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October NAMW Member Teleseminar

October  26,  2012


Catharine Bramkamp



“The whole world is a work of art [and] we are parts of the work of art. Hamlet or a Beethoven quartet is the truth about this vast mass that we call the world. But there is no Shakespeare, there is no Beethoven; certainly and emphatically there is no God; we are the words; we are the music; we are the thing itself.” 

Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being

Woolf wrote about how the day to day activities of our lives are more often than not, dull and unremarkable, she said she didn’t remember what she ate for tea with Leonard, but she had a vivid memory of a fight with her brother, which  would logically mean that the story of the sibling battle is more interesting than the cakes and scones eaten for tea.

Memoir is often predicated on moments of being – not the daily acts of life, but the flash of memory, the vivid picture of memory.   Those luminous moments of your past are your moments of being.  What strikes you as you think about your life?  When you look back, what flashes by as significant?  These moments of being are the touch points for a good memoir.

In this teleseminar, Catharine will help you discover those moments in your own story and look at how you weave them together.   

  • What’s your butterfly net – how to capture your moments of being
  • Arranging your finds – what comes first, what should be the final moments of your memoir–and how to decide
  • Mounting your moments in the context of history and setting – how to conduct your research and find details
  • Filling in your collection of memory moments to create an arc of your story

Catharine Bramkamp is a successful writing coach and author. She has published over 330 newspaper, blogs and magazine articles in publications like Modern Maturity (AARP), SF Chronicle and Santa Rosa Magazine. She contributed to two Chicken Soup books and has published anthologies of her work, non-fiction works and novels. Her work has also appeared in a number of poetry and fiction anthologies. She has experimented with the self-publishing world since 2001. She has published and self-published seven books through companies like Author House, author assist companies like 3L Publishing and through traditional publishers like Write Life.

Catharine holds a BA in English from UCSB and a MA in English from Sonoma State University. She is a 25 year member of California Writer’s Club. She is an adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix. As a writing coach, she works with authors of both fiction and non-fiction to make their dream of producing a book come true.


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