“I’ve never met many of my best friends. I’ve read them, as if all their words were letters meant for me. You have no idea who’s waiting for your work. Don’t leave them friendless.” ~Martha Beck
There was a time — before I used a computer — when I wrote my columns and essays in my journals, and later typed them into manuscripts for my editors. Even today, when I’m feeling stuck or blocked, I start scribbling random thoughts in a notebook.
If you live in the Detroit area, please join me at the Royal Oak Public Library next week for “Write Where You Are,” an evening workshop on how to use journaling prompts to jumpstart your memoirs and personal essays. The prompts will help you recall valuable life lessons and experiences that can be used as material for your memoirs, blog posts, or personal essays.
When and where: April 24, 2017, 7pm in the Royal Oak Public Library Friends Auditorium. This program is free to the public, but space is limited. Please phone the Royal Oak Public Library (248-246-3700) to reserve your space. Copies of my book, Writing Home, will be sold after the workshop at a special discount.
Though I have few regrets in my life — and I count my blessings daily — I am sorry I didn’t keep my maiden name or use it professionally when I married my husband 36 years ago. How much are we giving up when we stop using our own names? It’s a dilemma married women face, even now, and I touch on the issue in Michigan Prime this month. To read the column online, click here and flip to page 3.
Artwork by Cindy La Ferle
At the Royal Oak Public Library: It’s All About You: How toÂ Write Your Memoir, Wednesday, July 8, 7:00pm.Â
Join me for a summer evening discussion about the craft of memoir. Whether you want to write a personal essay for publication or a book for your family legacy, this talk will help you get started. We’ll work from my favorite “Map of Your Life” exercise, and discuss the secrets of staying out of the editor’s slush pile. New and experienced writers welcome.
Copies of my own memoir, Writing Home, will be available at a discount to attendees.Â This class is free to the public, but seating is limited. Advance registration required. Please phone the Royal Oak Public Library (248-246-3700) or visit www.ropl.org for details.
“Publication and temporary creative successes are something you have to recover from. They kill as many people as not. They will hurt, damage and change you in ways you cannot imagine. The most degraded and sometimes nearly-evil men I have known were all writers who’d had bestsellers. Yet, it is also a miracle to get your work published. Just try to bust yourself gently of the fantasy that publication will heal you, will fill the Swiss cheesey holes. It won’t, it can’t. But writing can. So can singing.” — Anne Lamott, from her essay on turning 61
“Rock Star Writer” collage: Cindy La Ferle
Last week, I posted a column I wrote about my son’s boyhood career as a newspaper carrier. This week, I heard from a fellow newspaper columnist who happened to spot a feature article I wrote for Writer’s Digest on how to snag your own newspaper column. Until my friend contacted me, I wasn’t aware that the archived piece (from 2008) is now available to read online.
Though it’s not as easy to land a column today, it’s not impossible if your area of specialty isn’t well represented yet. To read my article in Writer’s Digest, click here.