Editing your memoir, showing versus telling

Thought I’d share a post I ran across last night. Loved that it gave examples of the “show don’t tell” type writing which somehow eludes my brain. Sometimes I just need things spelled out a little more concretely for me.


All writers need an editor. Even editors need editors. Family-only writings can be held to looser standards, but have a few people read over the manuscript to look for typos and improper grammar and anything that does not make sense, is not clear, or is phrased awkwardly. Friends who don’t know your past very well would make good “beta readers.” After all, the great-great-great grandchildren may someday read your book and you want them—strangers—to understand everything you wrote and not stumble over twisted, rambling sentences.

Yesterday I attended a talk by Suzann Ledbetter Ellingsworth, a writer and editor, or “wreditor” as she calls herself. This woman is a no-nonsense ace editor quick with rapier wit and red pen. She taught us what to hack out of our manuscripts. “Trim the fat, make every word count.” She is passionate about her work—and everyone else’s. I thought she would discuss how to “show me…

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A Caregiver’s Heart

Here’s a poem using some of the words from Wordle 105 over at The Sunday Whirl blog.  Poetry is where my melancholy heart has been drawn to as of late.

As good as heart can wish

As good as heart can wish (Photo credit: harold.lloyd)







Losing my resilience
Like a spring
Wound a bit much
Harder to bounce back
Feeling out of touch
Hanging onto promises
With thread bare hope
Searching for shelter
Needing a way to cope
Seeking some solace
Against this torrential rain
A life flowing too fast
Yet remaining
Too much the same
A caregiver’s heart
Travels a difficult road
Trying to prevent
Burnout and overload
Must endure till the end
Many are the pieces
To this heavy load
Tasks breed like rabbits
Sleep is interrupted again
Unable to dream
There are days with no end
Yet consider all of this
Time well spent
Compassion and love
Worth much more
Than mountains of gold
To comfort another
Offer a hand to hold
To stay the course
And reach our goal
There is many a thing
Helpful to be remembered
Not often enough told
Always grasp for hope
So big for four small letters
Take care of yourself
Or how can you give to others
Keep singing your heart’s song
Don’t let it fly away
Life’s a whirlwind dance
Take part at every chance
There will be an after
This journey will end
Time will yet reveal
Now is in moments
Feelings much too real

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Poetry of the Heart

Here’s a poem I wrote using words from
Wordle 104 over at The Sunday Whirl blog :

Far Away Shore

So often I get close to the shore
Yet it’s never quite within reach
So much is beyond my control
Surpassing my threshold of grief
Swallowed in an ocean of tears
Tainted with whispers of fears
Tears retreat to a hesitant flow
Yet still I keep sinking far below
There is a shift in the currents
Turning from sorrow to apathy
Becoming skeptical of this life
Losing more of the inner me
Fleeing heart’s pain for relief
Burying emotions hidden deep
Take a sigh and try to unwind
Search the waters for meaning
Remnants of the long faded past
Drifting afloat in ocean’s embrace
Pleading emotions to resurface
Pain preferred to hollow peace
Anything to replace the nothing
Confrontation rather than fleeing
To taste again the salt of my tears
To escape the ocean’s grasp
Shores of hope I may one day reach
Joy revealed before I breathe my last

Ocean Waves

Ocean Waves

Short Note

A pet peeve for some folks are posting apologies on a blog for not blogging, so sorry if you’re in that group. This is sooo that kind of post. I just wanted to write a short note to say “I’m sorry”….sick again, so there will be no new blog posts for a few days till I get recovered. Temporarily, I will be sipping lots of cups of hot herbal tea and curling up with a good book. Reading’s still comforting even if you have to lie down to do it. The only writing will probably be me whining in my journal; unless some fairy size muse flies through the air, sprinkles magic glittery dust on my head, and causes an instant spurt of creative energy(I can wish can’t I?…ha, ha). 🙂

Fairy – "Take the Fair Face of Woman"...

Fairy – “Take the Fair Face of Woman”, by Sophie Gengembre Anderson. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)