Awash in Mom’s Spirit – TellTale Soul Story No. 6

Colette on swing

Photo contributed by Colette: Swinging on Mom’s clothesline. As you lift the cover opening the New Year 2013, I welcome you to enjoy another story excerpt 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 67 of Act Two in the section entitled “Locating & Orienting,” where I just asked writers to do a “Free-Write” exercise and then let it rest for a day or so before coming back to it. You can easily find the stories I’ve posted from the book by searching “Bio-Vignette No.” It is through trying to make sense of obscurities at a later date that you will be able to more fully encompass the truth. Oftentimes it is just a word, an image, or a feeling that has come over you that is important for you to discuss—talk about it, share it, have some fun with it. The power of certain words is invigorating and, more than once, I have seen the idea for a story

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Spirited Woman Directory 2013 – TellTale Souls’ Gift to You

Spirited Woman Directory 2013

(Just released: Listen tomorrow to Clearstory Radio-Nashville as host River Jordan interviews me on how TellTale Souls "Give the Gift of Story.") I was invited to take part in the 2013 Spirited Woman Directory.  "It is a gem of creativity, talent, wisdom, information, stories, listings, and resources."  The directory includes 75 uniquely spirited and soulful women—you can find little ol’ me, Lynn Cook Henriksen, on page 99. To be inspired and learn more about "Every Woman Visionaries, click here for your gift copy: The Spirited Woman Directory 2013. My deep desire, for over a dozen years now, has been to guide women and men to write about a significant woman in their lives, and to help them celebrate their connection to women the world over!   It's all about "Keeping Spirits Alive" by "Giving the Gift of Story." The question I ask all daughters and sons to answer—“If you could tell just one small story that would capture your mother's character and keep her

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Read Me – TELLTALE SOULS Story No. 5

Samantha reading to Woody

Photo contributed by Samantha: "Reading to my best friend." I'm back from a bad case of the flue, but, 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 62 of Act Two in the section entitled “Locating & Orienting.” You can easily find the stories I've posted from the book by searching "Bio-Vignette No." Pre-teen Samantha’s story brings up more memories of how precious are the simple times mothers and daughters spend together. This little TellTale Soul noticed that she had a good thing going. It’s also one of those universal stories through which mothers the world over can connect.   Read Me By Samantha Kirchhoff The last thing my mom and I used to do before I went to sleep each night was our most special time together. But to get there we went through a few stages, while I was growing up. Long

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TellTale Souls “Keeping Spirits Alive” at St. Stephen’s Art Fair Sunday, 12/2/12, 9 a.m.–2 p.m., Belvedere Ca’s Episcopal Church

Follow Me to Powerful Writing

Fair goers—to the annual Art Fair at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Sunday, December 2nd, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in Belvedere, California—will learn that whether the relationship with mother is/was genuinely good or downright dreadful, valuable insight and understanding about the fundamental relationship with mother unfold through writing a short memoir, an intimate bio-vignette. IT’S NOT JUST ANY FAIR, so come follow me, take a look, and listen to begin to answer this question, “If you could tell just one small story that would capture your mother's character and keep her spirit alive for future generations, what would it be?” The “Mother Memoir” is special kind of memoir with a distinct and refreshing difference, one that adds new twists inviting readers and writers into a spirited and soulful world. Learn how tapping memory and learning to write with honesty about intimate, often trying, relationships is the most valuable form of writing, as well as a profound way to

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Spirited Thanksgiving Affair for All TellTale Souls

Turkey

  It was a spirited, early Thanksgiving affair, as it turns out. Huge thanks to the TellTale Souls* who helped make last night's “Souls & Spirits” event at Books Inc—Alameda a truly memorable evening.  And sincere appreciation to the wonderful friends who showed up in support and to the folks who were drawn to it.  We all came away enthralled by the power of “Keeping Spirits Alive!” What season could be better than this to give thanks, through writing personal  Mother Memoir,  to those who mothered us through life, for the lessons that were taught, for the love and care that sustains, and for the understanding this type of writing provides when the mothering wasn’t the kind we wanted or needed? I’m thankful for the deep connections on an emotional level that I would never have felt had it not been for my asking practically everyone I've met, over the past decade, to answer this question, “If you could tell just one small story that would

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Memories of La Toilette – TELLTALE SOULS Story No. 4

Leslie Sullivan and her mom, Nikki

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 59 of Act Two in the section entitled “Locating & Orienting.” You can easily find the stories I've posted from the book by searching "Bio-Vignette No." Explore the interior of your childhood home or your current abode—note particular places or rooms that hold emotion. Place yourself firmly and reflectively in a room of your choice in your home by using the innersearch exercise you learned in the last section. Then WRITE one page filled with the emotional sensations that arise while linking them to the images and events from which they developed. Travel from room to room and repeat this process in each place your mind takes you. Leslie, one of the first TellTale Souls, wrote the following telling tale after exploring one busy room in her childhood home. This

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Ghosts of Memories Crying to be Told

Keeping Spirits Alive

I believe in a coming together of spirits between daughters and sons with their individual mothers as they write the Mother Memoir, their bio-vignettes. And I believe an ever widening circle forms around people from all walks of life as stories are shared and embraced for sheer universality of emotion. Memories dance like ghosts in our heads until we realize we have the power to set them free. GHOST DANCE I crept inside and found you oh ghosts of persistent passion, sacred dancers, anticipating me; chant-like voices calling, cries summoning— seeking communion…   Concentric rings of shadows embrace, spirits soar united, receiving, awakening, inscribing one more soul, ghost dance resumes; mothers, sisters, daughters, the throng consumes— we nod in recognition…   I chose the ethereal path seeking you, and found ageless, fervid wisdom, thick liquid; otherworldly things now manifest in core. children of grace, voiceless ones,

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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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