Writing Mother Memoir with a Warm Texas Flair – TellTale Souls’ Bio-Vignette No. 15

My Hellen

Before the Story - Mother Memoir Writing Tip: Focus your power to write significant memoir by using a literary method known as “stream of consciousness.”  Settle yourself in a comfortable place with writing tools at hand and focus on the woman you’ve chosen as the focal point for your Mother Memoir, be that your mother, grandmother or another woman to whom you felt like a daughter or a son.  Thoughts, ideas, and feelings will begin to stream into consciousness.  As this happens, allow this experience to be  continuous and uninterrupted. Without questioning or reacting to what comes to mind, simply let what you’re experiencing flow on to the page before you until you run out of steam!  By then, I know from experience, you will have several great thoughts and significant  feelings written down that you can use as the basis for your story or to further develop your mother’s character in a story you have already begun. The following story excerpted from my

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San Francisco Writers Conference 2014 – Come One, Come All

Golden Gate Bridge

A CELEBRATION OF CRAFT, COMMERCE, AND COMMUNITY! This headline for The San Francisco Writers Conference 2014 will provide exactly that and more. Click the link above for the line-up keynote speakers & presenters, inspiring bestselling authors, legendary agents, writing intensive workshops, classes on craft galore, and to register. As The Story Woman and a TellTale Soul, I can’t think of any place I’d rather be. Hope to see you sometime during the extravaganza, February 13-16, 2014. It’s being held at the posh Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, Mason & California, San Francisco! Top Ten Reasons for Writers to Attend the 2014 San Francisco Writers Conference Launch your writing career–or take it to a more professional level–with direction from bestselling authors and publishing experts. Choose from a schedule of workshops, panels and sessions that fit your specific writing needs and goals. Get your questions answered at

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The Muse Will Move You to Become a TellTale Soul

Woman in creative thought

I found my muse when I least expected to find her. Or was it she found me? It was a time when I definitely wasn’t looking—perhaps that’s the magic and beauty of it. Even the realization that my muse had appeared didn’t hit me until the spark I had ignited in so many people began to blaze. The fire burned simply because I’d asked them this question, “If you could tell just one small story that would capture your Mother’s character and keep her spirit alive, what would it be?” So the musings began… 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.

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Tone, Mood of Memoir Like Sweet Persimmons – TellTale Souls’ Bio-Vignette No. 12

Sweet, tangy, fruit of the gods.

  Sweet, tangy, fruit fit for the gods are words used to describe the tone and mood of the glorious persimmon.  The following story, entitled “Sweet Persimmons,” excerpted from my guidebook, TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir: How to Tap Memory and Write Your Story Capturing Character & Spirit, sets the tone and mood of memoir in a comparably delightful manner.  The story begins on page 113 of Act Three in the section entitled “Using Descriptive Imagery.” You can easily find other stories I’ve posted from the book by searching “Bio-Vignette No.” TellTale Soul Helena uses dialog in a compelling way, allowing her characters to interact expressively, with feeling and emotion, infusing energy into her delicious story.  Notice how she conveys the mood, the overall feeling of her story, by the tone she set through the various voices of those present. Sweet Persimmons ~Helena Wan I rang the doorbell and waited, my thoughts going back so many years

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Descriptive Imagery – A Must When Writing Memoir

Red Formica table

          “On those particular evenings, Rickey, Dana, and I would draw in close around our gray-flecked, red-Formica-topped kitchen table, its naive, gently curving, chrome-plated legs holding our weight as our elbows bore down, giving each of us the added leverage we pursued. We needed to be closer to Mom and to the steaming platter she placed before us. Under the creamy glow of the kitchen light, six accepting eyes took in the uncomplicated joy and radiance emanating from Mom as she sought the simple, albeit little-known and usually wasted, prize this creature offered.” I hope you found this little excerpt from one of the bio-vignettes in my book enticing.  Hope the imagery made you want to read the complete telling tale.  I promise to post it soon, so please come back for more.  But for now, let’s look more closely at the power of descriptive imagery. We all know being honest and telling a true story is the basis for writing the Mother Memoir.  But a good

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If You Did Not Know Mother, Imagine Her – TellTale Souls’ Bio-Vignette No. 10

Lynn Scott & Mother 2009

What if you never really knew your mother? You can still write a meaningful story. The following story excerpted from my guidebook, TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir: How to Tap Memory and Write Your Story Capturing Character & Spirit is an excellent example of how one woman did just that.  This story begins on page 99 of Act Three in the section entitled “Using Descriptive Imagery.” You can easily find other stories I’ve posted from the book by searching “Bio-Vignette No.” To run after a shadow and learn to describe it is exceptionally rewarding because you have brought a dim memory or fragments of remembrances into the light and have become wiser for the effort. TellTale Soul Lynn Scott uses this approach as she weaves together her Mother Memoir. I’m Imagining My Mother ~Lynn Scott I am imagining my mother at three…a softly rounded little girl with huge blue eyes, set deep under lids like her papa’s. Her hair a thatch of white-blond,

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A Memoir on the Meaning of Life and Death – A Walk Through the Churchyard

a Walk through the Churchyard

The Rev. Rob Gieselmann is someone I’d call a TellTale Soul.  He’s written a truly heartfelt memoir looking at the  space in between life and death as an insider who has intimately walked the walk.  If you know anyone who has lost a loved one or needs a shoulder to lean on when death looks on, I highly recommend this little book.  The following is the review I couldn’t resist writing and posting on his page on Amazon. I didn’t read  “a Walk through the Churchyard toward a spirituality of Christian death”, I “felt” this memoir seep into every part of my being as I took in Rev. Rob Gieselmann’s experiences and listened to his messages.  They will stay with me, always. Eloquent and honest, this little book, of only 119 pages, is a beautifully moving memoir of extraordinary power.  I was deeply touched as Rev. Rob Gieselmann gathered poignant thoughts and expressed intimate feelings, often by putting forth questions—some resolved, some not—about death. 

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The Story Woman Connects with Baby Boomers on Boomer Café

Follow Me to Powerful Writing

The minds of Baby Boomers are known to be teeming with ideas and, more often than not, they’re feeling the need to write memoir. That’s why I felt honored when the creators of the wildly popular website, Boomer Café, invited me to contribute some of the memoir writing wisdom I’ve gathered for well over a decade. As one Baby Boomer to a host of other Boomers, my hope is to inspire and encourage them to write memoir—even those who don’t think they have what it takes to write. They do! I know writing memoir is more than possible, it’s downright doable. When I teach “Keeping Spirits Alive” writing classes, I’m thrilled each time I witness daughters and sons discovering newly found memories and then moving those special gems into unforgettable bio-vignettes, stories of substance, only they can write. Follow my lead. Join me on a journey of discovery into a new dimension in the world of memoir. I'st a space where daughters and sons are shown how to tap memory

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Capture a Memory, Write a Memoir, Connect to the Universal Mother

Connect to the Universal Mother

Capture It!  Write It!  Connect It!  These are the catchwords I used when creating the TellTale Souls website in the year 2000.  2009 was the birth of The Story Woman blog, where I began posting tips, lessons, and secrets on how to tap memory and write memoir, while sprinkling it with reviews of books that grabbed my attention and guest posts by authors and artists of interest. Closest to my heart is “Keeping Spirits Alive,” through teaching the writing of a special kind of memoir, the Mother Memoir, to daughters and sons who craft intimate bio-vignettes straight from their hearts. From showing folks how to Capture It! to teaching them how to Write It!, it was time to Connect It!  So folks had an easy way to connect, I strategically wove 40 bio-vignettes throughout TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir: How to Tap Memory and Write Your Story Capturing Character & Spirit, published almost a year ago.  Many stories are also being posted, over time, on the this blog

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Grandmother’s Voice in a Lullaby – TellTale Souls’ Bio-Vignette No. 9

Robin's GRANDMA 2009

It’s time for a lullaby on The Story Woman Blog. Time to enjoy another story excerpted from my guidebook, TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir: How to Tap Memory and Write Your Story Capturing Character & Spirit.  This story begins on page 95 of Act Three in the section entitled “Adding Depth, Design, and Color.” You can easily find other stories I’ve posted from the book by searching “Bio-Vignette No.” In the first stages of writing as a Telltale Soul, Robin began to hear bits of melody and some of the words from childhood lullabies sung to her by her grandmother. Astonishingly, the songs floated into consciousness on the very voice of her grandmother. Lullabies ~Robin Monigold Dressed up in a gown that trails on the floor In a picture hat your mommy wore Living in a world that you never knew My little lady, make-believe.   What a pair of shoes for two tiny feet What a pair of gloves, the fingers don't meet Posing in the glass, your

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