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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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


  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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A Twenty Dollar Memory from “Back in the Day”

Memories of a Twenty

“Back in the day” is a phrase commonly bounced around nowadays, even from younger people who weren’t around “back in the day.”  I think they must be absorbing the common thoughts of their parents and the community overall, who can’t fathom how the cost of simply living is escalating out of control and out of reach for too many people. Many of us remember, and it seems like yesterday, when a $20 bill did mean something. It actually bought groceries that today would tally up to a grand total of $150, easy. Okay, we might say, “It is what it is.”  What does that phrase mean? Perhaps it amounts to a giving up of sorts—nothing we can do about it since “it is what it is,” so that amounts to acceptance of  things or feelings that we don’t think we can do anything about. But what if a $20 bill you thought was there, wasn’t? The following is a deeply ingrained memory of an incident I witnessed happening to my mother.  It’s not a Mother Memoir; the Mother

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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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Nonfiction Writers’ Best Chance to Change the World

SF Skyline

It’s been my passion for over a decade to teach the art and craft of writing "Mother Memoir." The power daughters and sons discover when writing “just one small story that captures mother’s character to keep her spirit alive”  provides the foundation every writer needs before writing nonfiction or fiction.  Perceptions change as connection and understanding unfold when “TellTale Souls” look at MOM from the inside out and write their bio-vignettes as only they can.   Stories do change the way people think. Spend a day at the San Francisco Writing for Change Conference and discover whether your book can change the world. The Conference Will Your Book be The One to Change The World? San Francisco Writing for Change Conference Saturday, September 15th, 2012 8:15 am – 5:30 pm First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco 1187 Franklin Street (at Geary), San Francisco, CA The Writing for Change Conference is devoted to bringing together agents,

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Now Airing – The Bookcast Interview Conducted by Bill Thompson: TellTale Souls Write

Woman in Creative Thought

I had such fun doing an interview on the art and craft of TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir yesterday with a real pro, veteran author interviewer Bill Thompson on The Bookcast.  Rather than read a blog post from me today,  I invite you to click here and  listen to the interview. Then take it from there and write your Mother Memoir.  (Mom's worth it!) Connecting, understanding, and the honoring of the relationship, whether it was good or not so good or even horrible will be rewarding, I promise. Who is she, your mother, deep down inside? How will she be remembered? Why does it matter? The Mother Memoir is achieved in just a few pages by answering my seminal 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?" You will find thoughtful prompts, intriguing exercises, and over 40 stories written by TellTale Souls who have walked this path before

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