I’m still mulling over the IWWG Big Apple conference that Mariann and I attended last weekend – what an incredible experience. It was exhilarating to meet so many talented women and so appropriate for Mares and I since the theme of the conference was writing the memoir.
Saturday was devoted to an all day workshop on memoir writing run by Lisa Dale Norton. One of the points she brought up was that a memoir is not your whole life, it’s about a portion of your life. This is the LifeBytes, Real Stories concept that we’re having such a great time putting together, those wonderful and wacky pieces of our lives that are devoted to dating. And isn’t it heartening to know that it really is only a portion of your life when you’re out on a first date with someone who’s breath smells like the City landfill…:)?
Sunday’s session began with a panel discussion by a group of authors who related the tales of their journeys to getting published. Their stories ranged from the author of a book of poetry written by bikers titled, “Rubber Side Down, The Biker Poet Anthology”, to “101 Ways You Can Help: How to Offer Comfort and Support to Those Who Are Grieving “. The story of “101 Ways…” was particularly riveting as the author of the book, Liz Aleshire – who lost her son to cancer, passed away last fall and the book was finished and edited by six of her friends. Their six stories of how they met Liz, how she touched their lives and the path that led them to honor her memory by finishing a book that was so dear to her brought tears to my eyes.
This, I thought as I was hearing about this incredible journey, is what memoir and “LifeBytes” is really about; recording our experiences and sending them out into the world for all to see. It’s sharing our outlook on life and love whether it’s touching, funny, outrageous or provocative. We humans share the common thread of navigating through life’s ups and downs but each of us sees all of this through different lenses and this is what makes memoir, whether it’s a full book or a short story, so compelling. We’re drawn to each other not only because of our common experiences but also because of our unique perspectives and reactions.
Mariann and I see the “LifeBytes” series as a way for everyone to share little “memoirs” of the pieces of our lives that make us all human, all unique. So here’s to living, loving, dating, laughing, crying, sighing and WRITING!