Sharing Big News from Women’s Memoirs | Book Launch

Today’s post is part of a book launch which is near and dear to my heart. Women’s Memoirs hosted seasonal writing contests–Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter–and the winners of these contests are celebrated in the launch of four volumes featuring each Season. It is an honor to be included as a winner in both the Autumn and Winter volumes. I hope you will share this news with writers and readers alike. We believe we have something very special to offer.
masthead from Women's Memoirs website

Please join me as I celebrate with Women’s Memoirs and the other winners of the various writing contests the launch of four ebooks filled with the best, the most inspiring of hundreds of entries. Knowledge Access Books is the publisher.

Read a review that has already come in:

It is true that each woman is a story waiting to be told–and in this outstanding collection of memoirs you’ll find many wonderful women’s stories. It is also true that each woman’s story is every woman’s story, for we share so many of the same experiences. As I read these stories [in Seasons of Our Lives], I am reading bits and pieces from my own life, and I am inspired to write my own with a more passionate and compassionate heart. I hope you are, too” ~ Susan Wittig Albert, NYT bestselling author of China Bayles mysteries, Writing from Life, Together, Alone: Memoir, and other books

Will you help congratulate these talented women by getting the word out about their stories and the special Amazon savings available for a limited time (see below)? We think the readers of your website or blog will find these 100 stories inspiring and we hope you will consider mentioning their publication on February 1st. Why that date?

For 53 hours, beginning February 1 at 8 am PST, all four volumes will be available for just $.99 each through Amazon’s Kindle Store–that’s 76% off. The price will increase by $1 each 53 hours until it reaches the regular price of $3.99 each.

Memories, Memoirs. Stories of our lives. Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett, award-winning authors themselves and co-founders of Women’s Memoirs, invited women to submit personal vignettes about the seasons of their lives. Sweet stories. Sad stories. Joyful stories. Poignant stories. The small stories that make up our days, our lives. Hundreds of stories were read and evaluated. The best of these, the award-winning stories, are included in the four volumes of Seasons of Our Lives: Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring (see links below to these four volumes).

Seasons of Our Lives: Summer

Seasons of Our Lives: Autumn

Seasons of Our Lives: Winter

Seasons of Our Lives: Spring

BONUS: Each real life story concludes with a takeaway from the editors–takeaways that will help readers reflect on the seasons of their own lives. And if your readers are interested in creating a legacy of their family or personal stories, these takeaways are designed to help write more dynamically and powerfully so that they can proudly share their own life seasons with family, friends and even more widely.

Thanks for reading and spreading
the word any way you can,

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Memoir Writers’ Resources Series | A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

This is the fourth post in this series, which has an infinite number of parts. Therefore, there is no “Part 1 of a #;” it will simply continue until the well dries up. Previous posts are listed below.

* * *

Much discussion exists over past decades and even today among journalists, critics, reviewers and yes, writers, about whether Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast is fact or fiction, autobiography or memoir. Say what they might, my copy has landed in the middle of my memoir writing resource books on my desk.

And rightly so, in my humble opinion, for a number of reasons:

  • If for no other reason, Hemingway’s writing may always be turned to as a beautiful example of writing at its best. A Moveable Feast offers no less. Lyrical, poetic, evocative and crisp, Hemingway’s writing transports you to Paris in the 1920s. The best reason to include this volume in your writing resources is best said by Hemingway himself:

“No subject is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean
and honest, and if it affirms courage and grace under pressure.”

~ from Hemingway’s Midnight in Paris

  • Hemingway’s stories from his days in Paris make us a part of an inner circle which included F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Miller, Gertrude Stein, Ford Madox Ford, Ezra Pound, Sylvia Beach and likely I have left someone out. These writers were geniuses! Some of our greatest literature came from their pens. An education from this inner circle via Hemingway’s stories and yes, the juicy gossip, is not to be dismissed easily. Nor is Hemingway’s influence on these men and women, and theirs on him.
  • One chapter stands out in my mind and is an interesting inclusion–“On Writing in the First Person.” A rather strange choice for someone who wrote novels, most often in third person. However, in A Moveable Feast Hemingway chooses to write in first person as a memoirist does. This chapter also provides a look at the process of writing, a definitive resource in any writer’s library.
  • An additional argument for selecting A Moveable Feast as a memoir writer’s resource is its format drawn from what Hemingway originally called “The Paris Sketches,” based on typed pages, notebooks on The Sun Also Rises, newspaper clippings and more. These items were in two small steamer trunks Hemingway had left at the Ritz Hotel in Paris in 1928. Hotel management convinced him, finally in 1957, to take possession of his belongings. It was in the summer of that same year when he began to work on the “sketches.” And this is how the chapters seem to the reader–vignettes, sketches, scenes not organized in any particularly chronological order but as scenes from one man’s life.

From this, perhaps it is easy to see how A Moveable Feast could be considered a memoir writer’s resource. Personally, I found it one of Hemingway’s most enjoyable works. If you have not read it, I encourage you to do so for no other reason than pure enjoyment of good writing.

“But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going,
I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges
into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made.
I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry.
You have always written before and you will write now.
All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest
sentence that you know.’ So finally I would write one true sentence,
and then go on from there.”
~ Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Previous Posts in the Series:

  1. The Memoir Project by Marion Roach Smith
  2. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
  3. The Power of Memoir: How to Write Your Healing Story by Linda Joy Myers

What to Do When Life Interrupts Writing

I could just as easily have titled this post “Writing Life and Goals Interrupted.”
Silhouette of woman running

When I posted recently on my goals for 2014, my enthusiasm and intention to hit the track running full speed ahead and keep up that pace was undeniable.

Life had other plans.

Often life does. Somehow it manages to stay far enough in the background that you don’t sense it moving in to your plans.

2014 started out with interruptions.

My husband and I were both hit with health issues. For him the issues he’s facing are enough to change the “who does what” around our home. I have assumed the tasks he usually does on top of my own. My appreciation for what he does regularly is growing daily.

Each day I have looked at the list of goals I carefully wrote out, and I’ve despaired that I’m falling behind. But I don’t want my husband to feel guilty. So, I say nothing and my mind whirrs with the schedule that’s already off.

But wait — should our goals be so rigid they make us miserable? 

Where does it say that attainable goals should be met on a given day, unless an outside source has set a deadline?

Is it healthy to be so inflexible as to ignore circumstances around you in favor of goals?

One can strive to complete the goals, ignoring life’s needs, or
one can be flexible enough to adjust those goals to fit them into
the current circumstances of your life. 

I would rather have not been faced with choosing to adjust my goals or set some of them aside temporarily. But it would have been my greater choice not to have my husband ill.

When thinking of goals, we must also think of flexibility, patience, and resolve:

  • Flexibility to accept and adjust;
  • Patience to wait out the current circumstances; and
  • Resolve to return to our goals and continuing striving toward the finish line.

Self-discipline

Do you have thoughts about the rigidity of goals or resolutions? Are you willing to make adjustments and allow the circumstances to take over temporarily?

New Year, New Look, New Goals

Attribution – xjrshimada
Attribution – xjrshimada

New Year

Here we are in 2014. Can you believe another year has passed by? 2013 sped by like a high-speed rail train.

Days flying by in a blur. Projects piling up no matter how fast we moved. Ideas for stories and books constantly dancing in our heads.

Where did it all go? Do we really have to have an answer?

After all, we’re here now — in 2014.

A clean slate. Ready to begin anew.

New Look

In this new year, I decided to tackle my 2014 goals right out of the box.

  • Among my goals is the completion of my memoir manuscript. And if that happens (and why wouldn’t it?), I need to be thinking about personal branding and author platform. Two fairly heady subjects. I decided to choose one of them to work on first.
  • Branding won out! When I began blogging, I didn’t know the first thing about branding. However, along the way I have read a number of posts and articles on the subject and with working toward the finish line with my book, I decided it was something that needed serious attention.
  • Note the new name, Sherrey Meyer, Writer. The tagline, however, remains tied to the central theme of my book and my goal here, “Healing life’s hurts through writing.” I chose to use my name and my calling to enjoy the freedom of being who I am almost every hour of every day of the week:
      • She who writes
      • She who loves words
      • She who hopes to help others write their stories
      • And with the new name, it was time to also adopt a more professional look, something crisp and clean with an underlying hint of purpose and mission. Look around and explore. A few things are different. Most things are nearly the same. I want you to be comfortable here — this is where we meet.

    New Goals

    In my last post, I talked about my goals for 2014. To date, I’m keeping pace. I want to mention something I came across after that post which is helping a lot with my daily writing goal.

    Catching up on a little reading the other day, I came across a post by Jeff Goins of Goins, Writer. In it, Jeff talked about establishing a regular writing habit, writing every day. The challenge is a simple one: write 500 words every day for 31 days, starting January 1st, or when you came across the post. Then you post how many words you’ve written on any given day on Twitter, Facebook, in the Facebook Group Jeff has set up.

    I decided nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? So, it was January 4th when I sat down to tackle my first 500 words. That day I wrote 1200 on my memoir, and my daily goal I had set here was to write 1500-2000 each day. Call me elated — I was close! And each day I’ve averaged about the same.

    Attribution
    Attribution

    Maybe my first goal was a bit lofty or maybe I’ve just got to get past that 1200 mark.

    Further, Jeff’s challenge has provided entrée for me into an online accountability group, and I’m meeting some greater writers.

    The takeaway on New Goals is that although we set up goals, we need to be flexible to allow ourselves the opportunity to take advantage of something we weren’t expecting which aids in achieving that goal!

    What about you? If you set goals for 2014, are you well underway? Have you had to make changes and be flexible? Let’s discuss in the comments below.