We are excited to welcome, this FRIDAY, Heather Cairou to our September Member-only Monthly Memoir Writing Teleseminar. Full details can be found by clicking here, including the telephone call-in details, which are now available here, on the NAMW website, for our current NAMW members.
Be sure to participate live on the call or look for an audio mp3 file that can be downloaded from the NAMW Member Area within a few days following the presentation!
Topic: Standing inYour Truth: Finding the Courage to Claim the Story You Need to Tell
Guest Speaker: Heather Cairou, Author of “Target Stores Recommended Read” Sixtyfive Roses: A Sister’s Memoir
Date: Friday September 17, 2010
Time: 11 AM PDT |12 PM MDT | 1 PM CDT |2 PM EDT
Cost: FREE FOR NAMW MEMBERS Not already a member of NAMW? Click here to become a member now!
In this teleseminar, Heather will:
- Share her own story of moving through that fear and sense of danger
- Offer quotes from other writers who’ve done it
- And inspire you to dive deep into yourself, explore your truths, and emerge with the strength claim, and stand in them unshakably.
After taking many years to write many drafts of her book, “Sixtyfive Roses: A Sister’s Memoir,” Heather nervously gave what she thought was the final draft to her parents for their consideration and feedback. Although they usually spoke with each other by phone at least twice a week, for a month there was silence between them. Then she travelled to visit them. Sitting on their back porch, after tea and some catching up, she screwed her courage to the sticking place and asked them what they thought of the book. They exchanged sidelong glances, and then her mother spoke.
“We’re very proud of you. We don’t agree with everything you wrote, and we’ve found some of it hard for us to read. [emotionally] Most importantly, however, we sense that you are holding back. Perhaps you are afraid of hurting us,” her mother said. “But if there is anything I’ve learned in my life, it’s that if you don’t stand in your own truth, you’re not worth anything. Go back and write what you need to write. Your father and I will find a way to deal with it.”
Not everyone is lucky enough to have parents like hers, but it’s important to write as if you do. Heather spent two more years on the book, by the way, this time going all the way to her centre. She emerged with the manuscript that found publication. And her parents were as good as their word – they found a way to deal with it. Every review of her book mentions first and foremost the courage and honesty with which it is written. And the truths Heather told, in the way she told them, have liberated her as I never thought possible.
Whether or not you are not writing for publication, you must seek and express your own deepest truths, or your writing will be a waste of time and effort. Our own self-realization is the greatest act of healing we can give the world. Poet Adrienne Rich calls it “diving into the wreck.”
Heather will touch on:
- The willingness to wrestle with your story, your angels and your demons
- The power of exploding your own myths, and finding the gift(s) in the story – which come from your truths
- The understanding that you can’t change the facts of your life, but you can change the way you tell your story – and liberate your truths and your writing in the process
- The use of craft, especially metaphor, as a way to access and frame your truths
Poet Audre Lord says, “We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for definition and language…the transformation of that silence into language always seems fraught with danger.”
If you are already a member of NAMW, thank you. And if you are considering membership and have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can reach Staci in our Member Benefits Department via telephone at 1-(877) e-memoir. Either way you choose to contact us, we’ll do our best to answer any questions you may have.
Be Brave. Write Your Stories!
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