Tag Archives: Marion Roach Smith

I Talked My Memoir to Death—Now What?

DeskSittingIdle

My desk at the Mechanics Institute Patiently Awaiting My Return

This year, 2016, is the year I have committed to write. To goad myself into it, I signed up for best-selling author, Ellen Sussman’s Novel/Memoir in a Year class. I’ve studied writing with Ellen for years—since 2008 when I first met her at Kepler’s in Menlo Park, California. After her reading for the publication of Bad Girls—26 Writers Misbehave, she mentioned to the audience at Kepler’s that she taught classes in her living room at her then-home in Los Altos. Ellen inspires me. A passionate and gifted teacher of writing, she has spunk, and a dry sense of humor I attribute to Trenton, New Jersey where she grew up. As she signed my copy of Bad Girls, I begged myself into her ten-week novel critique class, even though I was writing a memoir. (more…)

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Life Happens

DadMeJohnDeer

Dad & Me April 2013 at John Deere Museum in Moline, IL

In February when I sent my invitation to announce my forthcoming Writer’s News newsletter, I thought it’d be a week or two before I hit the send button. But as I worked with my web-team to get the look and feel “just right” and every word perfect, February turned into March, and March ran into April. Then life tossed me a curveball on April 15th. My brother called to tell me that our dad had been admitted to Methodist hospital in Peoria, IL. Dad’s house cleaner had found him doubled over on the couch. His symptoms, a bowel obstruction caused by scar tissue from a 20-year-old surgery. Conveniently I was in in the Midwest instead of California and drove to Peoria the next day. When Dad went in to surgery four days later, it hadn’t occurred to my brother, sister-in-law and I that he would be dead 18 days later. (more…)

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Seven Books I Read in 2014

Ana ReadingOnce upon a time, I was a voracious reader. In my late 20s and early 30s, books were an appendage. I read while I gulped down my breakfast, at night alone at my table in my studio apartment, as soon as my favorite TV show had ended, every day during my mass-transit commute from Lincoln Park to the Chicago Loop.

One day, with my nose stuck into Steinbeck’s East of Eden, I was yanked from my seat on the 156 151 Busat the corner of LaSalle Street and North Avenue, pulled down the isle, and shoved down the stairs of the bus’ rear exit. When I turned to see what a fellow passenger had rescued me from, flames were bursting out from under the seat I had occupied. (more…)

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