A cookbook memoir

Sometimes I suggest family recipes as points of entry for writing a memoir. Does your Italian grandmother’s pasta sauce stir up memories of holiday gatherings? Do you recall your kid brother’s grin every time you bake the oatmeal cookies he loved? Using this approach, some writers end up compiling cookbooks laced with treasured family stories […]

How to write a memoir

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.”  ~From “The Wonder Years”  Several years ago, I decided to write a St. Patrick’s Day column about my mother’s beloved Grandpa Finney, the son of an Irish immigrant.* I knew he was a […]

Make room for writing

If you really want to write, you will do it anywhere: under trees, on the bus, in the bathroom, or in a booth at a noisy cafe.” First published in 1929, A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf is often reduced to a catchphrase for writers and architects who haven’t even read the book. […]

Doing something

One is not born into the world to do everything, but to do something.” — Henry David Thoreau It’s that time of year. Everyone is gearing up to run marathons and raise funds for a favorite cause or organization, whether it’s breast cancer or juvenile diabetes or the local Boys & Girls Club. I used […]

“The Journey”

And there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own.” — Mary Oliver In my workshops for new writers, we often discuss the importance of developing a “voice.” Early on, most of us hear a cacophony of inner critics and advisers inside our heads — former teachers, co-workers, neighbors, spiritual directors, family […]