Helen and Teacher

Helen and Teacher
The Story of my Life

Friday, January 25, 2013

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: 2011 Jane Eyre

Miss Charlotte Bronte meets Miss Barbara Pym: 2011 Jane Eyre: I finally was able to watch my DVD of this film. It was beautifully staged, and the great country houses were designed impeccably. Judi De...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lance Armstrong's Memoirs

This post discusses the brief difference between memoir and truth. All writing is subjective, even historical writing. We must always remember that fact. Memoir is telling the story how we remember it; it is selective, unlike autobiography, which is pretty much the tale from the beginning. Autobiography, too, can be subjective. It is edited, and we leave things out. The more famous we are, the more we may leave out. These forms of personal writing, are perhaps, our last chance to portray ourselves as we would have the world see us, unless we write our own obituaary. Lance Armstrong is apparenly being sued by two men for fraud and related causes of action on the grounds that his memoirs are a lie. This is in light of the recent revleation by Armstrong that he did use drugs to enhance his performance in cycling compeitions. The local radio hosts discussing the story also mentioned James Frey and his A Million Little Pieces. While I certainly don't think anyone should lie, I think we need to be aware that even fiction is autobiograhical, and lines blur in the literary world. Reader beware. No story is new, and fiction itself has been called a way of "lying to tell the truth." Maybe we should place memoir in the genre of fictionalized verisimilitude. But, how can these men win? If Armstrong inspired athletes, was he wrong, even if he left out information? Did these two men rely on his book to their detirment? How can they prove damages to themselves, and causation, that Armstrong's book caused their injuries, if any? Perhaps anyone who was inspired by an book or published work could bring such a suit. Can we sue Harper Lee for inspiring us to fight for injustice, or J.D. Salinger or Ray Bradbury for making us look at ourselves at different stages of our lives? Will we sue romance authors for inspiring ill-advised love affairs? Will we sue biographers for writing about notorious people at all? Could they be setting bad examples by writing about criminals and controversial figures as well as writing about saints and those who would better the human condition? Maybe this is not as much about the Kevin Frey's and Lance Armstrong's of the world, or the Clifford Irving's of my day, as it is about squelching expression and creativity, and having outsiders tell those of us who write how we may portray ourselves, and who we really are. I repeat, the motto of the day might be, Reader Beware! Adn for those of us who have studied our Reader Response theory diligently, I suggest we use it. Hand is bad; sorry for any typos.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Recipe Book

Good Morning! I am writing/compiling a recipe/craft/puzzle book to sell as a fundraiswer for my school club. We sponsor local charities, contribute to The Sun Valley Indian School, contribute to Doctors without Borders, buy our kids books, professional clothes, etc. I am looking for recipes, easy patterns for any craft, cooking tips, craft tips, stories connected with food and recipes, easy puzzles, "clean jokes," brainsteasers. You may email them to me at the gmail address on this blog. Deadline: I'd like them by February 14th; Valentine's Day. I will email a completed copy to people who contribute. This is a nonprofit project; I make nothing off of it. Anything we make by selling it later in the year goes to my club, called the Legal Studies/Criminal Justice Club. Thank you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Writing Your Life Story; the Original Course Outline

Writing Your Memoirs: We all have an Interesting life story to tell! Overview: In this course we will explore the genre of memoir. We will review the works of writers who have written about ordinary events in their lives which have inspired them in order to see that our own lives contain many meaningful experiences that will serve as inspiration for our own writing. Students will sample three varied techniques that will show them how to take their life experiences to create a memoir to record their events. Students will receive a packet of materials, samples, and other resources to help them continue with their project once they complete this class. Students will discuss classifying and organizing events and collecting artifacts and photos that will help them in their project. They will also be encouraged to discuss and reflect on the significance of remembered events and to keep a notebook of their thoughts and feelings. The instructor will share examples of memoir that she has taught and created in order in inspire the class. By the end of the session, students will have drafted an introduction and set of notes or outline to help them begin their Memoirs. Topics covered include: 1. Defining a Memoir, compare and contrast with biography and autobiography 2. What is an epiphany? What is a significant event to you and why? 3. Using treasured objects as catalysts 4. Writing around a photo, or using illustration 5. Using favorite recipes or patterns to tell stories 6. Organizing events around: a. Stages of life: infancy/childhood; adolescence/adulthood/family life/professional life b. Major life events c. Holidays and family/friend gatherings d. Emblematic moments e. Audience Objectives/Outcomes: The student will demonstrate: 1. Oral and written language skills to create, clarify, and extend their personal understanding of what they experience through their senses through introspection and interaction with others. 2. Practice and apply basic investigative techniques to generating material for memoir , including the use of questions Who? What? When? Where? How? Why? 3. ability and confidence to use oral and written language to the needs of their audience 4. Interest in writing and reading as a means to understanding themselves 5. creation of Memoir to record and preserve emblematic moments in their lives 6. Knowledge to help them complete their project and continue their interest through possibly joining a writers group that specializes in Memoir writing. Materials and techniques instructor will share with students include: Books, excerpts poetry, essays include: Marcel Proust, Remembrance of things Past Truman Capote, A Christmas Memory Barbara Pym, A Very Private Eye Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Joan Didion, On Keeping a Notebook Gunda Davis, Pumpkin Soup and Shrapnel Personal Memoir and Journals belonging to the author Works by Laura Ingalls Wilder The Journals of Sylvia Plath The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Works by Maya Angelou Dolly Parton, Coat of Many Colors Works by Tasha Tudor Barbara Cooney, Hattie and the Wild Waves Jean Little Little by Little Robert Kimmel Smith The War with Grandpa Works by Ray Bradbury Works by Charlotte Bronte Crescent Dragonwagon, Home Place N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain The Diary of Anne Frank Patricia MacLachlan, Sarah, Plain and Tall Students will also receive a bibliography of these and other works helpful to their interest in Memoir. Above works will be prepared and excerpted, where necessary, by the Instructor.