Magical Memoir Moments

Thank You, Mary Karr!

Yesterday’s New York Times carried an op-ed from Mary Karr about the way opponents of Barack Obama like to diminish him by calling him a memoirist, just as they make fun of his career as a community organizer. Karr, who has written several excellent memoirs herself, including and describes why memoir writing is a good…

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Definitions: Memoir, Memoirs, Autobiography,and More!

Patti Miller’s The Memoir Book is an excellent guide to the genre under discussion in this blog and is also the image I chose to illustrate the 100 Memoir Challenge over at www.Shelfari.com. Using more than 20 years of experience working as a teacher and coach, Patti Miller gives us a condensed version of her…

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On Retreat: A Mini-Memoir

I spent the last five days and four nights on retreat at Gilchist, the Three Rivers, MI, retreat center owned by the Fetzer Institute. I take time away there at least once and sometimes two or three times a year. I love the deep quiet places that surround me as a guest there. I will…

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Book Club Night: 90 Minutes in Heaven

I live in a new neighborhood carved out of the Michigan woods. My husband and I fell in love with the winding road that led through pines into hardwoods, a road that now connects about twenty new houses to the highway. As the first residents of this new community, we had the opportunity to reach…

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A Workshop on Spiritual Autobiography

Tomorrow I will lead a workshop on spiritual autobiography at my church. The time will be limited to four hours, so we won’t be able to do a lot of writing. Here is the plan: 1. Begin with meditation. 2. Using examples from this book, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs, we will…

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Dreams from My Father

Today Barack Obama will announce his choice of a running mate for the race to the White House. I did not sign up for his text message. Instead, I am reading one of his memoirs, Dreams from My Father. I can already tell you that the book is beautifully structured and written. Unlike John McCain,…

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Discovering Shelfari

My son Anthony keeps showing me wonderful places to go online, especially places that help me learn more about social media and might brighten the face of this blog.  The latest is Shelfari, a place to rate books, talk about books, and meet new book lovers.  I have started a group there called–you guessed it–100…

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Scott Russell Sanders and Spiritual Memoir

The September issue of The Writer’s Chronicle carries an interview with Scott Russell Sanders by Tom Montgomery Fate which excited me because it asks one of my own questions: is it possible to tell an artful story out of an ordinary life? Scott Russell Sanders is one of the few who do this difficult task…

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Meditation and Memoir

My daughter Kate and I had a wonderful conversation on Monday about the difference between fantasies, feelings, and actions.  I resolved to get back into the practice of meditation as a result of that conversation.  I am fortunate to work in a place that provides opportunity for meditation at work, so I have begun using…

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Stanley Fish On Three Popular Narratives and Their Limits

Stanley Fish in yesterday’s New York Times writes about a recent essay by Charles Van Doren in the July 28 issue of The New Yorker.  If you saw Quiz Show, directed by Robert Redford, you know that Charles Van Doren disgraced himself, his family, and perhaps even academic life, by participating in a rigged quiz…

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