Memoir Bits

Writing journal

Writing journal (Photo credit: avrdreamer)

Just a short little post tonight, but had a couple of things about memoirs I thought were worth sharing. The first is a cartoon I thought was a very apt description at how readers, including myself, pick out memoirs to read : Roz Chast’s Memoir Spectrum.  There are some memoirs, though they may be well written and interesting to some, which I will never read unless nothing else was available(like on an island with one book).  I have to flip through a book a little and be able to connect to it on some level.

The second thing I discovered tonight was Scoop.it from a posting on facebook.  I haven’t had much of a chance to play with it, but the little I did, it looks like another social media thing much like Pinterest.  I was really excited, because the links posted on facebook to Scoop.it were on Memoir Writing.  There was oodles of information on memoir.  I had to contain myself as I can get a little click happy.  I’m usually pretty good, but it can be a struggle to make sure I do not overdo my time with social media.

Well, I have to work tomorrow at my paying job, so I’d best be cutting it short and get off the computer.  I’m going to go write a little.  I’ve been in a poetry mood lately, but am beginning to write another memoir as well.  Memoir is truly one of my favorite forms of writing.  I think everyone should write their stories, even if it is for yourself or to pass on to a family member one day.

Memoir Writing…Completion to Resources for Writing Your Memoir

I’ve finished doing a self-edit of my memoir.  I did it on a copy I had printed out and forgot page numbers…whoops…yes, those could be important.  🙂 After going back and fixing a few things I found, I have officially printed out my first good copy of my memoir.  It is done.  Feels good to say that for more than one reason.

My memoir is done because I feel the story is done being told.  Though I know I said I wasn’t worried about word count, and I’m not, I think it’s still neat to know it ended up 32, 317 words.  It is 94 pages long, but 98 if the extra pages are included.  The extras are a dedication page, resource page, and a couple of pages of poetry.

My Memoir

My Memoir

My Memoir

My Memoir

The next step, and I am taking baby steps, is to turn my baby lose cautiously.  I need to let a few other people read it to get some feedback.  I know I sound like I’m obsessing a bit calling it my baby, but it is.  This is the first book I’ve ever written and the story is a part of me.

The best thing about being done and the story being written is this wonderful feeling of release.  There is a freedom in having some of my most painful experiences in life out of me and into words.  For me it’s actually been easier to find the written words than it would have been trying to speak them.

We all have stories in us and I would highly recommend writing a memoir to anyone.  I think it can especially be part of the healing process if there is something difficult you are dealing with in your life.  Reading memoirs written by others is a good place to get started learning about writing stories from life.  Here are a few other books and a blog I’ve found helpful as I’ve learned more about memoir writing :

Journaling and Other Writing Pursuits

English: Headshot of Louisa May Alcott (Novemb...

As I’ve shared before, I’m an avid reader.  This evening, I just finished the book Note to Self : On Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Samara O’Shea.  Absolutely loved it!  The author is blatantly honest and the book is written like she’s conversing with a close friend, the reader, as she shares many of her own intimate journal entries.  There are numerous sample journal entries throughout the book, including several historic examples as far back in time as 1665.  I was delighted to learn the famous author Louisa May Alcott journaled throughout her life.

Journals can be an excellent way to closer examine our lives.  The author makes suggestions for some topics you may want to write about in a journal.  Journaling could be as simple as recording your daily activities, documenting a dream, or even divulging inner thoughts you would never say aloud.  No matter what you choose to journal about, I do agree with the author’s sentiment that one of the most important people we should be honest with are ourselves.

My writing progress as of late has been a little slow on the end of writing which may bring in financial benefits, but I’ve been writing.  Journaling has by far been my favorite means of writing as of late, since there are some things in my life I’ve been working through.  I’ve actually looked forward to journaling and sought out my journal more often since I gave myself freedom to write in it as I want rather than a required daily entry.

* Enough about journaling, now a little side note about my other writing escapades.  To borrow a phrase from my teen daughter, Camp Nanowrimo was an “Epic Fail” for me and I did not accomplish the goal.  On the positive side, it did inspire me to attempt writing fiction and I wrote a whopping 6,127 words thus far on my novel for the month of June.  Not bad, considering I was devoting a lot of time to several other projects, including gardening.  I will hopefully finish writing it one day, as I am interested in the story. If you’d like to try it, there is another camp coming up in August.  Besides my novel, I’ve also continued writing poetry and worked on adding to the memoir I’m writing.

Camp NaNoWrimo . . . Novel Writing!

Life has been busy, so I’ve not had as much time to blog as I would like.  Holding my breath and thinking things are slowing down.  At least the dust appears to be settling.  Still waiting to hear back on submissions I have sent out into the world.  Still managing to continue to journal and actually enjoying it since I’ve freed myself of thinking I must do it every single day.  And of course, of course, I am reading!

As if I don’t have enough to do, I’ve decided to try Camp NaNoWriMo.  I’m in a cabin, have settled in, and attempting to write my first fiction novel.  Only have a little over 2,300 words so far, but it’s early in the month.  I’m normally a non-fiction and poetry type gal, but thought it would be fun to give fiction a try.  You never know if you like something, unless you try.

Camp NaNoWrimo

Camp NaNoWrimo

This is the first time I’ve ever tried anything NaNoWriMo.  The big month is in November, but I’ll see how this goes first.  I didn’t even know what NaNoWriMo stood for until a few months ago.  In case you are as clueless as I was, it stands for National Novel Writing Month.  The goal is to begin something new, not an old project, and write at least 50,000 words.

The novel I am working on is a romance fantasy novel.  I thought it would be good for my first attempt as much of the advice I’ve read about writing novels is to write the type of novel you enjoy reading.  I love to read historical romance, but am not too good at history, hence the fantasy.

I got in a creative spurt yesterday and even had a little fun!  Yes, the kind of creative fun you can remember from art class in school.  Using markers and crayons, I created a map of the kingdom and surrounding areas the companions in my novel will be traveling through as they embark upon their quest.  Now I have an inspiring poster to kind of help keep me on track.

Hopefully this week will be calmer and productive.  It can be both can’t it?  I’ll hope so anyway.  Happy writing…

Poem from Melting Monday Prompt

This is a poem I wanted to share, which I created using words from the Monday Melting poetry prompt on the Rosemary Mint blog.  There are several unique images there as well to use for inspiration.  I loved the butterflies this week.  Go on over and get inspired.  Use your creativity to make a poem.

English: Photograph of a Monarch Butterfly.

English: Photograph of a Monarch Butterfly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fluttering Free

Vulnerable and scared
Folded into my self
Cocooned in safety
I morph into a stronger me
Making my pleas coherent
Saying, “No more of this”
Break free from fear
Flutter into living life
Flutter into being me

Sad Goodbye National Poetry Month

POETRY SOCIETY POSTCARD

POETRY SOCIETY POSTCARD (Photo credit: summonedbyfells)

Having been so excited when I first learned of National Poetry Month, I am a little disheartened the month is coming to a close.  There were so many things I wanted to do and it just hasn’t happened as time passes by before I know it.  Poetry still has my heart and I thought I would share a couple of writing specific poems I’ve done.  Also, can happily share there are now ten poems of mine happily floating in the world having been submitted to three different publications and awaiting accepting or rejecting.  (Maybe overkill on the happy, but am very happy at the moment, even though it’s in the wee hours of the night.)

Modern Writer

Fingers tapping on the keys
Spell check and auto save
A modern writer’s life of ease
More useful tools I do crave

Let me check email a bit
Read my blogs a little more
Surf the net while I do sit
Technology I do adore

Promise soon I will write
But social media, me, oh my
Calling me into the night
Wasted time does make me sigh

Must put the computer down
Make this pen go to town

 

A Reader’s Request

Writer, writer pen in hand
Take me to another land
Develop characters and plot
Give an ending to hit the spot
Thrill my mind as I do read
Maybe your novel will succeed

Poetry and Life Inspired Writing

Poetry BooksThis has been an incredible week for writing.  My mind seems to be so full of ideas that my fingers have trouble keeping up.  I have really enjoyed writing poetry, but have been writing several other things as well.  Here is a short poem I wrote a bit ago :

Thoughts and thoughts on my mind
Pen to paper all the time
Releasing thoughts to unwind
Writing, the joy found is sublime

As usual, I have spent quite a bit of time researching information online, but have done a better job of time management.  I have been writing every day this week, even for hours at some times.  Two resources I have really utilized often are the online dictionary at www.dictionary.com and Rhymer by WriteExpress at www.rhymer.com .  I know all poetry doesn’t have to rhyme, but I do have a preference for rhyming poetry.

Just for pure pleasure, there is a resource soon to be a favorite of mine, which is online radio.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner, but it is nice to be listening to relaxing music as I am writing away on my laptop.  The one I have been listening to this morning is AOL Radio, which can be found at http://music.aol.com/radioguide/bb .

There are so many sources for inspiration to write in the world around us.  I have decided I am going to start keeping an eye out for inspirational quotes about writing and pictures of things which inspire me.  Another wish list item is a digital camera, so I can take pictures to put with some of the articles I am writing as well as inspirational things I encounter in my journeys outdoors.  One of my favorite writing breaks is to go for a walk in the woods behind our home.