Helen and Teacher

Helen and Teacher
The Story of my Life

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Original Course on Memoir

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.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

To My Schoolmate, Who left us too Early

To Mary Landa Adapted from A.E. Houseman’s “To an Athlete Dying Young” From your friend, Ellen The time you won your town’s swim race We chaired you through the market place; Coach and team stood cheering by And home we brought you shoulder high. Today, the meet all swimmers come, Shoulder high we bring you home, And set you at your threshold down, Citizen of a stiller town. Smart lass, to slip betimes away From pools where glory does not stay And early though the laurel grows It withers quicker than the rose. Eyes the shady night has shut Cannot see the record cut, And silence sounds no worse than cheers After earth has stopped the ears. Now you will not swell the rout Of those who wore their honors out, Swimmers whom renown out swam And the name died before the lass. So set, before its echoes fade, The fleet form on the sill of shade, And hold to the low lintel up The still defended challenge cup. And round that early laurelled head Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead, And find unwithered on its curls The garland briefer than a girl’s.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Desiree Holt and Barbie Dolls

Dr. E's Doll Museum Blog: Desiree Holt and Barbie Dolls: Sunday Morning reran the story of Desiree Holt, erotic romance writer, and how she uses Barbie dolls for inspiration for her heroes nad he...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Environmental Reading

Blessed be this first day of Summer and the Solstice. We continue on as best we can. I have much to post, and will begin by introducing a new book, Edible by Tracy Ryuder and Carole Topalian, on eating local all over the country via a lovely,illustrated directory of farmers markets. More about this later. Our cat, our beloved Emma, is not well. She is on thyroid meds, and has had several teeth pulled, conditions she came with when we adopted her. She went from a fierce little tiger, to a little bag of meek, limp marbles. She only wants to sleep in the bathtub, and did want to drink from the tap there obsessively. She is better at that, but now does not have much appetite, and seems depressed. She used to sleep on a her blanket, a baby blanket with another fleece afghan, but she is half the cat she was. Vet says she is fine, but I think her system was shocked. She is around 11 years old. Any ideas? I am more worried that she is not into food, which was not a problem. She ate well and normally, before, and I buy her organic, holistic food, or make it for her. Some publications that fit the season, here are some favorites: Extraordinary Health, volume 17. Drew Barrymore on the cover. Features include RAW probiotics, which one is right for you? and "Eight "new You" healthy recipes. Heatlhy Living, vol. 17, noo. 3: Alanis Morisette on cover. Features: Coffee Bean skinny Pill, Silver Soothese ASthma Syumptoms, What Drug companies won't tell youa bout joint pain, Natural Hari care that performs! The above two can be found at local natural food stores. Design Toscano Catalog special midsummer issue features garden decor, with lots of fairies and animals, as we approach Midsummer and thoughts of A Midsummer Night's Dream! I am not a spokesperson for any of these, but I enjoy reading them, even if I never buy anything. As a writer, I get inspiration everywhere. From the University of Wisconsin Press, several pertinent Land management journals and other journals and books, many delivered as ebooks: Ecological Restoration, Steven N. Handel Ed. Land Economics, Daniel romley, Ed. Landscape Journal, Lance M. Neckar, ed. Native Plants Journal, Ed. R. Kasten Dumroese, USDA Forest Service Also, on NPR yesteday morning was a story called "The Secret Live of Plants," about how hard it is for plants to survive and thrive, and which are good food sources, and what humans can learn about survival by studying them. Try NPR or, All Things Considered to find it. Still working on typing, and my hands and arms hurt more than ever. My books seem to be doing well, and I have some signings and programs coming up. Thanks to all my readers and followers for this and my other blogs. You are my online family, and I love you all!