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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 
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TO DRINK FROM THE SILVER CUP

WHY I WRITE

I write to remember
        groceries I need
        tasks to do
        bills to pay
        undecipherable cryptic nothings
        things I love

I write to celebrate
        the Earth
        the red earth like no other earth
        the rocks
        the flaming sky
        twisted cottonwoods
        the bottom of the arroyo and what we did there
        rushing brown waters
        winds scattering seeds of weeds and wildflowers
        the smell of rain on Read More 
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PUBLISHING CONUNDRUMS

The moment when signing the contract that I see the words working title

KILLING THE BABY
or
GIVING THE BOOK A NEW TITLE



I had to kill one of my babies last week. It might have been my favorite baby of all. The baby was the title of my memoir, to be released by Terra Nova Books, Fall 2016. Writers talk about cutting favorite passages or phrases as killing our babies. A baby might be the most wonderful group of words I’ve ever written, but it just doesn’t belong where I’ve put it. My book’s title, as many of you know, was The Silver Cup. And I loved it. I thought it was intriguing and at the same time expressive. The memoir's first title was Longing for Home, which I thought was not nearly so interesting, perhaps even hackneyed. Besides, The Silver Cup had come to me as if I were a lightning rod in the path of a heavenly bolt.

When I read The Silver Cup in my publishing contract, I saw the dread parenthetical words Read More 
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