• Book Review,  Memoir

    Leaving the Hall Light On by Madeline Sharples (A Review)

    What parent can imagine living through the horrors of a child’s battle with bipolar disorder ending in suicide several years after diagnosis and attempted treatment?  Likely no one’s imagination works at this level. Madeline Sharples, author of Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother’s Memoir of Living with Her Son’s Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide, has lived this nightmare.  And amazingly, she and her family survived this traumatic period. Sharples’ memoir chronicles her elder son, Paul’s descent into the terrors of bipolar disorder and his eventual suicide. In writing her story, Sharples addresses issues faced not only by her family but also by many other families.  In so doing,…

  • Memoir,  Writing

    Drawing the Line in Memoir Writing

    Likely we’ve all done it — drawn a line in the sand, or in the dirt, maybe through the grass, or just in the air. That line drew boundaries in some dispute or dare or discussion. In memoir writing, we, the tellers of our stories, need to be cautious about drawing a line in our story telling.  Just how far do we go with the truth?  What actually forms a lie?  Who might we hurt in the process? When writing your memoir,the truth of your story is what you know.  For example, I have two brothers, one older by 14 years and the other younger by 8 years.  All raised…

  • Writing,  Writing Tools

    My Love Affair with Writing Tools

    The following post appears concurrently on Philadelphia Writing Examiner.  I want to thank Cheryl Butler Stahl, author of Slices of Life: Memoir Writing, freelance writer and founder of Your Best Writing Group, for inviting me to contribute to her column.  Connect with Cheryl on Facebook and Twitter. * * * Writers love their tools — pens, paper, pencils, journals, notepads.  So it must follow that with advances in technology there are electronic tools and toys beneficial to writers. Here I confess — I’m easy prey for innovative software, especially when it comes to writing.  Recently, I’ve acquired some items I want to share with you.  You may have heard about…

  • Writing

    Written Acts of Kindness Award — Linda Thomas

    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile,a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment,or the smallest act of caring, all of which havethe potential to turn a life around.~ Leo Buscaglia Who doesn’t like surprises and gifts? It was Friday morning, November 2nd.  Friday means a busy morning.  It’s my morning to mentor with a group of young moms of preschoolers.  I stole just a minute to check my inbox. And there it was — just what I needed to make my morning go ever so well.  WordPress had left me a notice of a new post on Kathy Pooler’s blog, Memoir Writer’s Journey.  Kathy…