Journal writing – how my book began

A friend recently asked me how I got started on my book. And keeping a journal was the answer. I've started writing in a journal many times throughout my life and know its benefits - especially as a way to deal with life's hard times. Back in the 1970s when we first moved to the South Pacific and I felt lonely and upset about my new surroundings, I wrote in a journal every morning -- mostly about life on the Marshall Island, Kwajalein, where we lived. Then after we returned home and I went back to work, my journal entries became the basis for an article in my company magazine. That was my first published work. I again started journaling full force when my son Paul was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Writing helped me stay sane while going through that huge stress in my life. And of course I continued -- after his death and into my present life. The material I wrote from the mid 1990s to just recently became material for my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, to be published by … [Read more...]

The Business of Writing: The Importance of Marketing

Besides all the work I'm doing to revise and edit my memoir manuscript I've been laying the groundwork for a marketing campaign once the book is published. In fact, I'm drumming up interest already several months in advance. In addition to posting regularly on my blogs Choices and Red Room, I have created a Facebook page devoted exclusively to book news, writing tips, and writing-related quotes. (In just two weeks I've amassed a fan base of 125.) I am also posting regularly on Twitter. In addition, I've amassed many friends in the business of writing and publishing on my personal Facebook page. After contacting several of my poetry publishers about my book, I'm excited to report that they too are ready to help in the marketing campaign. One publisher plans to post a profile about me on its blog. Another has offered a free add in its magazine. And it doesn't stop there. One of my writing teachers plans to write about the book in her newsletter, and I've laid the groundwork … [Read more...]

Another kind of writing workshop

Last Saturday (February 21) I took my next door neighbor, recently diagnosed with cancer, to The Wellness Community in Redondo Beach for a morning of guided journal writing. I had taken a writing workshop with the leader just a few weeks before so I figured this was a good time to introduce my neighbor to TWC and to be in a safe writing space. I hadn't been to the facility for quite some time but knew it well -- as its first Development Director and then member of the Board of Directors. Little did I know what a confront the session would be for me. The leader designed the workshop for cancer patients and their families, and since I'm not either, my first thought was I need to get out of here -- and fast. The morning looked like it was going to be way more heavy than I was prepared for. Plus the writing prompts came on fast and furiously -- we wrote five minutes on eight different topics. But, I stuck it out -- I wrote a little bit about cancer in my life, but mostly about how … [Read more...]

Making a memory list

Paul -- 4 years old I spent some time a few years ago trying to make a list of all the things I wanted to remember about Paul. It became an endless task -- and frustrating too -- because I came upon things that I could no longer remember. Luckily we have his music, loads of photos, some of his writing as well. What I fear the most is after Bob and I are gone, memories of Paul will be gone too. Remembering Paul I'll always remember he slept without closing his eyes all the way I'll always remember he walked fast and way ahead of us I'll always remember he had long, thick, black eyelashes surrounding clear blue eyes I'll always remember he played the piano legs crossed at the knees, leaning way down over the keyboard I'll always remember he liked to wear second-hand clothes and didn't mind if they were ripped I'll always remember he stood at the pantry door munching almonds I'll always remember he liked to climb trees, rocks, diving boards I'll always remember … [Read more...]