On Monday night August 13th at the BWW Open Mic Night here in Burlington Vermont I read one of my first commercially published pieces, Grandma at MOMA which found it's way to GRAND Magazine in 2014. A brief search indicated it is still accessible online: http://www.grandmagazine.com/2014/03/grandma-moma/
Here you will find postings of recent public readings, reviews of theatrical performances that I've written for Burlington Vermont's Flynn Theater blog, along with other articles as they appear in various publications throughout the year. Occasionally I'll toss in a link to something of interest to writers, artists, and filmmakers that was not written by me.
Two articles published in the Spring 2018 print edition of Documentary Magazine
One of my essays titled Being From Boston was included in Seasons of Our Lives the Spring Anthology. It was published a few years ago. They have now released the paperback edition.
This was the press release I just received from the editors:
More Than 100 Award-Winning Memoir Stories
Now Available in Paperback
Milbridge, ME (May 2018) There’s no such thing as too many good stories. And it seems, there’s no such thing as a single technology for reading these stories. WomensMemoirs.com previously released four volumes of true stories in the Seasons of Our Lives series for the Kindle. These memoir anthologies won seven book awards, and stayed on the Kindle bestseller list for more than a week. A real success story.
Since that time, these stories have continued to resonate with readers across the US and many countries and are now also used by memoir teachers and coaches. These stories are not only inspirational. They are also exemplars of memoir writing.
We’re all modern women and like digital technology. BUT there is still something special and satisfying about holding a book in your hands, enjoying a story, setting it aside on the coffee table where it lands with a thud rather than a ping, and returning the next day to read more. Due to the large number of requests for print copies, WomensMemoirs.com through Knowledge Access Books has just released the four volumes of the Seasons of Our Lives anthologies in paperback.
Motivating Lessons. In addition to the more than 100 true stories, the anthologies have lessons that help the reader to reflect on her life and to see how she might write about her own experiences. Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett, editors of these four volumes of stories, added a lesson, or what they call a "takeaway," at the end of each story. As you read the 100-plus stories, you'll also find an equal number of short lessons, one tied to each vignette, designed to motivate and instruct in the writing of life vignettes.
The mini-lessons that follow each award-winning story cover many of the topics important in memoir writing such as:
- creating a memoir title,
- crafting a powerful opening,
- linking openings and closings,
- choosing point of view,
- incorporating sensory details,
- adding character descriptions,
- showing (not telling) emotions,
- using dialogue effectively,
- understanding how time and place can be used in tandem or as stand-alone elements,
- making word choice a priority,
- discerning the different impacts of present versus past tense,
- considering vignette topics to write about,
- choosing between letting the reader figure out the story behind the story or spelling out all the details,
- and much more.
Inspiring Exemplars.Want inspiration for your life as well as your writing? Consider the just-released paperback version of the four volumes of Seasons of Our Lives -- Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. These 100+ award-winning true stories from http://WomensMemoirs.com and http://KnowledgeAccessBooks.com are inspirational. They'll make you laugh. Cry. Feel joy. Experience sorrow. Collectively they form a kaleidoscope of life's multi-faceted seasons.
WomensMemoirs.com held four contests and received hundreds of remarkable stories. Award-winning authors and memoir coaches Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett, editors of these four volumes of life stories, read each submission, ranked them, and then made decisions on the winners. These four volumes contain the award-winning stories.
Your Way. Here's what special about the concept of "Read a Story, Tell a Story." If you mainly like to read memoir, then you'll savor these stories just for themselves. Through them you can reflect on your own life, think about your past and how you want to shape your future. Or, if you are interested in writing, let these stories inspire you and then study the takeaways that accompany each one so that you'll have new techniques for writing your own life stories. Either way, your way, you have a real treat awaiting you in these four volumes.
Book Specs and Availability
Seasons of Our Lives is a four volume series (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) edited by award-winning authors and memoir coaches Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett; Knowledge Access Books Publisher.
Seasons of Our Lives: Spring (includes 28 stories and takeaways; 155 pages)
Seasons of Our Lives: Summer (includes 25 stories and takeaways; 135 pages)
Seasons of Our Lives: Autumn (includes 26 stories and takeaways; 153 pages)
Seasons of Our Lives: Winter (includes 33 stories and takeaways; 211 pages)
- Up to 5 Copies - Paperback Introductory Price on Amazon—valid until June 15, 2018: $9.97 each except $10.97 for Winter. On June 16, price increases by $2 per volume. Below are the links:
Seasons of Our Lives: Spring https://amzn.to/2KklLXN
Seasons of Our Lives: Summer https://amzn.to/2HWoSXq
Seasons of Our Lives: Autumn https://amzn.to/2HUEGtH
Seasons of Our Lives: Winter https://amzn.to/2KlyXLN
- 5 copy and 10 copy bulk orders at special discounted prices available through Etsy.
Seasons of Our Lives: Spring http://bit.ly/Seasons-Spring
Seasons of Our Lives: Summer http://bit.ly/Seasons-Summer
Seasons of Our Lives: Autumn http://bit.ly/Seasons-Autumn
Seasons of Our Lives: Winter http://bit.ly/Seasons-Winter-Stories
Matilda Butler is the award-winning co-author of the collective memoir Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story, Second Edition, Writing Alchemy: How to Write Fast and Deep and other books. A psychologist, online and in-person memoir coach and writing conference speaker, she writes and teaches in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. In 2014, Butler is also offering classes in Waikoloa Beach, Hawaii.
Kendra Bonnett is the award-winning co-author of Rosie’s Daughters and Writing Alchemy and author/ghostwriter of nine books, a marketing executive, and a speaker and memoir coach. She regularly blogs with Matilda Butler at WomensMemoirs.com and writes and teaches from her home in Downeast Maine.
We invite you to share news about these four volumes through your blog or in articles about memoir writing. If you need additional information, please contact:
What Readers of Seasons of Our Lives Are Saying
It is true that each woman is a story waiting to be told—and in this outstanding collection of memoirs you’ll find many wonderful women’s stories. It is also true that each woman’s story is everywoman’s story, for we share so many of the same experiences. As I read these stories [in Seasons of Our Lives], I am reading bits and pieces from my own life, and I am inspired to write my own with a more passionate and compassionate heart. I hope you are, too. ~Susan Wittig Albert, bestselling author of Writing from Life
Seasons of Our Lives, a compilation of memoirists’ vignettes, brings poignant stories of history and nostalgia to the reader, as well as writing observations and lessons for the author in everyone. Seasons of our Lives is sure to be another award-winning work from the dynamic duo of Butler and Bonnett. ~Judy Sheer Watters, author of The Road Home: The Legacy that was, is and is to Come
A summer’s bouquet of award–winning stories that engage, inspire, and also teach. Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett’s “takeaways” on each piece illuminate the modes of thought and specific techniques that make each story work. A delight for anyone who enjoys compelling stories as well as a handbook for those who desire to tell or write their own. I’m proud to be included in Seasons of Our Lives: Summer. ~Judith Newton, Professor Emerita, UC Davis, Women and Gender Studies, award-winning food memoir author, Tasting Home
Writing memoir is like walking into an immense clearing and finding a wild stallion waiting there just for you. Climbing up, you wonder if you can take this ride. ...but wait. Help is there to accompany you on your ride. Help in the form of award-winning memoir vignettes to read and takeaway lessons to give you guidance in sharing your life stories. That's what Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett, editors of Seasons of Our Lives have given all of us, readers and writers. I am so proud to be part of this anthology series. ~Kathleen Hewitt, author of The Scent of Her
Following is a list of the stories in each of the four volumes, currently available on Amazon:
Introduction by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett
I. SPRING MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD
Journey to America by Phyllis Mattson
1945 by Sharon Miller
Cut the Cake by Deborah Gilson
Spring's Surprise in July by Cynthia Briggs
Montreal Spring by Janet Caplan
The Spring Snowball Fight by Sabine Naus
Spring Chickens by Shirley Pugh Thomson
The Spring of 1942 by Kristiane McKee Maas
II. SPRING STORIES OF COMING OF AGE
Innocence by Nancy Pogue LaTurner
A Special Sibling by Nancy Julien Kopp
Remember by Robin Sherwood Moore
Spring Dances by Kathleen Hewitt
Pink Pearls of Wisdom by Sara Etgen-Baker
III. SPRING MEMORIES OF ADULT YEARS
As Time Runs Out by Susan Payne
Being from Boston by Cynthia Close
And a Child was Born by Linda Austin
No Green Thumb Here...Yet! by Lucille Joyner
Haphazard Gardener by Nancy Obermueller
Unexpected Pleasure by Linda Greeley
Letter to Roland by Iris Gersh
Down Home for Decoration Day by Lisa Libowitz
Esther's Easter by Marcy N. Jubach
A Spring Tale by Micki Peluso
Army Green by Robin Dake
IV. SPRING MEMORIES OF AGING AND REFLECTING ON THE PASSAGE OF TIME
Who's Looking Anyway? by Trudi Goodman
Spring Sorrow by Mairi Neil
Springtime Herald Mother Memories by Laureen Elaine Andrews
White Carnations and Buried Answers by Patricia Higbie
Looking forward to Machine de Cirque at the Flynn Theater:
Published in the April edition of Vermont Woman
Thanks to my editor Tom White at Documentary Magazine, for featuring my review of the Criterion Collections magnificent new release in this months online issue.
Slip-sliding Away, my essay about my mother's decline and death was featured in both the print and online edition of The Woven Tales Press.
Recently published on the Flynn Theater Blog:
I rarely hear from readers, or the subjects of my articles, reviews etc., unless someone takes umbrage with something that I've written about that involves them. But when praise comes unexpectedly it is an ego boost that makes it all worthwhile. This recent email made my day.
Scott and I just received a copy of your review of THE FLAHERTY: DECADES IN THE CAUSE OF INDEPENDENT CINEMA published in DOCUMENTARY.
We are so taken by the depth of your thinking, your careful close reading of the historical arguments, your appreciation for the discussions selected, and the nuance you bring to interpreting our book.
We wanted to thank you for taking time to read our book, and also, taking the time to write such an elegant review.
We sent it to Indiana University Press marketing, and they informed us they will be pulling a quote from your review for the website for the book!
Thank you again, and we hope to meet up soon.
Patty (and Scott too!)
Patricia R. Zimmermann, Ph.D.
Professor of Screen Studies
Roy H. Park School of Communication
Codirector, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
Had a blast at the very hip for Vermont Light Club Lamp Shop Open Mic event on Thursday November 16th. I read my essay Ode to Eve Ensler and listened to my fellow BWW writers entertain us with poems, stories, and songs.
My essay, Slip-sliding Away is spotlighted this month.