Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Slice of Life Writing

Over the past year or so I found myself being drawn more and more to authors who share stories of their lives in the form of memoir. I didn't realize there was a pattern happening, because I was just reading books that I was drawn to by their titles, their covers and, of course, the glimpses on back covers into lives that I wanted to know more about as authors shared some particular event or experience and their journey through it.

Aside...I always want to tell you about the books I'm reading and enjoying, but I detest book reports writing book reports. I can still feel the squiggly dismay I had as a school girl at having to sort out my thoughts and feelings on paper about the book, and then give it to someone else to mark up with a red pencil. One day I'll get over that and share some of my own happier version of a book review.

All that say, I've enrolled in a memoir writing course with author and book editor Lisa Dale Norton of the Santa Fe Writing Institute. Class starts today. I'm excited!

I first 'met' Ms. Norton through her book, Shimmering Images, A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir and when I went in search of her website, I knew I wanted to take Lisa's course.

I think this rising-to-the-fore form of writing is what I've been looking for as a way to share my own stories. When you think of memoir writing, don't think the Hollywood versions of telling the juicy bits. It's much more than that. It's about people telling a slice of their life story... just a slice of it... and what they've learned and gained (or lost) from it. Giving us glimpses of universal truths that we can relate to and sharing insights for our own journeys.   

I hope to post about my writing experience at Just Write should you want to stop in and see how I'm doing. I might need your cheers and hugs (maybe even a chide) to keep me going when the going gets tough. Digging around in old memories isn't always a picnic.

For you avid readers in need of topping up your bedside reading piles, here are a few titles on memoir that I've read over the last while. I appreciated each one and learned a few tips on memoir writing into the bargain:

And so I'm off...
This is my new life and we're writing to find the right words.


  1. From all my visits here, I personally thought you would be teaching a class like this, instead of being a student. You have a style of writing that draws one into the writing. I wish you the best in this class, and look forward to having you share what you learn.

    1. Judy... Oh thank you for your lovely, lovely comment!

      I think I'm a late bloomer :o).

  2. Oh, how delightful! Writing a memoir is something I've pondered, too. You do it, I'll follow, maybe.

  3. As you know, Brenda, you and I have already enjoyed a lengthy conversation based on what I thought was a comment I had already made on this post. I don't think it went through. Your blog is one that does not appreciate the iPad.

    I think I said something like this: I echo Judy. I know that you could teach a class as easily as take one. Enjoy the class! BTW, have you read The Hare with Amber Eyes?

    1. Anything I can do at my end about the unfriendliness of my blog toward your iPad?

      ooo... thanks so much for your lovely comments about my writing.

      And no I have not read the Hare with Amber Eyes, but it's now reserved at the library...I shall look forward to it.

    2. I don 't think there is anything you can do. I am back using the iPad and this comment is a test.

  4. Hi Brenda! How exciting for you. I look forward to lots of wonderful writing from y-o-u in the coming months! I think it's absolutely fabulous you are taking that course. Susan

  5. I do find everyday memoirs so much more interesting than the lives of the so-called stars. Often with the celebrity crowd it is a case of read one, read them all!

  6. There is always something exciting about 'late-bloomers'!!
    Best of luck to you, Brenda, in your new adventure!


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo