icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

WORDS FROM FRIENDS

TO DRINK FROM THE SILVER CUP

Edie Jarolim and I have never met in real life, but we've exchanged a lot of ideas, resources and support as we both made decisions about how to get our memoirs written, published and publicized. Edie's hilarious, courageous and informative book, Getting Naked for Money: An Accidental Travel Writer Reveals All, was released in October, 2016. Besides being a memoirist and travel write with a load of impressive credits, Edie also writes about food and animals, especially dogs. She will teach a five-week class on memoir writing at the Jewish Community Center in Tucson, beginning March 8. She asked several friends who've written memoirs to write blog entries on their most difficult problem while writing their books and how they solved them. My essay posted this morning and is reprinted here with Edie's permission.

MY WRITING NEMESIS

Packing for a trip? I have flat zippered bags for different categories of clothing—one with neat rolls of underwear and socks; another for tank tops, also neatly rolled; and a third for tees. Trousers and pullovers are rolled along the sides of the duffel, and each trip has its color coordination for versatility.

My desk? There’s place for everything, and everything in its place. Sure there’s always a pile of papers and folders on one corner, but it’s neatly stacked, and until I get to filing, I know what’s in it. Moreover, I cover my desk with a long blue cloth to protect the contents from the omnipresent high desert dust.

And yet! Organization always Read More 
5 Comments
Post a comment

TO DRINK FROM THE SILVER CUP

TO PROMOTE OR NOT TO PROMOTE:
IS THAT REALLY A QUESTION?




When you’ve written a book, and you know that the publisher will probably do very little to promote it, the advice from most publications for writers is that you have to roll up your sleeves and start self-promotion long before the book comes out. Building Buzz, they call it. This seems like something of a no-brainer, so the question in my title might appear gratuitous. Read on.

In fact, my publisher, Terra Nova Books, does a good deal more than many publishers to promote its authors. Every author is featured on a page on TN’s website, which includes a book trailer. The marketer deals with national book publications such as Publishers Weekly and Booklist and with national non-print venues. A large percentage of profits goes to a nationwide distributor with an on-the-ground sales force. Yesterday I met with the marketer, my editor and the publisher, and we spent two hours discussing various strategies, dividing up tasks.

Nevertheless, I knew from the beginning  Read More 
2 Comments
Post a comment

LESSONS FROM THE JOURNEY

Chay. Photo: Cheyenne Jansdatter

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…. Broad, wholesome, charitable views …cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. ~ Mark Twain



CAMBODIA JOURNAL: DAYS 7-9



During the next three days we developed a kind of routine. I had recorded the second part of my interview with Wayne on Sunday (Day 6), and when we finished on Monday, I felt an unexpected release. Our talks were fascinating, and I was getting what I had come for, but when I turned off the recorder, I started sharing more of myself. It was like old times, when Wayne and I knew each other 30-plus years earlier in Gallup. Only it was better, because both of us had found a measure of freedom from our rule-bound religious upbringings.

In the mornings, Cheyenne and I read and napped, the heat and humidity making us more lethargic than usual. I went for a walk one morning along Read More 
2 Comments
Post a comment

LESSONS FROM THE JOURNEY

Waiting for light, photo by Cheyenne Jansdatter

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…. Broad, wholesome, charitable views …cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. ~ Mark Twain


CAMBODIA JOURNAL: DAY 6




It’s harder to write about Wat Opot than about ancient temples, the delights of riding in a tuk-tuk, and the lush Cambodian countryside. The lives here were not once lived in now ruined temples, and though it was a minor wonder that in ten years ten buildings had been constructed where there were only rice fields and marching red ants, telling about Wat Opot requires going deeper. I have to tell about lives that have been formed by great tragedy and yet are some of the most vibrant, joyful lives I have ever encountered.

When Wayne took us on a tour on a humidly brilliant Sunday morning, our first full day at Wat Opot, he salted the tales of each building, its function and how it came to be, with stories of children and parents and how they came to Wat Opot. AIDS had touched every single one in Read More 
Be the first to comment