READING MARY KARR

Luckily, Mary Karr’s book, The Art of Memoir, didn’t hit the shelves until late September. If I had read it BEFORE I wrote my memoir (forthcoming), I’m not sure I would have had the fortitude to continue. (Well … maybe.) But due to timing, I read Karr’s new book while thinking about the book I’d […]

SIGNS ALONG THE PATH

RECENTLY, I ran across this John Steinbeck quote: “Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass.” Poetic, yes. The ring of truth, yes. Change is often so gradual, in fact, that we can easily […]

NEVER ORDERLY

I promised more blog posts this summer and fall about writing memoir — the one I’m finalizing, the genre and its demands, its curious place in literary conversations. These days there are many discussions about the merits of memoir, and yes, the “rules of memoir.” But I’ve never been much for rules. Not when it […]

LEARNING TO WRITE

Here’s the thing about writing a memoir — it’s extremely challenging. When working in the captivating land of memory, emotions, and time … how could it be otherwise? There is much to write about, yet, paradoxically, there is little to write about. As writers, we have to tease out milestones, memorable dialogue, fading landscapes sketched […]

FIRST OF MANY

It’s easy to forget that many successful authors (in terms of books published, sales, name recognition) struggled to get that first book in print. But when looking for inspiration, writers usually turn to other authors who found a way through the puzzling jungle of drafts, queries, rejections, contracts, marketing, and so on. These personal stories […]