Memoir Revolution: A Social Shift that Uses Your Story to Heal, Connect, and Inspire

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At the Pagoda on April 2nd, an early spring anniversary of joy, sorrow and renewal, shared poems and wrote something new.

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Be open to the light and wind on the mountain to shape your words, give you courage to find your voice, speak deep truth. Elizabeth Stanley has loved poetry since she was six. She graduated from Gettysburg College with a B. One of her poems, "Finding Her Here," was commissioned as a composition for women's chorus with music by composer Joan Szymko, and debuted in Philadelphia for the 30th anniversary celebration of Anna Crusis Women's Chorus. The poem has also been distributed as a poster by Syracuse Cultural Workers, and has been translated into Chinese, Russian and Spanish.

It took me ten years to go from first glimmer of "I'm going to write a memoir" until I published one. In this talk, I'll walk you three the three habits that got me started, the three rules that transform informal anecdotes into a good story, and the three stages of initial concept, first draft, and final publication.

Be prepared for a brief writing exercise, and a lively exchange of information and inspiration about life story writing. Jerry Waxler M. Hundreds of his essays about reading and writing memoirs can be found at his blog Memoir Revolution. His Master's degree is in Counseling Psychology. For more information, see www. In this workshop we will explore the use of SoulCollage images as inspiration for written expression that comes from deep parts of ourselves. She works with individuals and groups to uncover their own particular genius for healing, creativity, meaning, and happiness.

Find out more about her work at www. Looking out over Reading from the Pagoda or Skyline Drive, we did perch and channel surf the entire panorama of what's happening from what we hear, see, have seen, know about, remember, imagine, heard about or have read about and we'll throw our lives into it too.

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It's a wide palette to write ourselves by making what we've suffered or survived or have kept as a secret, or the fun naughty and playful stuff of our lives happening to someone else across town. A very rich interior panorama: I am looking at this and seeing this. I am listening to this and hearing this. Sign up or Login.

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Alan Krasner on Meditative Poetry on December 3, Alan Krasner is completing a trilogy about his personal spiritual journey. Corrie Crupi on Footprints on the Mountain on October 08, Corrie spoke about growing up in downtown Reading and her amazing adventures and the path she to become the "Mountain Historian". What Do They Eat? July 9, This workshop explored all facets of the industry jumping off from the completion of a manuscript.

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We will miss him greatly. A free-flowing conversation about what it takes to be a successful writer. The Pagoda in May May 14, Poetry often shouts. And come prepared to wonder aloud with fellow poets at Spring's bold-coy influence on our work Hiram Larew lives in Southern Maryland, and recently retired from the federal government. April 2, February 6, Saturday, January 9, at pm. There was a book signing after the workshop. Elsewhere, he wrote "We have, each of us, a life-story, an inner narrative — whose continuity, whose sense, is our lives. It might be said that each of us constructs and lives, a 'narrative,' and that this narrative is us, our identities.

If we wish to know about a man, we ask 'what is his story — his real, inmost story? Each of us is a singular narrative, which is constructed, continually, unconsciously, by, through, and in us — through our perceptions, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions; and, not least, our discourse, our spoken narrations. Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives — we are each of us unique. Baycrest Health Sciences, Why is it that some people have richly detailed recollection of past experiences episodic memory , while others tend to remember just the facts without details semantic memory?

New research shows that the tendency to remember episodic details versus facts is reflected in intrinsic brain patterns. Those who endorsed richly-detailed autobiographical memories had higher medial temporal lobe connectivity to regions at the back of the brain involved in visual processes, whereas those tending to recall the past in a factual manner minus the rich details showed higher medial temporal lobe connectivity to areas at the front of the brain involved in organization and reasoning. These life-long 'memory traits' are the reason some people have richly detailed recollections episodic memory while others can recall facts but little detail semantic memory.

They see the events of their lives as connected by the central participation of a single, continuing character Some are constantly telling their daily experiences to others in a storying way and with great gusto. They are drifting ever further off the truth. Or are they different chapters? Whenever his grandmother told the story about the man with four dogs, the story changed, depending on the audience. And whenever Delgado gets writer's block, he thinks about that audience, because " it helps to remember that a story exists to connect one person to another, for however briefly.

An interesting series, worth reading. And while those memoirs might undermine the ones we've written, they also might just improve on them. They are the product of what happened originally and everything that has happened since. The accuracy of our memories is not measured in how vivid they are or in how certain you are that they are correct. Memory is constructed and reconstructed. If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is memory.

There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences. The memory is sometimes so retentive, so serviceable, so obedient; at others, so bewildered and so weak; and at others again, so tyrannic, so beyond control! We are, to be sure, a miracle every way; but our powers of recollecting and of forgetting do seem peculiarly past finding out. We remember a vivid person, a remark, a sight that was unexpected, an occasion on which we felt something profoundly. The rest falls away. We become more exalted in our memories than we actually were, or less so.

The interior stories we tell about ourselves rarely agree with the truth. People do it all the time: they destroy papers; they leave instructions in their wills for letters to be burned. In the novel So Long, See You Tomorrow , William Maxwell writes, 'Too many conflicting emotional interests are involved for life ever to be wholly acceptable, and possibly it is the work of the storyteller to rearrange things so that they conform to this end.

In any case, in talking about the past we lie with every breath we draw. Caro on the means and ends of power. The trouble lies with biography itself. It imposes conditions, and those conditions are that it must be based upon fact. I disagree. Facts are simply the medium, as paint is to the painter. Of course, most painters succeed as artisans, not artists, and so do most biographers.

To rise above craftsmanship, one must work with abundant, varied and complicated facts.

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Chernow does that, presenting research that bulks Grant to nearly 1, pages of narrative. It allows him to write a rich and sensitive portrait of the inner Grant — from reluctant West Point cadet to civilian failure to triumphant general. And ultimately, to pull it off well, and to paint a picture of a living, breathing character, requires some of the skills of a novelist The point of a biography is an obsession with understanding someone else.

But I was totally fine with that.

Memoir Revolution: A Social Shift that Uses Your Story to Heal, Connect, and Inspire

He spread the gospel of biography as the founder of the Penguin Lives book series, a joint venture of Penguin and Lipper Books--pairing "well-known writers and biographical subjects, with the books to be pages or so, short for the genre But Mr. One of the painful realities of writing about a living person: The person you're writing about could decide to compete.

The journals, I had convinced myself, were a deliberate if unacknowledged communion between subject and biographer. Letters—at least the kind that writers write—are journals addressed to someone else. However self-conscious, however contrived in tone, they are addressed to a recipient—an Other. The monologue becomes a dialogue. As the eavesdropper, I was less confident about my rights.

An all-too common pitfall is when a biographer relies too heavily on research, oversaturation with quotes, letters, that hijack the biography into becoming a bloodless document. And Part 2 Academics, says T. Stiles, have largely abandoned the profession for fear of being accused of endorsing the parochial great man view of history.

By comparison, a snug cubicle in a history or English department, and a benefits package, begins to look mighty attractive. I've just skimmed the surface of the second piece, here. That few material facts are known about Nat Turner has not stopped writers of various backgrounds from imagining his life. In some cases, this dearth of information has spurred them on. Now, he turns to memoir. Contracted to write it when he was just 25, he used techniques learned from Richard Holmes and Richard Ellmann to produce a biography that read like a novel.

Voice, dramatized dialogue, atmospheric scene setting—these are techniques that can make a biography vivid and memorable.

But getting them right depends upon prodigious feats of detail-mongering. Schwartz suffered from bipolar disorder: his life was a tragic story of immense promise unfulfilled.

Later, Atlas was diagnosed with the same illness. In this essay as in his book, he apparently takes this on honestly. A good role model for us all. The challenge was to keep the two worlds in sync. On the glut of overlong biographies.