The Personal Cost of Writing Memoir

When I told family members I was working on Don't Leave Yet, a few asked, "Why relive the emotional trauma of your mother's Alzheimer's? Why revisit the past?" My answer was succinct and important: so I can understand her domineering personality, the fear she instilled in me, and our complicated and flawed relationship. Deena Metzler [...]

October 18th, 2018|

The Possibility of Revelation

I recently attended a master class for piano. Although I’m not a musician, I was fascinated by the weaving of melody that the young students were practicing. When the instructor said, more, more, the piano got louder. When he said, less, less, the sound diminished. I saw many similarities to the practice of writing. We [...]

March 15th, 2016|

The Importance of Writing Retreats

The writing process is a solitary endeavor. Sometimes it’s a struggle just to carve out a block of time in our busy schedules, but we do it. We open our notebooks or computers and hope inspiration will transform our thoughts into poems, essays, or books that will touch the hearts of readers in a significant [...]

November 7th, 2015|

Book Launch

On May 9th, I launched Don't Leave Yet at Ravenswood Historic Site in Livermore. It was the perfect venue. Ravenswood is a restored Victorian, complete with a wrap-around porch and rich wood moulding and fireplaces. It sits among gardens and is circled by palm trees. And it has been the site of monthly poetry readings and open [...]

June 8th, 2015|

Pub Day

I can hardly believe this day has arrived! For the past ten years, I have either been writing or promoting my memoir. During that time, I was blessed with the marriages of my son and daughter and the births of three grandsons. On the other hand, I got divorced, moved out of my house, underwent [...]

April 21st, 2015|

Prepublication Thoughts

With a little over a month until my book publication, I am feeling overwhelmed. Many expectations surround the event: launch party, readings and signings, keeping up on social media, reviewing the work of fellow authors, and blogging. While I already have a stressful full-time job, it seems as though I’ve acquired another that is equally [...]

March 12th, 2015|

In The Middle

While I was working on the second and third drafts of my memoir in 2008, I questioned whether or not I had the perseverance and desire to complete it. It had been a year of personal crises, one after the other. Depression hit me hard, and it was difficult to maintain my daily life, much [...]

November 17th, 2014|

In the Beginning

In the fall of 2004, I entered Ellen Bass’s Thursday afternoon writing class in Santa Cruz for the first time with trepidation. Although I wasn’t entirely new to the experience, having driven to Oakland every Wednesday evening the previous ten years to meet with an amazing and talented group of women writers, I was anxious [...]

November 17th, 2014|