Everything All at Once by Stephanie Catudal is a book about parallels. It tells the story of her father’s death from lung cancer when she was a girl and her husband’s diagnosis from the same disease later in life. In a split story, she shows us that how life has a way of replaying the lessons we need to learn until we are ready to learn from them.
How much fiction can a memoir include? How much truth belongs in fiction? I don’t know the answer, but I love books that make me think about the divide between the two. My latest read, The Hero of this Book, by Elizabeth McCracken is filed under fiction, but has a lot to say about memoir.
I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Gayle Brandeis’ new book, Drawing Breath: Essays on Writing, the Body, and Loss. I was excited to read this book, having read Brandeis’ memoir The Art of Misdiagnosis.
After years of pressuring myself to create the perfect SMART writing goals, I was pretty proud of myself. Except, the only thing was I was accomplishing was driving myself crazy. I was too goal-oriented.
I’ve acquired a lot of ephemera over the past year. When my mom moved out of the house I grew up in, I became the family archivist. Which is why I recently needed to clean out my office. I started with the pile of literary magazines.
I recently joined the American Migraine Foundation (AMF) Emerging Advocates program. The AMF developed this program to mobilize people with migraine and support advocacy efforts to fight stigma of the disease. As part of the program, I have been getting training about migraine and advocacy.
Dealing with a chronic disease like migraine can be tough. I sometimes feel like a real baby for just not pushing through the pain. Yet, this isn’t the kind of thing that is easily ignored.
I’ve been studying first lines and first pages of memoirs. I’ve rewritten mine at least a million times. Well, maybe not that many, but at least many times as I’ve rewritten the intro for this blog. We all know that openings matter. People need to be wowed to keep reading.
Ask a writer why they write and you’ll get a thousan answers or at least a thousand essays. I’ve written nearly that many responses to this age-old question since I started writing as a hobby maybe 20 years ago.
Leigh Stein is my role model, despite being 10 years younger than me. I adore her the way I assume younger women worship Instagram influencers. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and every other publication worth writing for, was co-founder of Out of the Binders/BinderCon, is a memoir and fiction writer, and coaches other writers.