The Idea of a Memoir (Part One)

Photo Credit: Princeton Public Library


The idea of writing a memoir keeps coming to mind time and time again.  Why should I write one?  Who would want to hear my story anyway? And, what the heck the difference between a memoir and autobiography?

I found this that proved quite helpful:

Photo Credit: Susan Calder

And to break it down to the actual characteristics of a memoir:

Photo Credit: Linkedin Slideshare (Click on image for original source)


My next challenge is what to write about.   So much has happened over the course of my life, I don’t even know where to begin.  I went to my Twitter and started to browse through my tweets for the last year or so and I discovered two tweets where I managed to condense my life down to six words:

Unraveled by losses; rebuilt by love.


Life. Just tears in the rain.


The word “losses” is definitely one of the main themes of my life.  But, who would want to read about them?

The losses weren’t just about death though that covered a good portion; there were anger and self-hatred, anxiety and depression, abuses of different kinds, setbacks, and on and on.  I don’t want to write this memoir as a pity-party for myself or to show how I was a victim and somehow beat the odds…

No, no, no!

I suppose I want to write the memoir, detailing certain events and losses, and telling a reader who may need to “hear” that yes, I survived these, and so can YOU.

The bottom line is never giving up.

No matter what.







Writing: Favorite Story Type

Gabriela covers the story types in chapter eleven in her DIY MFA Book. Just click on the image for the book.

In this prompt: “Are you like me and a sucker for underdog stories? Do you love that classic boy-meets-girl Rom-Com formula? Are you crazy for epic quests about heroes saving the world? For today’s prompt, tell us which story type you love and why.”

Oh, this one is so tough as I enjoy all of them!  My writing background, so far, has been horror short stories (where many times the protagonist does NOT survive or win in the end), dark poetry, and dark fantasy stories (these would include the epic quest types).  Now that I’m thinking of it, for some reason, I’ve yet to complete a fantasy story.  Well, I do know the reason.  The stories tend to grow too big, too complicated, and overwhelm me to the point that I stop writing them.  These have all been written in the serial-format.  I’ve come to a realization that perhaps serial fiction may not be for me.  Not at this time anyway.

The only romance story I’ve written is a screenplay (“Storms of the Heart”) which I will be converting to a book this year.  This one has comedic scenes throughout, but probably not enough to be truly called a “rom-com.”   There are dramatic parts, and suspense too.  The heroine has both internal and external conflicts to wrestle with.  It’s a love story, and it’s a survival story.  It’s a story that keeps pestering me since it’s birth back in 2008.  It’s a story that will deal with PTSD.  And losses.

It’s the type of story that has won my heart.  And it is the one I will write in the coming months ahead.

So, to answer the prompt question above.  The type of story I love most is the survivalist kind, the underdog where the conflict/antagonist that the protagonist has to face is so much stronger than she is, but she’s determined to survive.  And this particular story also has a love story intertwined which makes it all the more endearing since I love watching something bloom between two people in-spite of all the roadblocks standing in their way.

Why this type?  Probably because I consider myself a survivor.  I’ve been an underdog all my life.  And I’m still fighting, and I suppose I always will, but that’s fine.  I don’t think I would have it any other way.  🙂


Writing: Using Fears as Your Compass

Click on image for the DIY MFA Book


Gabriela Pereira: “Share an example of when resistance has pointed you toward a writing project that was juicy and high-stakes… and maybe even a little bit scary. Did you face that fear head-on and overcome your resistance? What was the result of pursuing (or not pursuing) that project?”


This is a tough one.  I’ve encountered a lot of resistance to a lot of things for many reasons in my life.

Where to even begin?

There’s resistance due to having disabilities, and feeling inferior in that I don’t feel I will ever amount to anything.

There’s resistance due to experiencing verbal and emotional abuse as a girl, and then some as an adult, and along comes the feeling of not being good enough for anything or anyone.

These usually result in self-sabotaging myself so instead of succeeding in life, I end up failing or being bypassed for  career opportunities.

 I deserve to fail or to be ridiculed or be talked down.  I don’t deserve that promotion, or I’m not good enough or I’ll fail miserably at it.  So, why bother?  Who cares? 

A typical mantra I kept repeating and believing in.

And what did I end up with?

A lifetime of regrets.

Of what-ifs.

I could play the blame game, or a victim, but I won’t.

There are things I want to share with my readers, to let out, but I don’t want to hurt certain loved ones.  So, I thought about writing certain experiences in my fictional stories in hope that it will provide the cathartic healing that my soul yearns for.

So, I wrote dark poetry, and dark flash stories.  I journaled in notebooks now hidden away.  And as the years melted away, some of the pain from the past went along with them.

Now, I’m hoping to write my first book, and already I’m hit with fears and the feelings of inadequacy.  Why?  The book is a romance story with bits of comedy…what do I have to be afraid of?

That I want to be an author?  That I desire to be traditionally published?

That I want to be–successful?

Then an idea hit me.

Why don’t I write in certain subplots that involve abuse in relation to PTSD by using my own personal childhood and adulthood experiences?

Yeah, I think this might just work.

Stay tuned….



#IWSG Best Ways To Start a First Draft?

Click on the image to access this group’s official page

This month’s question: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?


For the past few years I’ve managed to keep a schedule of some kind for blogging.  This year, since I desire to convert a screenplay into a novel, I feel I need to set up a schedule for that as well.  Just figuring out the how part.

I joined a Facebook group, Finish Your Novel, a project really that’s dedicated to doing just that-finishing a novel.  It’s my hope that this group will help keep me accountable and moving forward throughout the year with my book.   I’ve been a writer for a number of years with short works published;  I’m ready to take the next leap to being a published author.

I think about setting aside three days each week to devote solely to writing the first draft.  Will probably do it chapter by chapter.  The challenge will be how to best incorporate the flash-back scenes since they will take place throughout the novel.  Also to keep me going forward, I plan to set a daily (or maybe a weekly one instead) word count goal that I can track via Word as well as a spreadsheet.

Now, the next question is–should I start by planning out the book (character development, outlining the story line/subplots, etc.) or just jump right in and start rewriting the story from the screenplay?




Thursday Thoughts: On Writing Life


Back when I worked full-time in the Banking industry, I used to complain how I never had enough time to write.  I’d get up each weekday morning by 4am to get myself ready first, and then get hubby and son up before hitting the road by 5:45am for over an hour’s drive (in 35 miles) into downtown Raleigh.  I’d work 7am till 6pm (most days).  By the time dinner and homework are done, it’s easily 9pm and by that point, I’m ready to crawl in bed.   Weekends were usually reserved for catch-ups, house chores, and errands.  I’d managed maybe an hour of writing time each week.


With being “retired’ from the work force (am only 46) due to disabilities, I have loads of free time on my hands.   I’ve discovered, though, I waste a lot of time doing pretty much “nothing.”

Nothing being spending way too much time on social media, and watching internet-stream tv shows and movies.  Well, these were what I was doing for the past year and a half before depression hit me hard.

Or, perhaps mid-life crisis?

I found myself looking back, and wondering what did I have to show for being here on this world?  I really didn’t find a career I enjoyed (long story) so ended up in the Banking industry for the last 15 years of my working life basically as a glorified paper-shuffler.

Family put aside, I had nothing tangible.

I wanted more.  I desired to leave a legacy.

At this point, I’ve published several short stories, essays, and poems; but 99.9% are online magazines.

I now want more.

Something solid, concrete.  Something I can hold in my hands.  And smell.

This means I need to get serious, and smart with my time management.  I figure a way to start doing that is by tracking every word I write.


This means less time with social media and other forms of entertainment.

I value my writing gift, and feel I have at least one book within me, enough so that I need to start valuing my time more than I’ve done in the past.

So, this is where I’m at in my writing life.  At a cross-road, and I’ve decided on the path to take.  Now, let’s see where it takes me.

Got to love adventures, eh?  🙂

What about you?  Where are you at in your writing life?  Are you happy with it?  If not, what changes could you make?


What If There Was No Internet?


What if there was no internet?  Whether it crashed due to an electromagnetic storm, or a massive meteor shower took out most of the satellites…and the internet is now GONE.

As a writer, how would you function?  How would you go about sending out your stories to the world?

Would you still keep writing?

So many completely rely on technology (namely internet) to get things done, and to communicate with others.   Would we be able to revert back to the “old” ways of doing things?

Scary thoughts?


What If My Writing Isn’t Good Enough?

Click on the image to access this group’s official page


This month’s question:  What if my writing isn’t good enough?


This group (also endearingly known as IWSG) is all about insecurities; and gosh, I have a boat-load of them!


Where even to begin?


I’ve battled with insecurities all my life, and they’ve filtered over in to my writing life.


You’ll never be good enough. 

You’re worthless.

Don’t bother even trying.


There are so many ideas running through my head.  And I have written many of them…but, they usually die (or get placed in the trash).

I have published several items (all short ones) so that is something, I suppose.




I keep feeling like I’m missing something.

Or, there is a story somewhere within that needs to be written and then released to the world.




In the past, in my previous work life, I had this nasty habit of self-sabotaging myself.

Not allowing myself to experience success of any kind.

And this is quite prevalent in my life as it is in my writing life.

It’s like I feel like I don’t deserve it.


You’ll never be good enough.

You’re worthless.

Don’t bother even trying.



A lot of this stem from childhood abuse.  Others from a progressive disability.

Excuses, I suppose.

But they’re the Goliath in my life, and I’m the puny boy with no sling-shot or weapon of any kind.

Just a pen.



I’ve heard that a pen holds power.  I just don’t have any faith in the holder of this particular pen.


Am I good enough?

Will I ever be?

Do I even bother trying?

“Fan”tastical Friday: Helen Keller


I’ve never really gave much notice to the term “fandom” until I looked up the meaning of the word in a dictionary:

-“the state or condition of being a fan of someone or something.”

This definition made me chuckle as it sounds like something out of a psychology textbook.  So, I looked at what Wikipedia had to say:

-“a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest.”

Meaning, you can be a “fan” of not just individuals or movies or a particular kind of music; but, also of an ideal, an interest, motive, etc..  I think you get the idea.

I suppose now that I’m thinking (oh, so dangerous) I am a fan of multiple things.

For today, I will focus on one of them.

Women with great inner strength.

Helen Keller.  Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell. Mother Teresa. Anne Frank. Maya Angelou.

There are just too many to list here but the one who has been the greatest inspiration to me was Helen Keller.

Although I am legally blind and deaf, I still have enough of both to manage.  But Helen had none of both and she still got around!  There are days when I get frustrated at my shortcomings and limitations to the point I just want to quit and throw in the towel (and I’ve done this before which brought only misery for me),  but I have to remind myself that there are (and have been) others who persevered and thrived despite their disabilities.

Which gives me hope.

And some days, that is all I need to continue on.


“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

-Helen Keller



You Tube Tuesday: Stephen King


(*YouTube Tuesday idea originally came from the Martians Attack blog)


I came across this video recently and loved how he presented some of the tips as well as how he came up with the story idea for Cujo.

Have you read any of his books?  Which one is your favorite?

If you’d like to participate in YouTube Tuesday, post something from YouTube that you enjoyed and tell us a bit about it.  Don’t forget to include the link to this post in yours so I can check it out.  Also, if you’re on Twitter, Tweet about it using the hashtag #YouTubeTuesday.