WHY MEMOIR? WHY TELL OUR STORIES?
As tribal grandmothers and grandfathers gathered the children around the campfire to tell the stories of their existence, how they came to be, the children learned of their heritage. They learned of the struggles and joys of their parents and those who came before. As they grew into adults, the children could lean on those stories when they faced difficulties in their own lives. Stories passed down to them were the rocks they could revisit for answers to their questions.
It is the same with us today. When we tell our stories, and tell them honestly, we not only leave a legacy for those who come after us, but we offer help and information for those who are seeking answers for problems. How many people read the personal stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul and find encouragement, direction, and a way to go forward?
Another important reason for us to tell our stories – it is good for others to know the true us, the us that isn’t always revealed in our daily lives. What we think, how we feel, the difficult times we got through, our misunderstandings that caused family separations, and the joys we celebrated, these are life lessons offered to help any reader. They come from us, the everyday person who is not featured in the headlines in the newspaper or on the Big News feed. Our stories are so important!
Announcing my newest book: SIMPLY PUT, a collection of poetry. It’s a slender volume of a hundred pages, filled with poems selected from those written in the last ten years. They are not divided by those years, but by subject: Seasons Change, About Words, Past Lives & More, and Other Places. My intention is to stir your own memories by sharing mine with you. As the seasons and years change, so do we. New experiences become old memories as we move along in this life we have created. Words sometimes harm us and sometimes encourage us to keep on going in the direction we are moving. Past lives, whether you believe in reincarnation or not, is meant to give you thoughts to ponder. Places leave imprints on us that we carry long after we have left them behind. Enjoy the words I have written for you and for me to revisit time and again.
ANNOUNCING…Giving Life and Taking It, my personal story, has been published in Writing Menopause, editors Jane Cawthorne and E. D. Morin. It is now available on Amazon at $22.89 (I think in Canadian money.) I’m honored to be published among such notable writers and groundbreaking editors.
From Amazon: The Writing Menopause literary anthology is a diverse and robust collection about menopause: a highly charged and often undervalued transformation. It includes over fifty works of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, interviews and cross-genre pieces from contributors across Canada and the United States that break new ground in portraying menopause in literature. The collection includes literary work from award-winning writers such as Roberta Rees, Margaret Macpherson, Lisa Couturier and Rona Altrows. Emerging voices such as Rea Tarvydas, Leanna McLennan, Steve Passey and Gemma Meharchand, and an original interview with trans educator and pioneering filmmaker Buck Angel, are also featured. This anthology fills a sizable gap, finding the ground between punchline and pathology, between saccharine inspiration and existential gloom. The authors neither celebrate nor demonize menopause. These are diverse depictions, sometimes lighthearted, but just as often dark and scary. Some voices embrace the prospect of change, others dread it. Together, this unique offering reflects the varied experience of menopause and shatters common stereotypes.
This collection of extraordinary poems tells the story of vivid, African-American characters who have passed through the life of the author in a small, rural town in the South. Sometimes they entertain and sometimes salty tears burst, overflowing the eyelid wells, for the terrible tragedy of a life. Park has reached deep into his soul to let you know that these people lived and died and mattered, without any judgment from him. If these characters were not noticed in life, they will remain with the reader for a long, lingering time.
In all his honesty, Park reports on events that happened . . . and didn’t happen. When dreams blossomed with hope for a community and were taken away leaving disappointment for many who worked hard, giving their all, to bring about ideal living. The author exudes love of his community. He shows this caring by continuing to encourage the arts, the love of words and writing to anyone who wants to participate. I love this book.
These SNAPSHOTS are indeed as varied as the photos that lay in your own drawer at home. Martin’s snaps are words from the life she lived growing up on a Bracey, Virginia farm to Virginia Beach to Manhattan, New York to time spent across country, around the world, and back to holding events in the Dairy Barn on the farm. Her adventures in the big cities as a literary agent and executive producer for television are balanced between recipes from her passion of cooking for friends.
As her spirituality grows, so does her intensity of life. Dreams play a major role as she executive produces the series of The Power of Dreams for the Discovery Channel, interviewing names that every household recognizes.
Martin is a woman who has lived a fascinating life by making things happen, by following her intuition, listening to her dreams, and doesn’t mind talking about it. This is a fabulous read that will inspire others to go ahead, step out, and take a chance on life. I LOVE THIS BOOK!
Arlene Sandra Bice 2016.1.26
How is it, when I step out the day after
when everything is still covered by 6 inches
this solitary leaf
dressed in autumn colors
lays above it all
How does that happen on this day
it sinks into the wet stuff uncovered
where has it come from
this lonely leaf
bold to be alone
How is it making a mark in this life
leaving an imprint when I pick it up
doesn’t touch the veins or the tips
yet lays everywhere else
I cannot put it down
the leaf comes inside with me.
It’s been a few days now, that we have been snowed in. Isn’t it lovely? Once you know you can’t get to the workplace, you can relax and enjoy it. I hope you have. Here is a little poem that reflects how I learned to accept what Mother Nature sends to us, since I moved to the forests of North Carolina.
Arlene S. Bice © 2016.1.22.
It was only last year
the nine years previous, too
when I looked at the sky to know
that it was going to snow
and when I woke
the ground covered in white
peace blanketed the entire day
lovely to spend it this way
no need to run out
for eggs, bacon, and bread
the fridge is full, pantry, too
no emergencies to do
so I can use the day
with music thru the house
making biscuits, lots of butter
writing words to softly mutter
a day of staying in
enjoying it without the stress
just gazing out the window
reading, singing, about snow
without the TV hype
the day shows up different
positive, homey, no employ
a day of beauty to enjoy.