Archive for October, 2009

As part of a master’s degree in creative writing, I wrote a memoir called A Yankee Down Under which details the six years my family spent in Australia. I’d done an efficient job describing where we’d been, cultural differences I’d observed and a little about family life. Then I read the first two chapters to my writing group. They called baloney. They wanted more personal details. How did you feel? How much did it cost? Did you fight with your husband? These were the questions they asked and they were right to do so.

So, I returned to my computer, discouraged, but not defeated. I tried to channel how I felt when we decided to move from Darien, Connecticut to Australia. Part of the attraction for me, was to escape the affluent town we were living in. I was out of step with the lifestyle, but didn’t have the courage not to conform. Australia was my escape hatch.

Earlier in the year, I took a memoir writing class with Lou Ann Walker at the John Jermain Library in Sag Harbor. While there, I wrote a piece about leaving work to become a stay at home Mom. This piece was more honest than anything I’d written in my entire manuscript. It occurred to me that  much of what I’d written in this piece would work in my first chapter and plugged it in. In the end, I my writer’s group’s interest should have flattered not discouraged me. They wanted to get to know me. Let’s hope I can find the right balance between personal and fact as I feel my way forward.

Interestingly, it seems Richard Gilbert had a similar realization which he describes in his blog post written on October 21st.  NARRATIVE

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Here’s a link to help with hours of procrastination TOP 20 SITES for WRITERS (SEPT 2009)

Happy surfing!

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I’ve joined a new writer’s group out here on the east end of Long Island. Tomorrow night I will read the first two chapters of my memoir about living in Australia called,  A Yankee Down Under. The group received an email copy yesterday, so they have plenty of time to critique it. This is the path I’m taking toward getting published. Let’s hope the group has lots of good suggestions for me. Thanks to my Australian writer friends for reading a draft.

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The Huffington Post has added a new HuffPost Books section in partnership with the New York Review of Books. Ariana’s first pick is  . Sound like any other famous reader we know? Articles from the NYR will be posted online, often before they come out in print. One of the first posts, by Makenna Goodman, of Chelsea Green Publishing is about the future of publishing. She says,

‘Publishing is not a dying business; it’s a changing business. It’s a business going through literary puberty, fiscal adolescence and management hell. It’s a business that needs to grow up, in other words.’

Check out the rest at: Makenna Goodman: The Future of Publishing Isn’t Rocket Science (It’s Sustainability)

Do you think she has the right business model?

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“My definition of a good editor is a man I think charming, who sends me large checks, praises my work, my physical beauty, and my sexual prowess, and who has a stranglehold on the publisher and the bank.”

If this person exists, would you please get in touch?

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