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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Who Am I?




Welcome, all! You’re just in time for the monthly (1st Wednesday) on-line gathering of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, where you’ll find helpful tips, handy resources, the latest trends in publishing, and a comfortable place for hundreds of writers – just like you and I – to  share our writing journeys! 

Feel free to meander and mingle. Our gracious co-hosts this month are:


In a recent newsletter, Sci-Fi author and IWSG founder: Alex Cavanaugh, shared a cautionary post on the subject of writers voicing opinions on controversial issues and the possible effects of doing so while hoping the world will still love and buy your books. Having witnessed (along with the rest of the world) the devastating consequences of controversy, I agree with Alex on avoiding it altogether.

However, I do have one question: should the same precautions be taken with regard to a memoir? Do you dare tell generations to come that you always hated the holiday ham (not to be confused with Uncle Whoever) or that it was, in fact, Uncle Whoever who burned down the barn that fateful summer night? Of course, if you’ve been chronicling your life all along you have essentially recorded history; yours as you knew it. In attempting to write my own, and ghostwriting for others, I find there are contemporary constraints in recording life in retrospect. Should there really be an issue?

Of Quotable Note:

Wherever I go, I’m watching” ~ Richard Scarry; renowned children’s book author and illustrator would be 100 years old today!  You spell dessert with two “s”es cuz together they look like whipped cream!”  I still have a few of those Little Golden Books around the house. How about you?

Girl in the wind blowing wide open the closed doors of my life,” ~ Christy Brown Irish author and painter whose autobiography was made into the Academy Award-winning film “My Left Foot.” He would be 87 years old today!

Optional IWSG Question: “Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in?”

That thankfully brief, and sometimes painful period in life; so often referred to as “coming of age” when one day a stranger stares back at you in the mirror. Parents won’t ever admit that this is the real ‘Stranger Danger’ they were afraid of (ha!), and you won’t admit you’re more afraid than they are. So, you soar headlong into the realm of uncertainty, through failing grades and heartaches, dust-ups and break-outs, learning to swim on a bicycle, until the day you recognize that face in the mirror as having been yours all along, you’d just been away for a time – absorbed in self-discovery.

Fun fact:

Editor Bennett Cerf challenged Dr. Seuss to write a story using no more than 50 different words. The result was: “Green Eggs and Ham”

Happy Writing!

21 comments:

  1. I love coming of age stories too. I think in a memoir you have to write where the story goes but be sensitive if a relative you care for will read your book and you are disclosing something that might hurt them.

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    1. Hi Natalie!

      At least for me, writing about coming into one's own is as natural as living through it ;-)

      I agree. I would not want hurt feelings to be my parting gift. But I do like pleasant surprises.

      Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. Coming of age - a universal concept for sure, and one that can fit into ANY style genre as well. I look forward to reading more from you. Happy Writing!

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    1. Hi Sylvia!

      Yessum, in that it happens to everybody (let's hope), I guess it does ;-)

      I'm glad you came by!

      Delete
  3. Howdy, dIEDRE! ~

    >>... Uncle Whoever who burned down the barn that fateful summer night

    Wow! I didn't know that. And here, all along, I thought it was Aunt Whatshername. I've been blaming her and holding it against her all these years. I guess I owe Aunt Whatshername an apology. That's what I get for "assuming".

    >>... “You spell dessert with two “s”es cuz together they look like whipped cream!”

    Long ago, my Brother told me a trick for remembering how to spell dessert and desert: One is made with "s"ugar and "s"pice, and the other one is just a bunch of "s"and.

    dIEDRE, that last paragraph you wrote about "coming of age" was wonder, terrific, and terrifically wonderful! You sure can write!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

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    1. POSTSCRIPT:

      >>... "was wonder, terrific,..."

      Er... shoulda been "wonderful".

      I'm not the writer you are. (Plus, I am way behind on sleep. It's been a rough few nights.)

      ~ D-FensDogG
      STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

      Delete
    2. Howdy Stephen T!

      Oh, I wouldn't worry about dear Aunty W. She likely has untold secrets too ;-)

      "Just a bunch of sand." Ha! I like that one even better!

      Aw, thanks for the encouraging words, my friend. That was the easiest part to write, though I won't be analyzing why any time soon ;-)

      And Stephen T, why aren't you sleeping? I'm so overdue in visiting these days... See ya soon!

      Delete
  4. We live in an age when, no matter what you write, you are sure to set someone on a self-righteous rant. I try to avoid the obvious controversies and politics. Memoirs are a bit trickier, because the self-righteous someone you set on fire might be a family member or friend. And that seldom works out well. :-) In all cases, it's a risk/benefit analysis. How badly do you want to out Uncle Whoever v. being cut out of the will?

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    1. Hi Lee!

      You make a good point in terms of ‘outing’ someone. While that is rarely a consideration when you’re writing in a diary with no plans to release it to the public at large, memoirs are basically autobiographies, and almost always published. Thankfully, there are ways to create keepsake books without actual publication ;-)

      Thank you for your thoughts!

      Delete
  5. You read the newsletter - awesome!
    A memoir is referred to as a tell-all, so I would assume it's good to tell the truth. Although if the truth is really out there, be ready!

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    1. HiYa, Captain!

      I always read the newsletters! Given time constraints of late, I read a lot more than I'm able to comment on and feel like a peeping Tom of sorts ;-)

      I hear you about the tell-alls, and get a kick out of the nervous twitches people tend to get whenever someone mentions writing one - ha! If only we could all be saints, right?

      I appreciate your input!

      Delete
  6. So many coming-of-age books are just heartbreakers! I just read a wonderful middle grade novel called AUGUST ISLE - loved it!

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    1. Hi Madeline!

      So true. At that age, emotions are often unpredictable, and always over-dramatized. And that’s just young love. Add in a few of life’s inevitable twists, and there’s a pot of Surprise Stew set to boil. In some ways, I think the timing is fortuitous as the young are so much more resilient.
      I just ordered August Isle, thanks for the tip 😊

      Delete
  7. Keep writing those coming-of-age stories. They're important to kids that others feel the way they do, that they aren't freaks.

    Re: controversy. Social media can be a minefield. I admire those who steer away from controversy. But in a memoir, I think you need to be true to yourself. Have a great month.

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    1. Hi Diane!

      I agree. Given the unchecked emotions and built-in uncertainties of such a wondrous yet tumultuous interval, the last thing they should feel is alone with their fears. The importance of talking – and listening – cannot be over-emphasized.

      Stories for and about these young warriors of the in-between connect on a level that others can’t relate to.

      “True to yourself,” Absolutely! Your own story; not for public, but for posterity!

      Delete
  8. Sobering to think we have to worry about what we express in a so-called free society! It's true that we have to steer clear of controversy, if we hope to garner favour in the online world. Such is life, if you're aspiring to sell something. Coming of age stories are interesting to most people and eminently relatable.

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    1. Hi Debbie!

      Isn’t that the truth? It’s no wonder people don’t talk anymore, who can you trust? Trust is just as hard to come by on the (social media) net. Better to blaze your own trail on trusted ground than risk your own worth in high-wire wolves. I do believe that one day the proverbial baby will cry itself to sleep, and the world will once again converse in peace. Fingers crossed ;- )

      Good to see you!

      Delete
  9. My dad called agreeing to disagree as "float". We just haven't done a good job as a society teaching that.

    Coming of age, that is a good observation that learning who you are is a big surprise at times. It is good to read your blog.

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    1. Hello, Ann!

      So good to see you out and about! I've thought of you often.
      "We haven't done a good job..." Well said! Or perhaps we've (sadly) forgotten.
      Take care, dear Ann. Hope to see you again soon ;-)

      Delete
  10. Seems like everyone on the "other side" feels free to say whatever they wish without much blow back, but I've been condemned for trying to convey rational arguments and explanation. I think we are living in an "Age of Unreason" where emotions rule and common sense is abhorred.

    I've been trying to limit my expression of opinion these days. Too bad when people can't debate and reason differences out using logic and intelligence rather then letting emotions turn things into shouting over others and shutting them down. We all should have an equal right to express our thoughts without facing absolute condemnation.


    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  11. awesome article.
    thanks for sharing :)

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