So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca
Showing posts with label dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dogs. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Writing about Real People

With six students in my class on Memoir writing, we got off to a great start Monday. I enjoyed seeing my students from a previous class and welcoming the new students who want to write about their lives.

No one is likely to write a complete memoir in my classes. I teach the writers what I know about writing their truth, creating entertaining writing that will be read in years to come. Some of the writing done in class might end up in the final stages of a book, but my plan is to teach my students the best way to put their words on the page using humor, dialogue, strong verbs, few adverbs, and to help them dig for memories that help them to learn more about themselves and the people in their lives. 

Writing can change our minds, change our ideas about people in our past. I heard a well-known writer on a podcast say he wrote a memoir in which he described his feelings about his mother and years later, he wrote another memoir after his mom suffered from dementia. He said the books were different because he saw his mother in another way. 

Whether a person publishes his writing for the public to read or for his immediate family, the act of telling his story in his voice with his own reflections can open his eyes and his heart in ways he had not thought possible. We can't write about our lives without learning more about who we are.

I am listening to a book by Pulitzer Prize winner, Rick Bragg, a southern writer who writes about "his people" meaning his family and friends in Alabama where he grew up and has moved back to live. His latest book is about dogs, especially the terrible dog he calls Speck. But in this book, we learn as much about Rick, his feelings for his beloved brother and his elderly mother as we do the trouble caused by Speck.

I have enjoyed all Rick Bragg's books that I have read and this one about the rescued Australian Shepherd that wants to herd everything he sees is one of my favorites. I like that Bragg loves this dog and the dog learns to love him as well.

If you are a fan of Rick Bragg, tell me why and what have you read?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Finding a Safe Vacation House is not Easy

I am down to the last two days of a vacation - a quiet one with only my sister and brother-in-law with me. Well, I did take Lexie with me. She loves to travel in a car. 

I have to face facts -- taking a trip today is much harder than when I was younger. I had more physical strength and less need for medications and other things that help me sleep, help we walk, help me ride long distances in a car. 

On this trip, I missed Barry. He would have had me laughing more, relaxed more, and we all would have had more fun. I realize that I cannot capture what we had, the four of us, and trips long or short are never going to be the same. Now Gay and Stu help me with luggage and then handle their own. Gay is protective of me. "Don't go up and down those stairs so much," she said. "I'll take these things." The steps were wet and with my bad knee, it was difficult to manage them. 

But we still enjoyed being together. They brought their dogs along so we had lots of dog-walking time. 

The rental house had no Internet service so Stu and I had to go into town a few times to get our email. We found that McDonald's was our best bet until we found a small coffee house with free WiFi. The daily rain altered some of our plans, but we did take a walk on the road to nowhere. Gay and Stu took several walks with their dogs. 
I slept really well in the rental house even though my room was too warm. I opened almost every window in the place because housekeeping didn't honor my request to have a clean place with no sprays or chemicals that would trigger my MCS. When in the house, I felt awful, but if I went outside or stayed in a room with all windows open I felt much better.
We were awakened each morning by wild turkeys grazing on the lawn. They were perfectly silent, but Lexie knew they were there, and she woke me with her growling. The setting for our  vacation was in the midst of farm land. Horses were pastured on one side and cows on another. It was quite pretty around us. If only the housekeeper had done what I asked, I would have really liked this farm house with three bedrooms. But, the house is toxic to me. As days passed, I grew worse until we decided we must leave and find another safer house for me. I can't live all the time with a charcoal lined mask over my face

We hope to fill the next two days having a good time even though rain is likely to try to spoil our fun. I enjoy my sister and brother-in-law so much, it doesn't bother me if it rains. I feel such contentment today, relaxed, and happy.

We are taking book orders for Paws, Claws, Hooves, Feathers and Fins. This book is a great Christmas gift.
Visit for more information.