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#186849 - 07/20/09 03:30 PM Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Author Sue William Silverman BWS Forum Guest in August!
Ask Sue questions beginning August 1, 2009

A Conversation about Writing and Publishing with Sue William Silverman

http://www.suewilliamsilverman.com/

Ladies, we should feel honored to have Sue with us for the Month of August. I've read three of her four books and had a hard time putting down every single one of them. She captures your attention on the first pages of her books.


HERE IS A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM SUE

I was born in Washington, D. C., where my father was a high government official in the Truman administration. Later, we moved to the West Indies where he was president of a bank. He was also a child molester. The juxtaposition of this double life—seemingly perfect in public, dark and scary in private—is what I write about in my memoir, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You. In my second memoir, Love Sick: One Woman's Journey Through Sexual Addiction, I show how I replicated this double life as an adult. In public, all seemed fine—I attended Boston University, worked on Capitol Hill, was married. But this image was a mask that hid my secret world of sexual encounters with dangerous men, a shadowy life of obsession.

From about 1980 to 1992, I tried to tell my story as fiction. Looking back, I realize that the five or six (unpublished) novels I wrote during this time lacked an authentic voice. It was my therapist, ironically, who finally suggested I write my own story. At first I resisted. I had never considered nonfiction and thought I had nothing to say about myself. Finally, just to humor him (I told myself), I acquiesced, even though I believed I'd only be able to write a paragraph at the most. Maybe a page. The moment I began to write "Terror, Father," however, I felt as if I'd just learned to speak, that I heard my real voice for the first time. I completed the manuscript in three months. And even though it took much longer to write Love Sick, I was finally writing what I knew. One thing I most love about writing memoirs, is that they provide me the opportunity to meet many courageous women. In fact, the responses that mean the most to me come in whispered phone calls and handwritten notes from my readers who thank me for telling their stories, too.

Now, Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir, I share my experiences learning how to write, with the hope it'll help and encourage you to tell your story, too.

For more information about the book, click on the title on the right-hand column.

----------------------------

Do you like to journal, or are you interested in writing your story? If so, please join Sue William Silverman in our forum community during the month of August where she will meet us on a regular basis to answer all our questions about writing.

Her most recent book Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir, has led me to believe she is the queen of memoir wiring. Her expansive knowledge on the subject will jazz you to write your story with guidance, confidence and know-how. Sue is also the author of two memoirs. Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Award Series in Creative Nonfiction. Her memoir, Love Sick: One Woman's Journey Through Sexual Addiction, was made into a Lifetime TV Original Movie. Her poetry collection is Hieroglyphics in Neon.

As a professional speaker and writer, Sue has appeared on programs such as The View, Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN; a John Stossel Special on ABC-TV; CNN-Headline News; the Montel Williams Show; the Ricki Lake Show; the Morning Show with Mike and Juliet; and both the U. S. and Canadian Discovery Channels. She was also featured in an episode of "The Secret Lives of Women" on WE-TV.

Sue teaches in the low-residency MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Be sure to stop by and join the conversation.
_________________________
Founder of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.





Edited by Dotsie (07/20/09 04:33 PM)
_________________________
Founder Emeritus of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com


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#186862 - 07/20/09 08:26 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Dotsie]
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
I have a question for Sue and since no one has asked one, I hope you don't mind me being a "me-firster" here?

I would like to know HOW you get started if you wanted to write your memoir? What steps in particular would you take to begin? Is there a procedure?

And lastly, should I have waited until August? LOL!

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#186869 - 07/20/09 09:21 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: jawjaw]
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Yes, august 1st is the start date. I just wanted to post this as a tease and a reminder. Gotcha.
_________________________
Founder Emeritus of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com


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#187543 - 08/01/09 02:19 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Dotsie]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Hi, JawJaw, so, I see you got an early start! Sorry you've been waiting around for an answer. Anyway, that's a good question: How to get started!

First, I'd suggest, you discover the story you MOST want to tell. A memoir isn't writing about a whole life; it's writing about a slice of a life. So which thread of your life do you most want to explore? For example, in my first memoir, I followed the theme of what it was like growing up in my incestuous family.

In my second memoir, I followed the theme of recovering from sexual addiction.

A memoir can be about any aspect of one's life: what was it like growing up on a farm in Kansas? What was it like growing up in a military family that moved every few years? What was it like to suffer from a serious illness? What was your journey through a divorce?

If you're not sure which aspect of your life holds the most interest for you, then try freewriting about several aspects and see where your energy leads you.

In short, though, every memoir, for the most part, follows a thread or theme. That way, you won't be taking on too much information--more than can comfortably be contained in one book.

Does this make sense?

In other words, which aspect of your life is the one that feels as if you must write it NOW!
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187554 - 08/01/09 06:52 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
Hi Sue, I've been catching up on other things around the house, so I can make time for BWS and you for August. I am so glad you are the featured author! In response to JJ's question, what do you think about the evolution of a memoir? I started to write about being an addict, and then recovery from, and I ended up writing about the reasons behind the addiction(s). And the book came out a book about recovery from incest, after it (the story) took on a life of its own. Do you use an outline? Or do follow an inner guide and allow room for evolution? Thanks, Lynn

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#187556 - 08/01/09 07:57 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Princess Lenora]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Hi, thanks so much, Lynn. It's great to hear from you, and that's another excellent question! I think that's relatively common, that when we THINK we know what we want to write about, the book (or essay) ends up being about something else. I never use an outline or map things out ahead of time. What works best for me is to follow the book's energy.

To me, writing is like following a whisper...listening very carefully to see what IT wants to be about. Almost always, we, the writers, find our way.

Of course, some writers DO plan an outline! And this works well for them. So, really, do whatever works best for you. There's no right way or wrong way. It's just the way writing feels most natural to you.
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187563 - 08/01/09 09:34 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
I read every bit of Fearless Confessions. I have so many highlights and flags! I like the essays. I like this line from Lisa Chavez: "my mother's fear which passed to me like a virus." So few words can say so much. The use of the essays shows variety in style, as well as subject matter. You did a lot of work for FC!
I like the "follow the whisper" and the "book's energy." Thank you.

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#187569 - 08/01/09 10:47 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Princess Lenora]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Thank you! This is wonderful support and means so much to me. I'm pleased you like the example essays, too. I wanted to have a good mix in there in terms of theme and voice.
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187602 - 08/02/09 08:44 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Hello Sue and welcome, thank you for being the Featured Author. I am excited you are here.

I just now heard about you, but I feel this bond with you already. I don't know what it is and how to explain it, but I get a feeling of warmth with you.

I have Fearless Confessions on hold for me at our Barnes & Noble and I will be picking it up on my way to work tomorrow. I can't wait to read it.

May I add how cool it is to be reading it at the same time I am able to get to know you?

Looking forward to more discussions and discoveries.

Blessings and Cheers,
Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#187606 - 08/02/09 10:49 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Dear Cathi,
I am so touched by your message! What you say really means a lot to me. I am delighted to be here with you and the other Boomer women--getting to know all of you better.

Thank you so very much for buying "Fearless Confessions," and, over the course of the month, of course I'll be here if you have any questions.

So thank you, again, for your very warm welcome!! I, too, look forward to more discussions!
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187611 - 08/03/09 02:12 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
meredithbead Offline
The Divine Ms M

Registered: 07/07/03
Posts: 4894
Loc: Orange County, California
Welcome Sue! I've heard so much about you and have been really looking forward to this! I'm a poet and essayist who has been 1 essay away from completing my memoirs for almost a year now. No, I don't think I'm avoiding this, but I get involved in too many projects simultaneously and can never figure out where the time goes.
_________________________
My handcrafted jewelry:
limited edition designs
more jewelry, plus bead supplies

Poet and essayist

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#187622 - 08/03/09 12:19 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: meredithbead]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Sue, it means alot to me that you are here. I am in awe of what you are saying so far and it's only just the beginning.

I am so glad you said this:

Quote:
A memoir can be about any aspect of one's life: what was it like growing up on a farm in Kansas? What was it like growing up in a military family that moved every few years? What was it like to suffer from a serious illness? What was your journey through a divorce?


I've had so many journeys in my life and it just so happens you mentioned Military Family. That happens to be one of my journeys. I feel very blessed to have been a Military brat. I had seen and experienced so much culture growing up. Life was an adventure for me, and I believe this has plenty to do with the explorer in me. There is so much more to life as a military brat, and I haven't seen too much of the adventurous and positive side of growing up in a military family. One quick example, my High School Graduation and Prom was held at the Heidelberg Castle. That wouldn't have happened to me if I wasn't a brat.

Anyway, off I go to to get the book and now I think I am going to take my lunch hour early because I am anxious to read it, LOL.

Cheers and Blessings,
Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#187630 - 08/03/09 02:02 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
I highlighted so many sentences and paragraphs in this book. I just loved it. So I'm going to kinda review some of the pieces that spoke to me so you can get some fun feedback.

When speaking with your therapist:

"Which means, in my mind, that I'd be writing a story about a woman whose life is embarrassing, humiliating, shameful."

My comment is that I read both of your memoirs and devoured them. I can't imagine how many women you've helped by writing your story. What you wrote about may have felt shameful to you, but do you know how many other women have felt the same about their lives, but never opened their mouths until reading your words which had given them permission to heal?

Loved this:

"...living in houses that felt like prisons." Says so much in seven words.

Also liked when you were getting ready for a class you were teaching. While putting on clothes that gave others no idea of what you've lived through (clothes tell nothing, though we think they reveal something about us), you write:
"Any visible residue of a chaotic childhood is rinsed away."

I'm reading another memoir, Manic, by Terri Cheney. She is bi-polar and the people in her life (except for a very few) have no idea about her illness. The sentence above rings so true for her life too because she often talks about the way she dresses to make statements about hiding her secrets. Her mood often dictated what she wore, but it wasn't telling enough to those around her.

A few people I know have fairly recently been diagnosed as bi-polar so I've been reading quite a bit about the subject the past couple years.

This memoir is well written, but she jumps around from childhhod to college days, to her 30 and 40s too much. I wish she'd written with a time line; either starting now and going back, or beginning with childhood suspicions and growing with them. Her story has given me so much compassion for people living with bipolar. She's very good at sharing how you just race away with your emotions and honestly have no control.

Anyway, glad you are here, and I have so much more to share about your book.
_________________________
Founder Emeritus of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com


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#187655 - 08/03/09 04:24 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
By the way, I'd love to know what some of you are reading--whether memoirs or not.

Also, I'd love to know what you would like to write about if you were going to write a memoir. You know, what are some of the themes or issues that you'd explore? Or, of course, if you're already at work on one, I'd love to know more about it.
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187657 - 08/03/09 04:28 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Hi, Meredithbead: Yes, I know about that being too busy! To be honest, I haven't written in about 2 or 3 months. Just too busy, too--so I hear what you're saying.

So, here's a deal for you. I'm about one essay away from finishing my new book, too, so maybe we should make a pact that we'll each finish our respective essays at least before the end of the year!! How does that sound?!
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187659 - 08/03/09 04:34 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
HI, Cathi: that IS so ironic that I happened to mention writing about being a member of a military family!!

And I absolutely love the idea of your prom being held in a castle! Wow. That's amazing. Yes, that would make a wonderful essay, or a chapter, say, in a longer work, a memoir about growing up in your military family.

So, yes, writing memoir is, to some extent, exploring how these events in our lives--whatever they are--impact who we are. That kind of exploration or journey is what I find incredibly interesting, both as writer of memoir AND as a reader! It's clear that you have a fascinating story to tell!

Thank you so much for your kind words!!
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187660 - 08/03/09 04:57 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Hi, Dotsie,
Thank you SO much for that beautiful support. And I appreciate your bringing out how important that idea of journey is: of moving from shame to that place of being able to speak out.

Now, looking back and taking stock, I can see how empowering that's been. Yes, I do receive many emails from other women thanking me, in effect, for telling their stories, too. I am always touched and moved by women sharing their stories with me.

That's one thing I do love about memoir: how it brings people together. You know, even if our stories are different, we can all relate on some level.

In other words, even if your background is different from mine, still, many of the underlying feelings are the same. And that's the connection, I think. In this way, even if I'm writing about incest or sexual addiction, I'm also writing about loneliness, alienation, body image, loss, relationships with men (and other women).

So what's important to me is to connect with other women in terms of these more universal human emotions.

And I can see why the book "Manic" would be invaluable to you. I haven't yet read it but look forward to doing so. Thank you for letting us know about it.
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187673 - 08/03/09 10:04 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
meredithbead Offline
The Divine Ms M

Registered: 07/07/03
Posts: 4894
Loc: Orange County, California
Quote:
So, here's a deal for you. I'm about one essay away from finishing my new book, too, so maybe we should make a pact that we'll each finish our respective essays at least before the end of the year!! How does that sound?!

Sue, you're on!

I've written about 12 poems in that time, which is a respectable number for me. I'm neither fast nor prolific, which is OK. This year has been hard to write because of the economy -- I'm a one-woman business who is working twice as many hours this year just to stay afloat.

You ask what we've written or are writing:
http://www.meredithlaskow.com/4.html
_________________________
My handcrafted jewelry:
limited edition designs
more jewelry, plus bead supplies

Poet and essayist

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#187674 - 08/03/09 10:20 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: meredithbead]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Excellent! It's a deal. This will now spur me on to finish up, too.

Well, to write 12 poems during that time is amazing and wonderful! That's a lot. I'm impressed.

And I hear what you're saying about the economy and being a one-woman business. Even during good times, there's probably a lot of time involved in that...so many balls to juggle.

I'm wondering if other women are finding it difficult to find time to write? Or--any tips on how to find time to write. What works for you?
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187680 - 08/04/09 02:17 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Quote:
Also, I'd love to know what you would like to write about if you were going to write a memoir. You know, what are some of the themes or issues that you'd explore? Or, of course, if you're already at work on one, I'd love to know more about it.

Well, back in 2006 I had read a book called "The Summer of my Greek Taverna" By Tom Stone. He was an American writer living in Greece. One summer, a friend of his had offered him an opportunity to run his restaurant (taverna) during the summer season. Of course, I picked it up because it had taken place in the Isle of Patmos. This is one of my favorite islands.

Besides being a Military Brat, I am part Greek as well. My dad had met my mom when he was stationed in Rhodes. Because my dad wanted my mother to be closer to her family, he did everything he could to stay overseas as much as possible.

So I pretty much grew up outside the United States. My brother and I would spend our summers in Greece with out Grandparents. During this time, my family and I took advantage of traveling wherever we could just to see other parts of the world.

Anyway, after reading "The Summer of my Greek Taverna", it dawned on me, I could write my story in this fashion.

I came to this forum and had asked my boomer sisters for advise and they gave me excellent advise. I had taken a journal everywhere I went, and as I would remember something, I would write it down.

Then, a succession of crisis happened with my family and I had to put this project on the shelf.

There are so many stages in my lifetime, I had thought I would start with my upbringing in Greece and have it tie in with the Military Brat upbringing. Or vice versa.

I have worn many hats during the course of my life.

I started reading your book today Sue, and I am enjoying it very much. I like the fact, you included some writing exercises.

For a longtime, there was another story I wanted to write. It's about my Grandmother Maria (The Greek one). She had some struggles and endurances during her life. Her story is something you would see in the movies such as Eleni. Not the same story but a romance she had during the Second World War and the result was having my mom out of wedlock.

Because it was very taboo in those days, her family banished her, but not until they beat her black and blue. Abandoned and frightened, she took a boat to the Island of Tilos, this is where my mom's biological father came from. His mother took her in and took care of her. His mother took her in and took care of her.

Eventually, my grandmother's family took her in along with my mom.

I never knew all these details until I went with a cousin of mine to this island to get some answers. My mom had asked me to go because she truly was nervous. She never met her biological father and didn't even know what her father looked like. My grandmother must've been tormented because she couldn't talk about him.

This is where we found out how my grandmother ended up at that Island. Tilos is an island with a population of 400, a beautiful Island which I call "natural paradise". Within the hour of our arrival, we had met with some of the relatives. Even one of my mom's half brothers. It was exciting and tearful at the same time. I was so stunned to hear this story because I saw my grandmother in a different way. I made the remark, "This is incredible, this is the kind of story you see in movies!" After I made that comment, one of the cousins said to me, "Then why don't you write a book about this?"


The idea remained with me, and when I said something to my mom, she begged me not to. As for my grandmother's story, I can't disrespect my mom. So if there is a way of writing it and not feel like I am betraying my mom, I would love to hear it.


Wow, I don't think I have mentioned this to any of my sisters in the 5 years I've been coming here. I don't know where this came from, but I am glad I finally revealed this here at BWS.

I am definitely thrilled you are here.

I can't wait to see the outcome of the challenge between you and Meredith. Lynn, I can only imagine how thrilled you must be right now!

Dotsie, I feel your excitement and we owe you a big thanks for having Sue here!

Love and Cheers,
Cathi
Love and Cheers,
Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#187681 - 08/04/09 03:03 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Dear Cathi,
Thank you SO much for sharing these personal stories. That means a great deal to me. I am totally blown away by your stories--all your stories. You really DO have a story to tell, a book to write...and more than one.

With that thought, I might suggest that you do think of these various stories as at least two books! (No pressure, of course.) Here's why: a memoir isn't a whole life; it's a slice of a life. In my own situation, even though there is a direct connection between my incestuous childhood and the sexual addiction, I couldn't cram all of this into one book. The book would have been unwieldly. Different energy, different voices.

So, in your situation, I can envision a memoir that would focus upon your childhood, growing up in a military family, living in different cultures. You really could show the more positive (or positive and negative) aspects of living in a military family--all the adventures. That would be fascinating, to understand the impact it had upon your childhood.

Additionally, I can see another memoir that is focused more on your mother and grandmother, that kind of family history. That is just an incredible story.

But, okay, I hear you say that your mother doesn't want you to write about this past. And that is a choice that all memoirists, alas, have to make. It comes down to comfort level, to wanting to respect your family, yes, while, at the same time, as a writer, thinking about owning your stories, your history. By the way, I spend a lot of time on this very subject in Chapter 9 of "Fearless Confessions," how to approach the idea of telling family secrets. There are quotes and examples from other authors who struggled with this very topic, which you might find helpful.

And, it could well be that now isn't the right time to write this second memoir. But, of course, you can always write the other one first.

Meanwhile, slowly and gently, you can spend time talking with your mother about the family history memoir. You know, give her some time to adjust to the idea, learn more about her feelings. Read about how other memoirists have handled this very issue.

I've also had several students (I teach writing at the low-residency MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts) who have found themselves in this same situation. It's interesting that, over time, mothers and/or fathers, in many instances, have come to feel more comfortable with the idea of their children writing about the family.

But there's no right way or wrong way. Just a way that you feel comfortable with.

Again, thank you SO very much for sharing these important stories here. I'm incredibly touched.
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187718 - 08/04/09 08:42 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
meredithbead Offline
The Divine Ms M

Registered: 07/07/03
Posts: 4894
Loc: Orange County, California
Cathi, I was thinking -- if you don't get these stories from your Mom and other relatives, one day it will be too late as the older generation will have forgotten the details or passed on. You can tell her you're researching this for your own memories, and won't publish a book in her lifetime. This seems like a fair compromise but of course you need to do what feels right for you.

You're honoring your grandmother and her spirit by writing these memories, not shaming her. Maybe you can make your Mom understand how much this is honoring her and not an expose.
_________________________
My handcrafted jewelry:
limited edition designs
more jewelry, plus bead supplies

Poet and essayist

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#187721 - 08/04/09 09:09 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: meredithbead]
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Sue and Meredith, you've given excellent advice. What good listeners you are.

Sue, I enjoyed when youshared about listening to whispers while writing. The example was the car accident when you were young. When you noticed the touch of the woman's home you went to for help; a different touch than yoru Dad's.

I listen to whispers when I journal about my yesterdays. I often journal and reflect on the day prior. It's the whispers that cause the most chnge in my life. Very cool that you mentioned that.

You write: " Crafting this scene, I come to realize that writing memory, writing what we remember, is a creative act. We interpret facts about the past in order to reclaim them, make sense of them."

This is so true of journaling.
_________________________
Founder Emeritus of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com


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#187728 - 08/05/09 12:28 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Dotsie]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Meredith, that is such helpful feedback you gave to Cathi! Yes, to pose the writing as a tribute, and to speak the truth. That's really what memoir is.

A lot of critics attack memoirists for "airing dirty laundry" in public. Not so at all. Memoir is to explore the past, to discover our truths. And, in this way, it really honors the truth, doesn't it?

This is such an important topic to memoirists. I'm curious as to how others feel about it?
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187729 - 08/05/09 12:37 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
HI, Dotsie, thank you! I'm so pleased that passage resonated with you. I think that I think about it as listening to a whisper, or following a whisper, because, by doing so, it takes (for me at least) my own ego out of the equation.

In other words, when I am "quiet," and when I listen to a very internal or interior place, then I get at a deeper emotional truth. What is this event, or that moment, really trying to tell me about my life?

And that is, ultimately, how we reach that creative place and make sense of it all.

The same, of course, is very true regardless of what kind of writing you're doing: writing a memoir, journaling, writing a poem, blogging! Anything. What is the material trying to tell me, I wonder.

I'm curious about the other writers out there, what your process is?
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187731 - 08/05/09 01:40 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Wow Meredith, I remember the great advise you gave me when I talked about Greece.

This is something I had planned on doing anyway.
It would be ashame now more than ever if Zoey was to miss out on this part of her heritage.
She should know how brave her great-great grandmother was.

Bravery and hope was the message I had wanted to get across.

I wanted to make my grandmother's legacy stay alive for more generations to come.
Those who are not yet born will need to know this and understand where they came from.

The information is on paper, I had to do that for the "just in case" opportunity.

Cheers,
Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#187732 - 08/05/09 01:54 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Cathi, yes, bravery and hope! That's so important, yes, for all the younger generations to know their heritage. It's always so sad when these stories are lost. That's why it's important that all of us, who are writers, be the keepers of truth. The publishing part is really secondary, don't you think? Most important is to get the stories down on paper.
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187733 - 08/05/09 02:15 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Sue,

I am really amazed with your book. I am on Chapter 4 "Plotting your Life".

I had an epiphany when I read, about the "dark and stormy night" scenario.

It is about an incident my daughter went through a year ago, and what we had to endure. I learned so many lessons during this time, lessons I needed to learn long ago. I had reached rock bottom, I had no choice but to stop and get a grip. When I did, the saying "take things one day at a time" were no longer just words. I finally had to act on it and truly take things one day at a time. It was a very unexpected turning point in my life. In fact, if you were to ever read some of my posts when I began posting here about 5 years ago and what I post now. You would see a change in my beliefs. I had to let go of so much baggage and it feels good.

This is what I pondered reading the 4th Chapter.

I have stickys all over the book for references.

Thanks again Sue, not only for being here, but for making me feel like I have known you for a long time.

Love and Cheers,
Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#187734 - 08/05/09 02:34 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
I must've posted the same time you did Sue. I agree, wholeheartedly.

Something else I discovered with writing, I feel like my prayers are more genuine and real when I am writing them out. Like, writing a letter to God. This has been a recent discovery. I was always so confused about praying correctly, until I just reached a conclusion that prayer/meditation is a conversation with God or whichever Supreme Being one believes in. Writing my prayers, has allowed me to feel more spiritual by allowing me to release my negative energy.

Switching gears now to your book I wanted to ask you something and then make a comment.

I started thinking about the title, Fearless Confessions. What made you choose this title? It makes sense really, but I am interested in your perspective. (Unless you already mention this and I haven't read that far yet)

Now the comment I want to make. It seems like you this book in a style where people in all levels can understand and keep focus with what you are saying. This is what I am finding incredible.

In other words, both a beginner and a seasoned writer can take and learn so much from Fearless Confessions. I hope I am making sense here. It's been a very, very long day today...

Have a Great Night!

Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#187737 - 08/05/09 02:51 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
One more question and I definitely need to get myself to bed.

How does a person stay motivated with their writing when there are emergencies and crisis going on nonstop? The time can be found, but what about keeping up with the inspiration to see it through?

Thanks!

Good Night and Cheers!
Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#187740 - 08/05/09 03:57 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Dear Cathi,
Oh, I love all your comments and questions! I'm so moved that, when reading chapter 4, you came to a profound epiphany. Even though I deliberately use that phrase as a cliche, still, most of us DO, at some point, reach a "dark and stormy night" moment. When I had mine, I, too, finally fully understood what "one day at a time" meant. Actually, there were times when I was down to "one minute at a time." That's all I could do. So what you say really resonates with me.

In terms of the title "Fearless Confessions," I chose it because my hope is that we all WILL learn how to write fearlessly about our confessions. In other words, it can be so tough to write our stories, to tell our secrets--yet, at the same time--it's so important to do so.

Also, when you get to chapter 9, the title will also be clearer. Here's why: there are some critics who "malign" memoirs, especially those by women, and use the term "confessional" as a put down. So what I want to do is reclaim the word and say that there's nothing wrong with us telling our stories! In fact, just the opposite: it is a noble and worthwhile thing to do.

And thank you: I really wanted my book to be clear for all writers, regardless of where you are in your writing journey. So I'm delighted you're finding this to be the case.

In terms of finding the time to write: sure, sometimes it can just be tough...simply too much going on. But, with me, I had reached the place where I simply can handle everything else much better if I am writing...so it's the writing that helps me through.

I hope all this makes sense. Please let me know if any clarification is needed! Oh, and I LOVE the image of sticky notes all over my book!! That's a lovely thought. Thank you!
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187808 - 08/06/09 06:06 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
I thought this was brilliant:

"Write as if you're looking not into a mirror, but out of a window."

Very different concept.

Sue, I also want to comment on how much I appreciated all your writing samples. This is soemthing Stephen King did at the end of his book when he wrtoe about editing. Seeing what authors go through to get to the final edit is eye-opening. I think many people don't realize all the re-writing/editing that is done.
_________________________
Founder Emeritus of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com


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#187811 - 08/06/09 06:41 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Dotsie]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Thanks, Dotsie! Yes, I think there's the misconception (certainly among critics) that memoir IS navel gazing. Just staring into a mirror. So in "Fearless Confessions," I try to make the case that what memoirists are doing is much more than that.

To me, therefore, the best memoirs are those whereby the "self" is superimposed on the world, so to speak. In other words, our stories don't occur in a vacuum. If you're writing, say, about domestic violence, then, as you're telling your important story, you're ALSO telling the story of a social problem...one that affects us all, not just those, specifically, in a domestic violence situation. Think of how the life of one battered woman, say, plays out among a larger family, a larger community, the government, etc.

This is the REAL story one memoir on domestic violence also tells.

Or, given the news these days and all these politicians caught having affairs: do they suffer from sexual addiction? Surely some of them do, risking everything as it were (job, family, position, respect) "just" for sex. I mean, we have governors resigning, governors lying to their constituents, etc.

So I think that memoirs, therefore, about sexual addiction, DO cast a light on a larger problem. That's kind of what I mean--if that makes sense?

In short, our personal stories are larger than ourselves.
I'm curious how others see this?
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187813 - 08/06/09 06:48 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
I am thinking about reading this thread every day! Today I am taking my copy of FC to a friend. Hopefully, tomorrow, I can read all the posts and chime in. I know I am missing all of Sue's insights!

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#187834 - 08/07/09 01:45 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Princess Lenora]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
I get it Sue. I believe there are so many perspectives, or a various amount of issues can be dealt with from one story alone.

For example, Eagleheart's Memoir "Eagle Born to Fly: Finding Life Beyond Depression", I was able to see how my words might have affected my daughter when she was growing up, or the timing of my words. The intention wasn't bad on my part, but the perspective on her end was completely different. This is just one of many situations her book alone may have been helpful to many other circumstances and other people.

Here's another one, with the media spinning things, we never do have the entire story, the bigger picture.

One that comes to mind is Mary Kay Laterneau's affair with her student. After I understood what lead her to that point, I ended up having empathy for her, not disdain at all.

So much has unlocked in my mind while reading your book Sue, and I am only on Chapter 6! Heck, I haven't even worked on the exercises yet!

Here are a few, but not limited too, I came up with:

Marketing Material
Offical letters to, your financial institution, your local, state, or federal representative
How to articles and more...

Cheers,
Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#187839 - 08/07/09 02:18 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
HI, Lenora, good to hear from you! And I hope you do chime in more later! Thanks!!

Cathi: yes, exactly, all these different perspectives are important. And, yes, we learn so much about our own lives from reading about the lives of others. That's why telling our stories is incredibly powerful. If you write your stories you'll both feel empowered yourself while, at the same time, empowering others. I really think that's how it works.

Again, I'm so moved by your reaction to my book! And, still, you're moving right along being on chapter 6! Thank you.
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187844 - 08/07/09 02:58 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
So, okay, looking at both sides of this thing for a minute. Yes, there is the empowerment part--which is great. (What I posted above.) But of course there are those who don't want to hear our words...which we must be prepared for, too.

For example, I recently gave a reading, and a woman in the third row began to mutter to herself. Then, she started mumbling to the person beside her. I kept trying to read--unsure what else to do?! Finally, she got up and walked out, which was a relief. But it was so weird. I mean, I suppose my work scared her. But that was really rude, wasn't it?

It's not as if these negative reactions outweigh the good--not at all. But there they are, anyway!

I mean, if she were truly disturbed, then of course she should have left. And if she'd just walked out from the get-go, that would have been fine, too. I guess it was the muttering that bothered me!!
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187888 - 08/07/09 03:15 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Sue, you are wise to mention others not appreciating your work. It's always a possibility.

Perhaps your words jolted her into remembering something from her past and she had to remove herself?

I don't know if this is proprietary informaiton so please do not answer if so, but I've always wondered how many books an author sells. When you go with a traditional publishing house, how many books are you expected to sell, or how many are in the first printing?
_________________________
Founder Emeritus of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com


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#187895 - 08/07/09 04:38 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Dotsie]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
HI, yes, exactly! I tend to think that she wasn't being rude, per se...probably what I was reading touched a raw nerve in her and she didn't know how to handle it well. Oh, what can you do?! Anyway, yes, I agree with you.

The range of books is really all over the place but, yes, with a NY publisher you have to sell a lot more than if your book is published with a university or small press. Let's say with a midlist book, in terms of NY publishing, probably a range would be 15,000 - 30,000, along those lines? And that's just a midlist book.

A large press run for a university or small press is probably about 4000 books...but more likely is that a first printing would be closer to 2000 - 3000. (And poetry books much less!) But if the book does well, then they'd quickly do a new print run. My first memoir, with the University of Georgia Press, was (last I heard which was a few years ago) in its 8th or 9th print run, I think. I can't remember, but it would be more than that now.

And with "Love Sick," the book published with Norton, it went into paperback in conjunction with the Lifetime movie. So that was very nice.

But these numbers really can be all over the place. And, with the implosion of the economy, publishers are tightening their belts, too. From my perspective, the BIG problem with NY publishing, is that they are giving way too large advances to celebrity books and/or a few select books but then, if those don't pan out, the other writers suffer. It's a tough business...but what are you going to do if you're a writer?!
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187969 - 08/09/09 02:06 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
Hi Sue, I had writer's block based on what others may say about my story. What would my mother say? After 2 decades of having the story without owning the story, I decided that I had protected my family's pride long enough. Was I going to continue to protect those who had battered me? Or would I expose my secrets for the sake of a greater good? That was my epiphany! Bearing witness, first-hand, of the social problems of family violence, domestic violence, incest and child abuse, by giving my voice to a million silent others, became more meaningful to me than protecting a small dysfunctional family. The irony? Those that I was protecting by keeping their secrets grew more dysfunctional, turning on themselves, as I grew into hope and healing.

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#187970 - 08/09/09 02:16 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Princess Lenora]
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
Sue, You may recall (but I don't expect you to) that I was working on a memoir about my breast cancer experience when I was at VC with you. I was trying to compartmentalize the cancer experience, like a city unto itself (think LA-X airport in the midst of Los Angeles) or an island in my ocean of life. I did not want to incorporate a history of dysfunctional family, child abuse, and its ramifications. Been there, done that with TEARS. However, the feedback that I got from your group was a series of questions, such as why this, and why that, we want to know the back-story! which can only be explained by reflecting on my childhood. A couple of days ago I came across a postal mail letter I received in 2005. It says, "Lynn, I want to share my thoughts with you because we are both survivors of incest and breast cancer. When I went through breast cancer, the trauma [of childhood abuse] surfaced...I want to heal..." So, how's that for the writing on the wall, the whisper in the mail, the answer to the prayer! I think that when we receive the call (to write) we may be slapping the universe in the face if we don't respond?


Edited by Princess Lenora (08/09/09 02:17 AM)
Edit Reason: I'm stupid

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#187971 - 08/09/09 02:27 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Princess Lenora]
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
I'm replying to my own post. I wrote in previous post about having a story without owning the story until I wrote it, and then I went to Sue's site and I found this: FC a guidebook for people who want to take possession of their lives by writing of their experiences.
and I think that is so true. We may let others define us by what is convenient for them to say.
Am I a groupie? Well, maybe, because smile Sue is the rock-star of memoirs!


Edited by Princess Lenora (08/09/09 02:28 AM)
Edit Reason: stupider

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#187988 - 08/09/09 02:09 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Princess Lenora]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
HI, Princess Lenora!

I'm going to reply to your 3 posts in order, just so you can follow!

First, yes, I hear what you're saying about writer's block. Actually, I wonder about that fear that prevents us from writing--wonder if another term for that is "emotional block"? I think that was true for me, at least, before I had the courage to write my first memoir. During that time I WAS writing--but I wasn't writing the book(s) I really wanted to write. I was too scared; I was still protecting my family!

So I hear you and am in awe of your epiphany, about the need to tell your story for yourself--and for the greater good! Yes! Bearing witness is crucial.

Yes, I do remember that you were working on a memoir about breast cancer. And that's so ironic what you say: that you wanted to write that memoir without mentioning the backstory at all. It's ironic to me because I've tried to do the same thing: write an essay about my CURRENT life, as if there were no childhood--certainly no incest in that childhood! As you say, "been there, done that." Well, for me, the current essay didn't work at all unless I did mention the childhood incest.

However, what I also found to be true, was that now, while writing an essay about a more adult experience, even though, yes, I have to reference my childhood, I am writing it as if through a new lens.

In this way, then, I don't feel as if I'm repeating myself. The work, in a way, has a different tone, a different voice.

I mention this only so that you might consider this, too. When you write about this adult experience, with the breast cancer, but need to refer to your past, you might be looking at the past from a different angle, exploring other parts of it. So it might, then, feel like new material.

Does that make sense?

And thank you, too, for what you say about "Fearless Confessions"! Yes, I do hope that this book will help memoir writers take possession of their own lives.

That's it! By telling our stories the way we want to, others can try to define us...but, ultimately, we get the final word. Our words, our books live on!!

Thank you!!
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#187993 - 08/09/09 07:05 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
Sue, you always make sense to me. I'm glad you can relate. Through a new lens. I like that!

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#188004 - 08/10/09 01:14 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Princess Lenora]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
I like it, too!!
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#188074 - 08/11/09 02:51 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
This is the first day I've had to sit and read the post from beginning to the end an I'm so impressed. Not only by you, Sue, but by the thoughtful questions asked and the responses of our women here. So much wisdom being passed back and forth. Anyone who doesn't take the time to read through this section is really missing out!

I have to admit I haven't read FC yet, but have every intention of doing so. I have thought on many occasions that I would like to document "slices of life" for my children and grandchildren, but just never took that first step. I've done all of the genealogy stuff for both sides of the family, so the stories pertaining to the past are all in there.

But my life...it would read like a snoozer.

Cathi, I hope you DO write that book about being a military brat. I would imagine there are millions of people who could relate to it and would love to read it.

Meredith, I have one of your books so I hope you DO finish this one you're working on. You introduced me to poetry and forced me to like it. Well...I like yours.

Sue, you are such a breath of fresh air. You are so down-to-earth, helpful, and sincere. We are so lucky to have you here with us!

What's next on the agenda for you? And my second question is do you believe everyone has a memoir in them? Even boring people like me?

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#188121 - 08/11/09 09:50 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: jawjaw]
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
Ladies, Sue is experiencing technical difficulties and will be on as soon as she can. Just FYI.

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#188133 - 08/12/09 01:49 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: jawjaw]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Dear Jawjaw - Thank you so much for reading this whole post, I'm thrilled that you're enjoying it. I think it's really great that you've been doing research on your family and genealogy, as that can be a really important part of one's story. And of course, that can be an important part of one's memoir, too. I know you say that your life is a "snooze," but I'm thinking you really do have some important and interesting stories to write about. I've always believed that everyone has a memoir in them. What you might try to do is set aside a half hour or so and just freewrite without censoring yourself or second-guessing and see what comes of it. If you hit on even one word or one sentence that has a lot of energy around it, just keep following that thought and see where it leads you. Right now I'm up at Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaching at a conference and when I get home I hope to finish my next book, which is called THE PAT BOONE FAN CLUB: MY LIFE AS A WHITE ANGLO SAXON JEW. Thank you for such warm support.
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#188156 - 08/12/09 02:54 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
Excellent advice Sue. I thought about your words over night and I'm thinking if I did some freewriting for an hour or so, I'd have to build a pit in the backyard, burn it, buried it, and build a garage over it. I wouldn't want my kids to see it...so I guess I DO have some stuff to write about.

I can't wait to see your next book in print. Here's hoping you don't have those technical difficulties today!

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#188168 - 08/12/09 05:28 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: jawjaw]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Thanks, jawjaw! First of all,yes, my tech difficulties have been resolved! Thanks for your patience.

I'm pleased my advice helped! And I'm so pleased (and also think it's kind of funny), that you feel you'd have to burn any freewriting exercise! So, yes, we all DO have stories to tell!! The next step is, slowly but surely, telling them. Well, you know, you could just start with a bit of freewriting and choose not to show it to anyone...just see where the material leads you.

If anyone would like a writing prompt, here's one: What's the first sensation you remember on the soles of your feet? For example, was it sand on a beach? A freshly mowed lawn? Asphalt? Once you get in touch with this sensation, try writing a little scene around it. Where were you when you felt this? Who were you with? Did you feel happy? Sad? Confused?

I'd love for some of you to try this!! I'm at Vermont College of Fine Arts right now, and I might give this same exercise to my students here!! Sue
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#188344 - 08/15/09 09:11 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
Hi. I was following this thread, but I can't keep up. I did not want to just drop out, but rather let Sue know that several, and I mean several, nearly impossible situations are looming that I need to give my attention to. I don't want to state them here because I don't want to intrude on the purpose of the topic. I am glad we have the option to print a topic, so I can do that later! Thanks for being here Sue. See you later, Lynn

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#188504 - 08/19/09 02:05 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Princess Lenora]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Some more great advise as usual Sue. Picturing the first sensation I felt on my feet is kind a funny scenario. It was when I was about 5, and we were on one of our summer vacations in Rhodes. My aunt took my brother and myself to the beach. I remember not wanting sand in my shoes so I took them off. What happened next was a big surprise to me! I didn't realize how bloody hot the sand would be, next thing I knew I was running like crazy probably getting sand on all the sunbathers as I passed them by. I didn't care, I was making a bee line to the water, which seemed to take forever to get there. Oh but once I did, it was heavenly. I even think this may have been my first experience with feeling euphoric. Thank God I had the experience with walking on sand in the later part of the day when it was sunset. Because I discovered the sand felt therapeutic and sensational when it was cooler.

I had been thinking about the benefits of memoirs. I get really irritated when someone will talk about how they overcame something or how they became successful. Yet they do not go into detail with how they reached that point. So when the reader is trying to achieve anything, thinking it's easy, the reader could get discouraged and think there is something definitely wrong with them.

An example is how I got out of a two year deep depression. Usually, you will hear something like this:

I went through a depression for two years and suddenly it dawned on me to do something to get out of the house and meet people. I applied for a job and they hired me. I went to work my first day and I have been very happy since.

A reader will look at that scenario and go, wow, maybe that is what I could do too. They go and they applied for a job and they never get a call, or an interview. They become more depressed and sink deeper.

The two year depression was triggered by something I had done that almost tore my family apart. I was living the shame and the guilt. I was so afraid to even lift a finger and all I wanted to do was sleep most of the time. It got to the point where I was almost agoraphobic. I knew what I had to do, but I was too afraid of failure. It took a death of a good friend to get me to snap out of it and even that was a slow process. I had gone to Northern VA to see her when she was in her death bed. I had run into some old friends of mine and I really had missed the life I had before. This friend of mine had a great fulfilling life. I didn't want to die one day wasting away like a lump on a log.

So I forced myself to look for a job in several places. I forced myself to fill out the applications. I had so much anxiety, and what ifs. Finally, I just had to tell myself, I am no worse off than I am now. I have nothing to lose.

On the day of my interview for the job I am currently at right now. I kept telling myself, I will go in there and be myself and answer some the questions. If they do not hire me, at least I know I've made a start and I'll try again. I have nothing to lose. This was one of my best interviews. While I was dressed decent, I was not dressed in a stuffy manner. I wore the jewelry I would normally wear and I sat the way I normally did. I figured, it's only fair that the employer sees what she/he will get. I said as much when I interviewed with the manager. He said, you seem so relaxed and I appreciate it. How do you do it? I said it was best to let him see me as I am and that way there will be no disappointments later on when he hired me. To this day, he still talks about the interview.

Anyway, that is the gist of what I went through. I believe a reader should see the downside and the difficult steps it took to get out of ones situation. Now my turn to ask...Am I making sense?

Sorry I haven't posted for the past week. I am facing some challenges lately. However, do not despair! This could be another memoir in the making!!!

Cheers,
Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#188505 - 08/19/09 02:09 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
JawJaw,

I think if you were to wright a memoir of your childhood and how you passed the time looking at worms squiggling across the grass, it would have us mesmerized.

I just cannot imagine anything boring about you!!!

Nice to see you again my friend. Thank you for your encouragement.

Cheers,
Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#188508 - 08/19/09 02:49 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
HI, Cathi,
I LOVE that story about your walking on the sand, and how the sensation changed from the morning sand to the evening sand, as it were. I really think you could write a little essay about that, and what the feeling of the sand under your feet meant to you. Those are some GREAT descriptions.

I likewise am drawn into your story about the job interview. It's fascinating, and I also think you could write an essay about that whole experience, moving from that depression into a strong woman who ultimately went out and got the job.

And I do agree with you that it's NOT helpful when a writer doesn't provide details as to how any adversity was overcome, or when it seems too unrealistically easy! Yes, you're right: in order to make an impact, the writer needs to bring the reader inside the experience. Exactly!

Great to hear from you!
Sue
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#188555 - 08/20/09 12:41 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Sue, thanks for your feedback. I have put so much off for lack of confidence. I've always felt like you did when your therapist suggested to you to write a memoir. The "what's so special about me?", syndrome. The only thing I considered interesting was my grandmother's struggles.

I have to say, you've opened a door for me Sue to at least give this a try. Which is why I am more humbled you are here with us.

Cheers and Hugs,
Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#188567 - 08/20/09 10:48 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Sue, I so realted to the following:

"Writing my life is a gift I give to myself. To write is to be constantly reborn. On one page I understand this about myself. On another page I understand that."

I think writers probably know themselves the best. Would you agree with that statement? I journal in the form of a letter to God. I continue to be amazed at what I learn about myself through writing. Parts of me are revealed that need work, and if I didn't take the time to write, I don't think I'd ever get to the bottom of some issues.
_________________________
Founder Emeritus of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com


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#188568 - 08/20/09 10:53 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Dotsie]
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Cathi, I enjoy your writing. I'd love to encourage you to keep taking little bits and pieces of your life and begin writing about them. Just see where it takes you...
_________________________
Founder Emeritus of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com


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#188570 - 08/20/09 01:04 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Dotsie]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Cathi, yes, I totally identify with what you're saying and feeling, that "who would want to read about me" feeling. My sense is that many memoirists feel that way.

Ironically, however, when you see how popular memoirs are, those numbers tell a different story!! In fact, hundreds and hundreds of people want to read our stories!

Why? Because they identify with our stories. They better understand their own lives from reading about ours. Our readers feel not so alone. Because we're writers, we can give a voice to those who don't have one.

I receive so many emails from women thanking me for telling their story, too. That's so powerful.

And, ironically, it's not really that I (or any other memoirist) am so "special." Rather, it is because our stories are common, and, because of this, we give voice to this commonality among all of us. That's where the connections are. That's why readers read our stories.

Does that make sense? What do you think?

In other words, even if a reader hasn't had an incestuous childhood, she can still identify with my story. For what I'm ALSO writing about are things like loss, alienation, search for identity--universal themes.

Writing memoir is discovering these common bonds among us. And I am convinced that your story, too, would fully resonate with readers--that you would be giving a voice to those who don't have one.
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#188573 - 08/20/09 01:13 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Dotsie, yes, I totally agree with you! While I've been (thankfully) able to change behavior patterns through therapy, I've actually learned much more about myself through writing. It's as if every word, on some level, brings me more insight into who I am.

And of course this changes over time. It's like that quote you use from "Fearless Confessions"--on one page I know "this" about myself...on another page I know "that." As human beings, of course, emotions and insights are always in flux. Writing helps bring all of this, all of who we are, into sharper focus.

And, sure, this writing doesn't need to be manuscripts we want to publish. We can write for ourselves, we can journal, write letters to God. There are many forms writing can take. The important thing is to write! And, after the words are down on paper, then you can decide what to do with them.

I honestly can't imagine my life without writing, without words. I hardly know what I think until I write!
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#188630 - 08/21/09 05:13 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Dotsie, I didn't realize what I said before and I want to clarify something. I have always felt encouragement coming from the women on this board in regards to writing. I didn't want anyone to think I didn't from the comments I made to Sue.

What I love about you Sue and in reading Fearless Confessions, is the freedom I feel I have to write anything. I use to worry about grammer, and punctuations. I love the examples you show us. Not only that, I was fearful that I couldn't possibly remember everything and you touch on that too.

Sue, have you ever thought of starting your own publishing company? It was just a thought that occurred to me last night.

Cheers,
Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#188631 - 08/21/09 05:17 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Another thing occurred to me too and I am sad about this. The end of August is creeping up very fast and I have enjoyed your time here very much. Is there a way we will be able to communicate with you later?

Cheers,
Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#188636 - 08/21/09 06:38 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Cathi,
Thank you, again, for such kind and supportive words. And I want you to know how much I've *loved* my time here this month! It's been great, and I appreciate the excellent comments, questions, and discussion.

To answer your questions:

While I wish I had the time, energy, money to start a publishing company, I'm afraid I don't. I also don't have the business expertise. But thank you for thinking I could do it!! And it certainly would be nice to be able to publish such important stories written by women!

Yes, of course, please stay in touch with me after August ends. I won't evaporate--HA!! My email address is suesilverman(at)charter.net. Or, if that ever changes, my contact information is always on my website, which is www.suewilliamsilverman.com.

Or, if anyone would like to study with me, I teach at the low-residency MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Low residency means that you only have to come to campus twice a year, for ten days each time. The rest of the semester, students send their work, once a month, to their faculty advisor. In short, other than two quick trips a year, everyone operates from home! Here's the website, in case you're interested: http://tinyurl.com/kmkt5j .

Thanks, Cathi!!
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#188642 - 08/21/09 10:41 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
meredithbead Offline
The Divine Ms M

Registered: 07/07/03
Posts: 4894
Loc: Orange County, California
Sue, if I may ask a question about the writing contest:
Quote:
Using 500 words or less, set a scene, using some sensory details, that describes one life-changing moment. Think about;

* How this moment marked a turning point, a beginning or an ending;
* How you feel about that event now, reflecting back, with the advantage of hindsight;
* If it was a sad or traumatic moment, did you overcome it and ultimately feel empowered? Or, if it was a joyous occasion, what did you learn from that?

Do you want our essay to contain ALL of these points, or are they just suggested approaches?
_________________________
My handcrafted jewelry:
limited edition designs
more jewelry, plus bead supplies

Poet and essayist

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#188648 - 08/22/09 12:47 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: meredithbead]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
HI, Meredith--really, these are just suggested approaches. Kind of prompts, in a way. Mainly, I'd love for everyone to follow their best instincts and see where the words lead you!! I hope you enter! Sue
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#188671 - 08/22/09 07:54 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Sue, I think it was when you were writing about the fear of sharing from the gut/heart. There was a quote by James McBride - "Fear is a killer of good literature." Love that quote.

Also, I'm amazed by the number of memoirs you've read. Have you read memoirs for years, or did you read most of them as research for thsi book?
_________________________
Founder Emeritus of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com


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#188672 - 08/22/09 07:58 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Dotsie]
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
I also appreciated your comment about writing honestly. You mentioned that we're writing our lives, not xeroxing them, or something to that matter. I can't find it, but it stuck with me. I thought that was a brilliant way of sharing how memoir is written.

Also, thanks to the boomer generation, our stories are being told. I truly beleive our generation has made tremendous strides in allowing people to share the truth, even if it's ugly and prickly. The truth heals.
_________________________
Founder Emeritus of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com


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#188688 - 08/22/09 11:26 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Dotsie]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
HI, Dotsie,
Yes, I love that quote from James McBride, too! He came to Vermont College of Fine Arts--where I teach--and gave this amazing talk. The quote is from his talk. He just blew me away.

In terms of reading memoirs--I have read a lot--but I haven't read all the ones on my reading list, if that's what you mean??!! I wish I had, but, alas, I haven't. The books on the reading list are a combination of ones I've read as well as recommendations from others.

I totally agree with you about the popularity of writing memoir and the boomer generation! And, I meant to mention (I can't believe I forgot!!), but I posted a blog on powells.com about this very thing: boomers and memoir. It's called "The Confessions of My Generation," and you can find it here http://www.powells.com/blog/?p=7452 . Really can't believe I forgot to mention it; it was posted a few weeks ago!! I hope you enjoy it. Sue
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#188768 - 08/24/09 05:54 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Sue, this from you, "The blurs in our memory are often clues to silence and secrets."

This struck me. Ross has this thing he calls the Bregel Block-out. He had a tough childhhod, even though he was loved by both parents, there were always changes going on. Dad married three times, plus several girlfriends, Mom married twice, lots of moves, etc. We joke about the BBO with his brother, but I'm sure they're protecting themselves from some very sad memories.
_________________________
Founder Emeritus of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com


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#188770 - 08/24/09 06:34 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Dotsie]
Mountain Ash Offline
Member

Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 3027
"The blurs in our memory are often clues to silence and secrets."

I agree that what is not discussed openly can be a source of hurt/pain and our wonderful brain does not delve there.

In the film "Secrets and Lies" which I viewed along with women at a University summer school the Mother is surprised to find her baby who was given up for adoption at birth was black...the child now grown traces the mother and then the story unfolds

...this triggered many reactions from the class....and due to the content of the whole course counsellors were on hand...

Joharis Window where some of who and what we are is totally unknown to us comes to mind..

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#188771 - 08/24/09 07:02 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Mountain Ash]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Hi, Dotsie and Mountain Ash,
I agree, that this "block out" is a form of self preservation. When things can get scary, especially to kids, they protect themselves by blocking it out. That makes so much sense to me, too.

If something is going to be hurtful or painful--as "Mountain Ash" says--yes, the brain, which is all about self-preservation, doesn't "delve there." That's a good way to put it.

I haven't seen the film "Secrets and Lies," though I'd love to. It sounds fascinating.
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#188773 - 08/24/09 07:29 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Mountain Ash Offline
Member

Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 3027
Secrets and Lies
The film encompasses race.. the British class system... morality.Real diversity stuff.
have the tissues ready

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#188779 - 08/24/09 08:57 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Mountain Ash]
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Here's a link to learn more about the movie:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secrets_&_Lies_(film)
_________________________
Founder Emeritus of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
www.boomerwomenspeak.com


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#188786 - 08/24/09 11:51 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Dotsie]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Thanks!! I really want to see it. It looks fascinating!
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#188828 - 08/25/09 04:12 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
LTWayfaringWords Offline


Registered: 05/23/09
Posts: 63
Loc: Missouri, recently moved from ...
Hi, Sue, Dotsie, and others. I just read all this month's posts and found them fascinating. For a few years I've been teaching a memoir class based on Deut. 4:9 (my paraphrase)"Always remember -- and never forget -- what you've seen God do for you. And be sure to tell your children and grandchildren!" Tomorrow is the first day of this fall's class so reading all those posts about memoir really got me jazzed! Thank you! Linda Thomas
_________________________
Linda Thomas, Wayfaring Wordsmith
http://www.grandmaslettersfromafrica.blogspot.com

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#188859 - 08/25/09 07:52 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: LTWayfaringWords]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Hi, Linda,
I'm delighted that you read the posts and found them helpful! And that's great to learn about your memoir class. I find that fascinating--basing a class on quotes like that. It must be very helpful for the students, to be able to work off something like that. Terrific idea! Good luck with the new class! Sue
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#189166 - 09/01/09 12:51 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Wisdom&Life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 724
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Hello Sue,

I wanted to tell you how much of a pleasure I have had talking with you and reading your book.

I really hope to meet you one day! Vermont is one of the States on my list to go and explore one day! You have inspired me more than you can know. I cannot wait to read your other books and I hope to see the movie, but I want to read the book first!

Thank you so much for all your time and encouragement.

Of course, when I see Red Shoes, I will think of you my dear!

Love and Cheers,
Cathi
_________________________
Proud member of National Association Of Baby Boomer Women!
www.nabbw.com

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#189167 - 09/01/09 02:02 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Wisdom&Life]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Hi, Cathi,
I was just going to check in here to say "bye" (temporarily) to folks--and here you are!! Great to hear from you again.

Thank you, and everyone, for all your great questions and comments. I am truly appreciative of your support, too. I've had a wonderful time this month. It's been a lot of fun checking in here to see who is around!

I wish all of you the very best with your writing! If you want to get ahold of me any time, you can find my email and contact information on my website, at www.suewilliamsilverman.com. Lynn is the only one I've met in person, but I hope one day to meet others in person, too.

And a big THANK YOU to Dotsie. You do such an amazing job of taking care of all us Boomers. This has been a lovely month. Thank you, again, everyone.
love,
Sue
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#189214 - 09/01/09 06:19 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
meredithbead Offline
The Divine Ms M

Registered: 07/07/03
Posts: 4894
Loc: Orange County, California
I also want to thank you Sue for a wonderful informative month. smile
_________________________
My handcrafted jewelry:
limited edition designs
more jewelry, plus bead supplies

Poet and essayist

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#189218 - 09/01/09 07:43 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: meredithbead]
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
Hear! Hear! I second that thank you. Sue is a fount of info and she generously gives to others her time and knowledge. We feel very fortunate to have her not only as a member of the NABBW, but as a friend. God's speed, Sue!

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#189243 - 09/02/09 11:31 AM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: jawjaw]
Sue W. Silverman Offline


Registered: 05/15/09
Posts: 33
Thanks so much, Meredith and Queen JJ!! I really appreciate your lovely words of support! This website for Boomer Women is such a wonderful place to gather! Sue
_________________________
author, "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
www.suewilliamsilverman.com

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#189615 - 09/09/09 03:56 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Sue W. Silverman]
Vicki M. Taylor Offline
Member

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 2196
Loc: Tampa, FL
Wow.. what a great speaker..and I missed it... :-(

At least we have the archives and I got to read all the insight from some remarkable boomer women.

I'm heading to B&N website and ordering FC right now!!

Thank you Sue for coming to BWS, and thank you Dotsie for finding such a gem!!
_________________________
Vicki
"What you believe yourself to be, you are."
Claude M. Bristol
Your Writing Coach
Writing Coach Blog


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#190438 - 09/23/09 09:14 PM Re: Welcome Sue Silverman: Memoir Writing Expert [Re: Dotsie]
Erica Miner Offline
Member

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 140
Loc: Southern CA
I'm a latecomer to this discussion, but I just wanted to offer my kudos and congrats to Sue. Awesome job!
_________________________
Author of Travels With My Lovers & FourEver Friends
http://www.ericaminer.com
'Journaling Queen'

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