Pot O’ Gold at Rainbow’s End: TELLTALE SOULS Bio-Vignette No. 3

Little Dana waiting on the porch, again.

As promised, I'm bringing you another story excerpt from my guidebook, TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir: How to Tap Memory and Write Your Story Capturing Character & Spirit.  It begins on page 51 of Act Two in the section entitled “Taking yourself back in time.” To find stories I've posted from the book, search "Bio-Vignette No. 1," then simply scroll to read more telling tales. Continue to delve into the memories that come up for you during reflective times, day dreaming, or when they pop up out of the blue as you go about your day. It’s your job to extract meaning from particularly revealing and intense mo­ments. The next exercise, a couple pages forward, involves answering deep ques­tions about the meaning behind memories. It’s both interesting and informative, but you may want to skip it for now and come back to it after your story is near completion. My sister Dana found it worked better for her to look for the meaning later. I asked her to explain:

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Best Reading Group Picks for 2012, Bar None

Great Group Read Selections 2012 list of powerful books was just released, and I am thrilled to share it with you.  As past president of Women’s National Book Association-San Francisco Chapter,  I’ve had a hand in the selections, as well as helping to foster awareness of our annual signature event, National Reading Group Month, to be held this year on October 6th from 2-4 p.m. at Books Inc, Opera Plaza, San Francisco.  And we’re showcasing two of the authors whose books made the list: Anita Amirrezvani, Equal of the Sun. From the author of the internationally bestselling The Blood of Flowers comes a compulsively readable and gorgeously crafted tale of power, loyalty, intrigue, and love in the royal court of sixteenth-century Iran. Simon & Schuster, Release: June 5, 2012. Selected for 2012 Great Group Reads. I wrote a short review of Anita Amirrezvani's Equal of the Sun, which you can read by clicking on the title. Amanda Coplin, The Orchardist. A debut novel,

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French Kiss Sows Seeds of Inspiration: TELLTALE SOULS Bio-Vignette No. 2

Kissing the Foxy French Cheek!

The Story Woman brings you a second bio-vigette today out of the 42 stories alive on the pages of the guidebook, TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir: How to Tap Memory and Write Your Story Capturing Character & Spirit.  To read the first story from the book posted on this blog, click here to read My Mother's Song. Finding Inspiration The seeds of inspiration are sown by ordinary writers of the Mother Memoir and reaped by readers, who relish the connections found in small flashes of detail and description through which they find connection. I wrote the following story, “The French Lesson,” about my best friend’s mother, who was like a second mother to me in many respects while growing up. As you read the story take note of words, phrases, depictions of character and setting, and anything else that stands out for you. If something you read rings a memory bell or hits a nerve, take that as a sign you have a similar personal memory itching to get out. The French

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One Woman’s Story Captured in a Song: TELLTALE SOULS Bio-Vignette No. 1

Voicing Spirit

  It’s high time to share some stories with you on The Story Woman blog, starting with “My Mother’s Song.” Before scrolling down to read Karen’s Mother Memoir, I thought a little background would make sense. Forty-some short, true stories (bio-vignettes) have been woven throughout the thoughtful prompts and intriguing exercises in my recently published,  award-winning guidebook, TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir: How to Tap Memory and Write Your Story Capturing Character & Spirit. Each story was placed just so in the book to serve as an example for a point I'm making as daughters and sons take the journey into Tapping Memory & Writing Mother Memoir. To find more stories I've posted from the book, search "Bio-Vignette No. 1," then simply scroll to read more telling tales. Karen’s telling tale is the first bio-vignette in the TellTale Souls book. It follows a paragraph concluding a section I wrote about the significance of persistent

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Win the TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir Guidebook at Hibiscus House

Dolly's Hibiscus House

Hibiscus House is giving you the chance to WIN my award-winning guidebook, TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir: How to Tap Memory and Write Your Story Capturing Character & Spirit, just for stopping by and saying hello. What a treat! Dolly invited TellTale Souls and me into Hibiscus House as honored guests for an entire week.  Now, that’s southern hospitality at its finest. The only catch was she wanted me to inspire her friends to write from their hearts short, true tales called Mother Memoir, so they, too, would become TellTale Souls. Since showing people how to write creative memoir is my passion, and the fact that on a moment’s notice I'll  roll out TellTale Souls Method’s unique technique on how to Tap Memory and Write Your Memoir Capturing Character & Spirit, we settled in for an adventure. Everyday is an adventure with Dolly at Hibiscus House. As you can see from the photo, Dolly’s house is a beautiful place in the country, complete with wildlife

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Princess Pari and Eunuch Javaher Battle for the Throne in Old Iran: Equal of the Sun

Equal of the Sun

Equal of the Sun, Anita Amirrezvani I was fortunate to have the opportunity last spring to read an advance copy of Anita Amirrezvani’s historical novel, Equal of the Sun. I was so enthralled by this exotic story set in seventeenth-century Iran that I couldn't put it down. Yes, this is fiction at its finest. Bound to become a bestseller. For every writer, this book is a place where a master storyteller shows you how to make characters come alive in stunning detail, as Amirrezvani weaves an undeniably engrossing tale. Amirrezvani's impressive writing moves through a fast-paced and fascinating story of struggle for the throne of Iran. When the Shah’s daughter and protégé Princess Pari and her trusted advisor Javaher, a self-made eunuch, learn of her beloved father’s death, a battle of epic proportions begins. Pari and Javaher confront a court of unscrupulous men, who lust for power at any cost, to stake out a place for her, a mere woman, in the fiery tapestry of old

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Show Your Feelings – Make Us Bleed for You

Wicked-Step-Mother

The dead center, the very heart of your story, needs to compel connection through feelings. The sustaining element behind your Mother Memoir must depict how the memories you're taking the time to write about make you feel and why. There is no story without memory. And what is a memory without feeling? Well before you start to write, put thought into how you will allow your story to take shape and become a piece that captures your mother’s character and spirit on an emotional plane. Think about what you need to bring into the story so that it will hold its shape and compel not just reading but connection through shared feelings (the reader linking emotionally to your feelings). One way to begin is to realize that you will start to build your memoir with memories of significance to place as the focal point of your story. The specific idea behind each memory can be thought of as a building block or brick, and what holds those bricks together is the mortar. From my point of

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Rhubarb Pie a la Mother Memoir for Sweet Summer Reading a la Blue Ribbon

Rhubarb Pie a la Mom

I believe this rhubarb pie recipe, although it wasn’t entered in a contest, could easily win a blue ribbon at the State Fair. You could say it’s an authentic memoir from my mother. This pie embodies all the sweet and tart she had to offer within a lattice crust dusted with cinnamon and sugar flowing from the sterling silver sieve atop her muffineer. Every time I crimp the edges of the flawless crust, I see her hands showing me how it’s done.  I think I could do it with my eyes closed while steeping in her essence. I remember in the 80s, when long fingernails were in vogue, those nails got in my way when I pinched and pleated the lattice ends melding them with the bottom crust, and there would always be a few unwanted nail marks. I did pick out a stray fleck of OPI Red on occasion. Thankfully, long nails went out with hot pants! Before I let go the recipe, I’ll mention that my newly published guidebook, TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir: How to Tap Memory and Write

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11th Secret at the Soul of Writing Fiction and Nonfiction

Lynn The Story Woman characature

Keep following me into the 11th Secret at the Soul of Writing. Truth be told, the idea to add one more secret—consistency—to my list of helpful hints for better writing came from a nudge by Leigh Morgan, fellow writer and fourth degree black belt, so thought I’d better listen up! Secret No. 11, Consistency: Write often to keep your energy flowing, and make it a habit. Your work is affected not only by your energy level but also by the constancy of practice no matter the writing environment you have designed and designated as your own. It is essential to pick a time to write when you are most alert and distractions can be held to a minimum so those all important creative juices will flow freely. Then schedule a block of this time in your daily or weekly routine that is set aside strictly for writing. Make a standing appointment with yourself, your memories, and your writing. Form a consistent writing habit by giving yourself two months to make the pattern stick, and you’ll

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10 Secrets at the Soul of Writing

Lynn The Story Woman characature

Follow me… I’ll tell you my secrets, if you’ll tell me yours. I’ve got secrets to writing memoir that translate into any type of writing, and I’m listing 10 of them for you below. So, at the end of this post, leave a comment with just one little secret for me in return. Write about the “ordinary.” In the overall scheme of things, the events that ultimately touch us the most, those occurrences when the spirit shines most brilliantly and where the finest memories rest, often have little to do with earth-shaking events. It’s the elements of day-to-day life that carry the most weight when captured on the written page. It is simplicity that attracts, and the more personal your memoir becomes, the more universal it will be. Focus is power. Power is focus. Set perimeters for your story so that it won’t get out of control and lose strength. Once your perimeters are set, focus your power by holding fast to just those images and ideas that you intend to record in your

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