, in spite of myself." Those words from an editor and a woman, who initially didn't find the idea of "Mother Memoir" to her liking, warmed my soul. After reading the TellTale Souls (TTS) manuscript and the "How-to" Gift of Story (Gift) guide book, she went on to make many comments, I'll share a few: I confess, I needed to be ‘shown' that this book has value and tremendous appeal. "The Work" made me a believer. There are so many books in the marketplace, and the idea of reading (slogging) through 50 or so stories about other people's "mothers" didn't, personally, appeal to me. This being said, I found that most of the stories made me cry. I'm jealous of the love they feel for, and felt from, their mothers - stories I don't have. But, when I read through the Gift of Story guide book, I realized that there were aspects of my mother I could write about and be grateful for, because, Lynn, you provide not only latitude, but also charitable thinking in your
Short and sweet - my blog today. I stumbled upon a sweet site in the wee hours of this new day, and it is a winner. But Copyblogger spells trouble. Be careful, you can get lost in it for hours exploring, gleaning, and learning. If you ever put pencil to paper or finger tips on keyboard, this is a site chock full of irresistible information. I love giving you the link to this site, especially after posting Seven Resolutions, yesterday. Feels like good follow-up. Let me know what you think.
1. Honor someone other than ourselves. Isn't it time to go beyond today's cult of self-absorption by chronicling the spirit of others? 2. Keep our mothers' spirits alive. There is nothing like paying tribute to a loved one with a simple written record. A photograph captures a look at best, whereas a bio-vignette captures character and spirit. 3. Discover the secrets of women from different walks of life. Possibilities for embracing life unfold before us when we read true stories about mothers different from our own. It compels compassion, understanding, and unity. 4. Create catharsis. The outcome of writing a short, true story about one's mother results in emotional or psychological healing, when the relationship between the mother and daughter/son was sometimes difficult or rocky. 5. Become richer from the experience of actually writing a bio-vignette. Those of us who have embarked on this journey reach the other side more thoughtful, more knowing, and more
Inspiring Mini “Mother Memoir” Online Writing Class Now Once again, that stimulating question, “If you could tell just one story capturing your mother’s character to keep her spirit alive, what would it be?” If you need help answering this provocative question, sign up for my next 5-week online inspirational memoir writing class by going to my Classes page. Next class begins Wednesday, February 4, 2009. Register by February 2nd. Learn how to turn just one memory of your mother into an unforgettable story. Learn to capture the character of your mother in story as no photograph could ever do. · Learn by immersing yourself in the story woman™ memoir writing method that I’ve developed over the past decade. If you’re anyone who’s ever had a mother - read on . . . By portraying the essence of her character in a short, distinct memoir, you’ll learn and earn the joy of Keeping Her Spirit Alive. And “mother” can be any woman who
I asked them all a question. A provocative question for anyone who’d listen, and I got answers in the form of captivating bio-vignettes or mini memoirs. I put a good number of them into a book called TellTale Souls: Keeping Spirits Alive One Story at Time. The question went something like this, “If you could tell just one small story that reveals your mother’s character and would keep her spirit alive, what would it be?” The journey I began over a decade ago into writing Mother Memoir started this way: My mother died, but she’s not gone. Her ashes are scattered in my garden. I see her in my flowers and taste her in my fruit, and I laugh and I cry with her and know who I am…and sometimes who I am not. I love to hear and tell stories about her, and I know that my children and grandchildren will discover her soul shimmering between the lines of those savory stories. My mother was born Margaret Althea Cook. She wasn’t a saint and she wasn’t famous or wealthy. By
If you have questions, The Story Woman™ has answers - or will do her best to find the answer for you. Simply email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Your question to us means you agree to our posting it on our blog - we need your name and where you're from. Note: Your email address will not be posted without your permission, we respect your privacy.) Your questions along with our answers to all appropriate questions will be posted on the blog as time permits. We'd appreciate questions on non-fiction topics relating to: Writing non-fiction Memoir Short stories Bio-vignettes Inspiration How-to Write Catharsis Mother/daughter/son relationships Something clever from you Everyone has so many questions about writing, or they have reservations about whether or not they can write. You do have what it takes to write. If you want to begin, I'll help you when your send your question to me or you can start here.
My first Blog - the maiden voyage. And, yes, I feel just like those of you who are writing your first bio-vignette by answering the question, "If you could tell just one small story capturing your mother's character to keep her spirit alive, what would it be?" And take my lead on this - I've gleaned from the wise webbers that a blog should be written like you're talking to a friend. Don't get too wound up in writing the perfect sentence; it isn't a novel, and neither is the true short story you'll write about your mother. So please give yourself permission to write just like you're telling someone the story. Thanks for finding TellTale Souls in this vast arena of cyberspace. It's my goal to give you interesting information and ideas to make your time with me exactly where you want to be, since you have more choices than the national debt - but we aren't going there. It's a lot more fun Keeping Spirits Alive One Story at a Time. We'll explore - could it be expose? -