Mining Truth in Memoir:
Searching For Our Gold - Our Personal Truth
Searching For Our Gold - Our Personal Truth
Pre-registration: June 3, 2024
Class begins: July 2024
If you register during the Pre-Registration Period, you get a $50 discount ($529) and other bonuses ~une
Welcome to Mining Truth in Memoir: Searching For Our Gold – Our Personal Truth
This class was one of the first classes I ever taught, and it has always been a hit. Now, again, it has been revamped to help everyone understand themselves and the power of our experiences, our truths. This is what makes great memoirs!
If we have lived, we have made mistakes, we have grown, we have discovered, we have, we have, we have … . Memoir is not about one’s life, but merely about one segment of one’s life. It is up to us to decide what part of our life we are going to write about in this memoir.
Have you ever considered a journey so personal that not even you know what the outcome will be? Will the “gold” which is actually our “why” of this journey make it worth all it takes to write this story? I have a memoir almost ready to go. It is about my spiritual journey and my struggle to find inner peace. Why did I decide to write this? I was raised without any religion at all, or so I thought, and that is my story. The “why” – I needed to come to grips with religion and spirituality. Why I need it, and do we need a ‘tagline’ so everyone will know we belong to one form or another or are we free to stand alone? I so much wanted to find my peace within the confines of a church somewhere, maybe Catholic, I didn’t know. But, that was not how it came to be.
Join us on our Prospecting Journey Into the Depths of our Souls. They say, “It’s not the miles we travel, but the stops along the way!” And, that is exactly what we will be doing. We load our Jeep with all the tools we need and head out. We will be exploring the stops. We need to know the truth and understand “why” we want to put this out for others to read. Why are we willing to ‘expose’ ourselves and our faults, our dreams, our heartbreak, why? What are the lessons we’ve learned? Sometimes, I hear others say to “help others” and sooner or later, for many it is much later, we realize we are not the only one with the issues we have – and yes, our writing will help others if we are honest about our journey. But, consider this, by exploring these issues on the page, our truth will help others, yes, and it will truly help us, the writer, as well.
As a Certified Creative Writing Instructor, I have created each of our exercises which are designed to help us explore our inner selves – to discover the true meaning of what we are writing about. If we don’t understand the “why” we probably aren’t ready to tell the story.
This class is designed to help you uncover the truth that you are looking for, and the “why” you are writing this. The “why” will help guide you through the writing. I was helping a young woman the other day and she said, “I know my story isn’t for everyone, but I truly believe my experiences in such and such will be able to help others, and that is why I am writing. That is a noble cause… but don’t ever underestimate the healing power of writing and what the act of writing and exploration can do for each of us in the process.
This class is designed as a prospecting journey. We load the jeep with the tools we need and head out into the hills. (All online, of course). We set out in search of our “why” and discover the depths of our story, our truth, in the process. For we know, our real story is the one the readers will be able to relate to – they want to know that the writer is real and honest in what they are sharing. Join us for this 8-week class and explore the depths of your emotional truth.
I had been working on my writing for years. After earning my BA at Vermont College, I continued writing and working on the craft of writing. Then finally I applied to an MFA program and was accepted at Antioch University Los Angeles.
When I arrived on campus, I was such a novice. I had a completed manuscript in my hands as fragile as it was. I was so proud of myself for finishing it. I can’t even tell you how long I had worked on this, or how many revisions I had done. My professor read it and sent me home to rewrite it, saying it was more like a movie script, and he wanted me to write it as a novel. Whew!
That was the best thing that ever happened to me, thank you Leonard Chang, but I didn’t know it on that day. My heart fell to my feet. I was devastated, but I didn’t quit. Instead, I set out to figure it all out.
I decided to go for a dual concentration, both in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction, and then when I graduated, I stayed another term to get certified as a Creative Writing Instructor. That is what brings me to you today. I have been writing since I was about 14 years old, starting with a teen column in a Nevada newspaper, the Tonopah Times Bonanza, and went on from there, but I had never been taught what I am about to teach you.
My book, Song of the Earth, was/is about the US/Mexican border crisis. I had been living this at the time but had since moved to Missouri to care for my elderly parents and to finish my book there. When I got back to my parents’ home from LA and was trying to figure out how I was going to put this book together, I wrote something about the Border. Just two or three pages, and sent it off to a friend of mine, a Mexican diplomat, in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. I asked him for his opinion, and I certainly got it. He was livid! “Susan, my dear, this isn’t Mexico and the Border, you’ve missed the essence of it all.” And that was when I realized what this was all about. I was standing back, writing about it from a distance.
On that day, I fell off that perch I had considered a safe place to write from, where I could see and document things, but not get involved. I knew if I got too close to it, my emotions would get the best of me. So, I moved up closer, figuratively speaking, and wrote the story from the inside, from my heart. My life and my writing changed forever.
The writer’s struggle that hits so many of us, doesn’t have to be such a struggle. In this class, we will explore the Emotional Center where most of the great writing is ‘unearthed’.
Students will be guided to a deeper level of writing, one that will cut out several rewrites with techniques that will help them get to the meat of the material early on, instead of writing around and around the core of your work.
Remember, readers are smart. They need to be engaged on an emotional level.
The students will find this course filled with new and creative ways to open themselves to a deeper level. Remember: If you write or speak from your head, no one will hear you, but if you write or speak from your heart, the whole world will listen. Also remember, if you unlock the door to your emotions, you will then be writing from your heart.
Here's what you will experience in this course
THIS IS AN 8 WEEK CLASS, SO WE CAN DO SOME WRITING!
This Module introduces us to our Emotional Center, Robert Olen Butler, author of From Where We Dream, says, “His self-declared obsessions have to do with the descent into the dreamspace of the unconscious in order to discover the yearning that is at the center of every person and therefore of every character, and with the moment-to-moment sensual experiencing of that character’s story. He proposes fiction as the exploration of the human condition and yearning as its compass.”
- What Butler calls the Dreamspace, I call our Emotional Center. Where is this center located?
- Why is it so hard for us to access?
- How accessing this Emotional Center helps us build well defined characters and brings our stories to life.
I have taught, in the past, that we need to get out of our heads, set them aside, so we can speak or write from a deeper space,
So, why do we say, get out of our heads?
But Science is now saying something different, and we will be exploring this avenue.
Let’s look at what Science says about our hearts. I’m not a scientist but am intrigued by their findings.
Gregg Braden says, “When we get a thought, we can only invite that thought into our lives when we breathe the power of emotion into it. If we don’t bring emotion into the thought, it is meaningless.
Emotions and feelings, and how they affect our writing. Without emotion, we have no feeling. This is a huge problem with writing. The same goes with character development.
Thoughts respond to the emotion we unleash on them creating a feeling. If we apply that to our writing, we can now see how our writing can come alive.
I will introduce you to our delightful fictional character, Sensei who will be with us as I introduce you to a different practice. He cannot understand a word we say unless we are speaking or writing from our deepest emotional center. I call the practice “The Old Shed”.
Awareness – Leaning Into Silence is a mini-class that I am offering and some of you may have already taken it. Here we are going to use that technique to understand Awareness, through listening and seeing.
This module will be used for a two-week period to write. Let’s look at the power of Awareness through a writer’s eyes.
First, we will write about our experiences with Sensei, how his inability to understand a word we say if it isn’t spoken or written from deep in our emotional center caused us to be aware and to dig deeper into ourselves for the emotion that creates feeling.
Using the same tool, we will then explore the difference between hearing and listening and give ourselves time to write about it.
Let’s work first on experiencing feeling.
Now we will explore tasting, and the memories it brings forth.
Here we will share our old way of writing scenes and paragraphs with our new style.
What Others Are Saying
It's more than a course, it's a community
You will be welcomed into a like-minded, intimate group, all working towards one goal, that of making our writing the best it can be. This group, a mixture of three classes, all a part of A Writing Journey, Parts 1, 2, and 3 will stay active and attendees of each class (Parts 1, 2, and 3) will be able to join in as we go through the year, and move forward into the next year.
It will be set up as a Private Facebook Group, so you know your writing and your information will be safe. When I notice there are questions that need to be answered for all, not just the one asking, I will do Facebook Live to answer these questions.
All gatherings will be recorded so no one will miss anything.
When you register for A WRITING JOURNEY: Part 1: UNLOCKING YOUR EMOTIONAL CENTER – LET THE WORDS FLOW you will become a part of our group. I welcome you all with open arms and can’t wait for the diverse forms of creativity to flow. I will be with you every step of the way.
- 8 – Week Course, Hybrid Style: Online Classes to Work Through at your Leisure)
- Several LIVE Lectures (All recorded for your convenience)
- 8 – Weekly LIVE interactive group coaching sessions and Q&A (Recorded for your convenience)
- Practices and Reflection Questions for each course session
- Access to our private and interactive course website
- Special Bonuses to add to your course experience
BONUS #2: Upon finishing the class, you will receive three months FREE of our:
A WRITING JOURNEY – ONLINE WRITER’S WORKSHOP
This class meets weekly and is designed to help each of you finish your writing. If you want to continue beyond these free three (3) months, there will be a nominal monthly fee.
$200 Value – FREE
NOTE: This class opens July 13th (at the end of A Writing Journey – Part 1 Class)