Be Inspired, Not Intimidated

As writers, some of your best mentors are successful writers in your genre. But you have to read them! Stephen King says, “If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

The Spirit of the Times

Everyday pleasures. My neon green transistor radio. The stack of '45s I played on my turntable—the Temptations, the Jackson 5. Monday nights watching Laugh-In. Bazooka Bubble Gum. Astro Pops. Fizzies. It's a 1960s childhood. I flattened my…

Make Your "Fertile 50" List

It's springtime in Texas, when the bluebonnets are in bloom and women from around the country come together for a conference in Austin to learn more about lifewriting. It's the "Stories from the Heart" conference of the national organization…

Naming Names: Truth in Memoir

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Shakespeare shot Cupid’s bow many a time with the ageless romance of those lines, and he makes a good point: Whatever you may call someone, they…

What Do You Know?

Recently, a woman I know received a surprise in the mail. A relative of nearly 90 years old had sent a photograph she’d never seen before. It was an old black and white family photo that raised more questions than gave answers — and…

Memoir Writing Is Beautiful, Hard Work

Have you heard the Zen saying: Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water? Replace “before enlightenment” with “to be a good writer” and you’ll have the formula.

100 Years in the Life Goes Digital!

When you come to the author Meet & Greet this March at Copperfield’s bookstore in San Rafael or Petaluma, bring your Kindle or your iPad with you. I can’t sign it, but I’d love to say hello.

Meet the Author: 100 Years in the Life of an American Girl • True Stories 1910 - 2010

Are you in the Bay Area on Saturday March 14, 1:30 - 3:30? If so, please drop by the Petaluma Copperfield's Bookstore, a Meet & Greet where I'll have a table near the entrance and I'll be saying hello and signing books. San Rafael Copperfield's…

Writing "Just for Family"?

This topic has been on my mind for — well, almost twenty years. When I started teaching memoir back in 1996, twenty-two people circled a big table at the local junior college. Stories so ready to tell poured out of them. Some of those stories…
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Readying for Release

Recently, I finished preparing the over-fifty first-person tales of life through a century for "100 Years in the Life of An American Girl." There are five or six stories in each decade/chapter and each one of those chapters opens with a short…