Memoir: Poetry from Chaos

Could just be that chaotic memories are poetry in motion leading us to write memoir. I'm posting a blog from Mara Buck, an exceptional writer of poetry and novels, among other artistic works. A sensitive person, with a great head on her shoulders, Mara and comes up with ingenious thoughts on most subjects. Today she has something to say about "from chaos comes the poetry of memoir." Seems she's got a scientific streak as well...       Which of us has memories as ordered as files in a desk drawer, neat and tidy, accessible or ignored, hidden or exposed only by our own decisive hand?  Not I and (I suspect) not you either.  The greater number of us live instead in a constantly evolving state of discovery and disorder, the past intruding upon the present, forever subject to ambush, chaos really.  Yet chaos can be a good thing, and when perceived and accepted for the potential gift it is, can render the most surprising of outcomes.       In chaos theory as applied to

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Book Distribution: what authors need to know

A few weeks ago, at the San Francisco Writers Conference, I had the good fortune to met Peter Beren, a publishing consultant for over 30 years and the author of this informative guest post. He graciously gives us the basics of the book business as he sees it – information, which all writers should be aware.  Every author published or not, needs to know the basics of the book business. One of the most basic parts is distribution. When you pitch a publisher on a book idea, they have one eye on the consumer and one eye on their distribution system. It is only when both “eyes” say “yes” that they are seriously considering a book.   Books are ordered in advance of their manufacture. They are sold on the basis of future promises. Many books actually don’t exist at the time they are ordered. Most books are presented as unique, authoritative and complete even though they haven’t been finished at the time they are ordered by booksellers.  20% of book sales occur in

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Zero in on Mother Memoir Writing Workshops

Soulful Tree Jason 7-09

There’s a movement mounting for that special niche in memoir where daughters and sons come together to zero in on mothers. Take a look at the potential: Discovering your mother’s distinct character and spirit Realizing the wisdom waiting in your mother’s actions Writing the stories only you can write Connecting on myriad levels through the art of storytelling There are all kinds of ways to teach creative writing/memoir writing where folks can write their life stories, but my passion and focus isn’t on writing memoir in general. Inspiring and teaching people to Tap Memory and Write Memoir – even if they’ve never written anything before – makes the world go ‘round. Join me for the journey of a life time where you will write your short, true story. You can do it - you really can. I promise; you’ll be glad you did! The Story Woman asks you to write a bio-vignette capturing your mother's character and spirit. Photo by Jason Wells Photography

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First Mine for gold, then Write Memoir

First Mine for gold, then Write Memoir Hello, all you writers and authors and artists from across the board.  I recently read a great little book by Abigail Thomas, Thinking About Memoir, so I wanted to share my thoughts with you about this book and add it to my new Book Review blog category. By the way, my reviews aren’t confined to the memoir genre. From the inception of my blog, which wasn’t that long ago, one of my main purposes was to give voice to a wide range of nonfiction and fiction writers as well as artists in general who have caught my eye and my spirit. If you’d like me to post a blog about you and your work, please contact me and we’ll go from there. I believe the inspiration we get from each connection we make with art, whether through books, paintings, sculptures, theatre, dance, or music breathes life into our beings as we discover new ways to view our world. Abigail Thomas’ book, Thinking About Memoir, is oriented towards crafting the story of

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7 Tips for Playwrights


Enter, stage right: Jayne Wenger, artistic director, dramaturg, and workshop leader par excellence.  I'm excited that Jayne's writing tips will be offered for the first time by The Story Woman here on the TellTale Souls' blog. After you read Jayne Wenger's Seven Tips for Playwrights, join her and artists from around the world this August in beautiful Assisi, Italy, for the time of your life.  SEVEN TIPS FOR PLAYWRIGHTS Make Writing your Habit If you don't have hours each day to write, squeeze in at least 20 minutes. Writing scenes in your head won't work, write them down!  Write. Rewrite  Write. Rewrite. Summarize your Story and Subplots Do this just for yourself.  It will help you to stay on course.  Or, if you are veering off course, you will know it. Maybe that's the place you meant to go all along! And write a few sentences about each character. Just for yourself, again. What defines them?  Stage Directions are Important Don't let anyone tell you that they

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VIEW FROM A CAGE by Colette Hosmer, Sculptor


From my position on the worn, overstuffed chair, I can see outside the window and through the bars of my second story balcony to a wall of similar Chinese apartments beyond the narrow alleyway.  A neighbor across the way has an identical balcony, only the rusted bars of her confine support a few potted plants and the door to their kitchen is flanked by two red Spring Festival banners with gold letters – another banner is pasted horizontally across the top.  A caged bird flutter-jumps from perch to the top the cage to perch to bottom and back again. The woman of the house is slight, middle aged and gentle looking – neatly bobbed hair frames her round, expressionless face.  Sometimes I see her sweeping the balcony floor or watering her two plants, while the husband watches television at a deafening volume.  A small window reveals images shouting from the screen in 1 to 2 second intervals. It is always on, and he is always sitting in front of it, his presence exposed by clouds of

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