The Two Words No Memoir Writer Should Ever Use

ARE THERE SOME PHRASES that should never appear in print? Maybe, maybe not. After all, I’m all for place savers — cliches, song lyrics, bumper sticker phrases — in that infamous vomit draft I write about so often. But in the later and final drafts, I’d say there are exceptions. And of those, perhaps there are two words no memoir writer should ever use. This idea came to me after a online conversation with the writer Brock Heasley, after he suggested that he knew exactly which two words should be banned for life from our work. See if you agree. [Continue reading]

Writing to the Music of Your Life

Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. Courtesy of the Library of Congress online

I’VE TRIED MEDITATION, dosing myself with the prescription to apply it at the same time each day. And when I do, the silent, tunneling lack of thought sculpts my sharp edge into something I can use in the world, rather than something I merely use … [Continue reading]

What to Read: New Memoir for Autumn


AUTUMN IS WHEN THE SERIOUS books are published, and as much as I love a good summer read, I look forward to fall with the hunger of someone who has been living on sandwiches and now really needs a meal. Much like those movies that are considered … [Continue reading]