Writing Memoir: Ready Or Not?

It truly is all in the timing. Stretch Marks took almost a decade to write and I’m certain, now, that every one of those 87,600 hours were necessary to craft my story.

Marion Roach Smith renowned author of the Memoir Project has graciously invited me to share my ‘Writing Lesson’ on her blog. You’ll also find an excerpt from my memoir and a chance to win a copy of Stretch Marks. Find out how…

Writing Lessons: When Are You Ready To Write Memoir? 

¡Feliz Verano!

Red Sweet Pea

Photograph taken with my iPhone–a faux macro shot–leaning in, but stopping shy of blurry while holding my breath. Happy Summer!

Debut Interview

It is most fitting that my first online interview is with Miriam Sagan, poet, writer, blogger and founder of the Creative Writing Program in Santa Fe.

I had the good fortune to work with Miriam when I first began to scaffold Stretch Marks and was clueless how to write memoir. Her advice remains crystal clear–just write, keep the story simple, make a schedule and meet deadlines.

Please read our interview here…Miriam’s Well: Poetry, Land Art, and Beyond. Thanks!

My Hometown Bookstore

It didn’t sink in that me, Liz had published a book when I first saw Stretch Marks and the familiar layout on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. My Man and I hugged and toasted, but I felt more relieved than anything else.

Then the phone calls and emails made me flutter with sparing moments of happy, but it still felt distant.

It hadn’t sunk in until the afternoon I walked into my hometown bookstore, hardly pausing at the aisle displays, and headed for the Local Authors section. Seconds later I saw, gasped, and stared at  the book cover I helped design.

I was a cliché: hands to heart, blushing, grinning, and rocking myself with enormous satisfaction and pride. I knelt down and stared from every angle, before taking photographs, oblivious to the fact that my rear end blocked the flow of busy traffic.

I was that author staring back at me in bold black print.

SC BookshopSANTA CRUZ BOOKSHOP

1520 Pacific Avenue  / Santa Cruz, CA 95060  / Tel: 831-423-0900

specialorders@bookshopsantacruz.com

Cutting Room Floor

After hearing from so many of you while you’ve been reading Stretch Marks or have just finished, I am heartened by the praise and enjoying the questions and curiosity!

It’s great that so many of you are intrigued with the scenes that didn’t make the final cut. There are so many scenes that every writer struggles with letting go of for the sake of the story. Stretch Marks was 300 plus pages when I first transcribed my journals and annotated it along the way.

My man reminded me of one of our favorite stories that didn’t make the cut.

In an earlier draft of Stretch Marks, I recounted when we removed the bandage from our daughter Sofia’s belly button and gasped at the beef jerky like stub hanging loose from our precious child. I could only shake my head when Marty looked at me for the answer.

“What did we do wrong?” he asked.

I made the mistake of thinking out loud. We had completely screwed up and deformed our little girl’s perfect body. My man raked his hair. I called my mother with a sinking feeling, wincing from head to toe. Would she laugh or admonish us?

“That’s wonderful!” I could hear her settling into her spot at the dining room table.

“My mother says it’s wonderful, and you should carefully remove it,” I walked back towards Marty, repeating every word my mother was saying to me.

“Of course,” Marty’s look of relief turned triumphant when he held up the shriveled and stinky stub while Sofia gurgled and kicked her tiny feet.

My mother’s reassuring voice steadied me.

I, in return, listed every minuscule detail to her as we inspected Sofia’s delicate rosy pink indentation.

“We should send it to her right away. She’s going to bless it and bury it along with all the other grandkids belly buttons.”

I found an empty earring box in my dresser where we reverently placed the stub on a cotton lining and covered it with another billowy layer. Later we triple-bubbled wrapped the box before mailing it.

Paper or Plastic?

For those of you who have made the jump from tBooks (tree-based books) to eBooks, you can now get Stretch Marks for your Kindle or Nook, and an iBooks version is coming soon.

I’ve been slow to embrace eBooks myself, as the aesthetic experience of reading– texture, smell and so forth– can’t be replicated in plastic. I recently started using a Kindle paperwhite for nighttime reading, and now I’m doing a big chunk of my reading on it.

So whether you prefer paper or plastic, now there’s a version of Stretch Marks for you!

THANK YOU!

What an incredible feeling it is to know that Stretch Marks is making its way out into the world.

Thanks so much for buying Stretch Marks and recommending it to others. I love getting your phone calls and emails telling me how parts of my story have resonated for some of you.

Please help me get the word out about Stretch Marks by sharing it with your friends on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to rate Stretch Marks on Amazon, and adding even a brief review makes a big impact.

Your feedback is invaluable to me, and I deeply appreciate your help making Stretch Marks a success.
THANK YOU!

Blogger Spotlight on Mamiverse.com

  My post is featured today on one of my favorite blogs

MAMIVERSE.COM

Please check it out!

Reflecting on the Motherhood Balancing Act

by  03/19/2013

SM_Book Cover