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The NAMW Virtual Book Club presents:

Fixing the Fates

by Diane Dewey | February 2021 Virtual Book Club

Diane Dewey

Fixing the Fates

February 11, 2021
4 PM PST | 5 PM MST | 6 PM CST | 7 PM EST

My book, Fixing the Fates, is about an out-of-the-blue reunion with my biological father when I was forty-seven years old after he searched for me.  The theme is acknowledgement, (that I existed), a quest for wholeness, identity, and even love.

There are two sides to the question: Why I want to write and why I wanted to write this book.  I write because I have too much emotion and need to let off the compression.  Translating feelings, ideas and impressions into words makes them for me observable, containable, rather than being completely overwhelming.  It’s a form of control, I suppose.

The reasons for writing this book have evolved.  In some ways, I wanted to acknowledge my own existence, to plant a flag or make a marker, or leave a footprint, whatever you’d like to call it.  By describing my experience, it made it more real rather than surreal.  It became grounded in words.  Through the concreteness of words, I found an identity, a belief system.

I also like to write – this book, the next book, any articles – to create connection against loneliness.  After I put this book into the world, I felt less lonely.  There, that’s it.

The theme of my talk at the teleseminar is performance anxiety.  The constant pressure of worry is a self-inflicted, yet socially supported disease.  Many of us feel it is necessary to worry or obsess if we’re to be intelligent, cool, or worse, competitive.  Competitiveness is that zero-sum drive that makes us think we can always do one better, that there’s an It that lies beyond the horizon.  What would happen if we wrote without anxiety?

Often worry makes us better editors than it does writers: It’s easier to find fault than it is to create.  Worry has its function, but it grows like weeds until our entire garden is obliterated.

The process of writing my book was naturally then, one of revision.  Brooke Warner, my editor, was often mystified at my need to re-write and mentioned things like time, and whether we would ever finish, which is after all necessary to publication.

Initially, my story was bigger than my ability to reflect.  Brooke asked that I uncover the core messages, the takeaways. This process turned the inside story out, becoming my inner life.

What you’ll learn from my presentation:

  • How to relax.
  • How to streamline.
  • How to select, not for perfection, but for realness.
  • Total immersion scene writing – how to attempt it.
  • How to forget about everything else and unravel.
  • How to live with paradox: focus vs. big picture.

Diane Dewey is the author of the 2019 award winning memoir, Fixing the Fates, published by She Writes Press. She’s contributed articles about living as an adoptee and questioning one’s identity in over twenty on-line journals. Diane’s education includes a BA at Villanova University, a certificate from The Art Institute of Philadelphia, and an MS in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. She’s worked for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and The National Academy in New York, then founded her own art appraisal business, The Realization of Art. Throughout, Diane attended writing courses at New York University School of Continuing Studies and Eckerd College, and participated in writing workshops worldwide to attempt to discover her own voice.  In 2020, Diane began conversations with other communicators on Dropping In, her radio show/podcast on www.voiceamerica.com.

My motto:  Until the lion learns to write, every story will glorify the hunter.  African Proverb

My website:  https://dianedewey.com

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