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Sometimes all it takes is a single word to spark a strong memory. Bicycle. Snowstorm. Washing machine. By presenting one-word prompts and simple phrases, author and writing teacher Patty Dann gives us the keys to unlock our life stories. Organized around her ten rules for writing memoir, Dann’s lyrical vignettes offer glimpses into her own life while, surprisingly, opening us up to our own. This book is a small but powerful guide and companion for anyone wanting to get their own story on the page.
Turning Memories Into Memoirs contains countless helpful suggestions for remembering--researching--organizing--collecting and writing memories and family or personal stories. It includes* how-to writing exercises* clear explanation of literary techniques* proven motivational supports and* examples from the workshops. Turning Memories is a useful reference and guide for both beginners and experienced writers who want to write personal and family stories.
"Mrs. Flax was happiest when she was leaving a place, but I wanted to stay put long enough to fall down crazy and hear the Word of God. I always called my mother Mrs. Flax." So begins this extraordinary first novel about one wild year in the life of fourteen-year-old Charlotte Flax, when she and her sister Kate move with Mrs. Flax into a sleepy 1960's Massachusetts town. Mrs. Flax is a woman who wears polka-dot dresses and serves hors d'oeuvres for dinner every night, and Kate is a child who basically wants to be a fish. And then there's Charlotte, who in Patty Dann's hands, is transformed into a young woman of infinite whim and variety. Charlotte's main ambition in life is to become a saint, preferably martyred, though she's Jewish. She's smitten with the shy young caretaker at the convent at the top of the hill. Dann has created a young girl who accepts the unkindness of the mad universe in which she's whirling and takes it on with a savage glee. Charlotte Flax is like no one you have ever met--and someone you know very well.
From different families and different childhoods, three women remember and speak out about the secrecy, silence, and shame of having an alcoholic parent. Through spontaneous writing with "loaded words" and person-to-person sharing, the women embarked on a transformative journey in which painful images were brought to light, were accepted, and became less painful. Transforming Memories is a collection of their healing writings and an invitation to others, whatever their past burdens, to use the technique of spontaneous writing to reveal difficult memories more clearly.
A memoir on grief, hope, and transformation, and a single enduring truth: life cannot be restrained by death. After the death of her daughter, and quickly losing her own battle with grief, Nancy moved from the house she can no longer bear to live in. While packing, she finds a box in the attic. Inside she uncovers treasures she didn't know existed and evidence that she and her daughter's lives had been more divinely entwined than she could've imagined.
Wounds fester and spread in the darkness of silence. The First Signs of April, explores the destructive patterns of unresolved grief and the importance of connection for true healing to occur. The narrative weaves through time to explore grief reactions to two very different losses: suicide and cancer.
The daughter of piano prodigy Norma Herr describes how she and her sister were forced by their mother's violent schizophrenic episodes to discontinue contact with her until the author's debilitating injury changed her sense of the world and enabled a healing reconciliation.

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