Category Archives: Personal Reflections

Reflections on the way to becoming a memoir writer myself.

A Walker in the City: Inspiring and Daunting

November 20, 2011. Brooklyn, New York It’s nearly midnight. I’ve just closed the book A Walker in the City by Alfred Kazin. Outside Flatbush Ave. pulses with movement and light in the rain. The wet streets glisten and double the … Continue reading

Posted in Classic Memoir/Autobiography, Personal Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

A Book Contract — A Dilemma and An Idea

Big news for After three years and 302 posts blogging about other people’s memoirs, I  have a book contract of my own. The contract was completed August 5. It’s taken me three months to tell my readers about it. … Continue reading

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Dialogue and Memoir: A Challenge, A Method, and Two Mentors

Like 497, 651 other people, I have “liked” David Sedaris on Facebook. You can too, if you click on his name. You can help his PR people to say he has half a million FB fans. Wow! Recently an interview … Continue reading

Posted in Celebrity Memoir, Personal Reflections, Writing Tips | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Literary Brooklyn: A Living Inspiration

While browsing in the Greenlight Bookstore on Fulton Street, I encountered this recent book about Brooklyn writers. The author, Evan Hughes, landed not one but two book reviews in The New York Times, one by Dwight Garner and another by Sharifa … Continue reading

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John Lithgow’s New Memoir — Drama: An Actor’s Education

Sometimes a memoir knocks you over even before you read all of it. Such is the case with John Lithgow’s Drama: An Actor’s Education. I’ve read about it, listened to the author, and read a chapter of it at the Diane … Continue reading

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February 27, 1943, Anne Frank’s Diary and Barbara Ann Hess’s Diary

 Thank you, readers, for letting me know you’d like to see side-by-side journal entries of the two girls pictured on the left. Today I want to be three people: (1) an American Studies scholar who functions as a detective, reading … Continue reading

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Two Diaries of Two Young Girls: Anne Frank and Barbara Ann Hess, 1942-1943

Everyone knows the story of Anne Frank, (1929-1945) the young Jewish girl who kept a diary while hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam from her thirteenth birthday (June 12, 1942) until August 4, 1944, shortly after her 15th birthday, when … Continue reading

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Learning from a Baby: A Memoir Writer’s Teacher

From William Wordsworth’s Ode, “Intimations of Immortality From Recollections of Early Childhood” (1803-06):Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,   60         Hath had elsewhere its setting,           And cometh from afar: … Continue reading

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Memoir: Is it Inevitably About Our Parents?

Noble laureate Doris Lessing wrote her last book, Alfred and Emily, reviewed in The New York Times here, at age 88. She’s now 91 years old. Apparently she’s been working out the meaning of her parents’ tragic lives all her … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir in the News, Personal Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments

My First Podcast: On Dancing with Change, Grandmothering, and Leadership!

Brian Paff, a very creative young leader-in-the-making at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center, interviewed me for his podcast series at the Laurelville website. Brian wrote a press release about the series of three speeches I gave at Laurelville April 30-May 1. … Continue reading

Posted in Personal Reflections, podcasts | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments