Archive for November, 2010

You learn to write by writing…

The magic words for fiction writers are “what if…” for memoir writers, “I remember…” breaks the ice.

Without memory time has no meaning…the research for a memoir can be done in an easy chair.  Everyone knows their own account, but unless you write your version, who will know there was another family squabble or office feud?

All of us know we are different from anyone else, and if others only knew what we see, how we think and feel they would understand and appreciate us more! (LOL!)

Writing for me is a necessity, I write to learn what I know and how I feel about it.

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Writing with pictures…

If we let them, photographs can remind us of the essence of the people we love.  A stranger might not see the beauty we see, but friendship gives us the gift of sight.  Linger over your photographs.  Let them guide you toward seeing the depth of compassion and gratitude and grace that reside within the people you love.  As you collect these photographs on your your memoir pages, celebrate the important people in your life!  Linger over your photographs and begin to write…

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Wherever you are, be there…

Writing helps us clear out the clutter and focus on the things that really matter.

Spend some time this week looking at your memories.  Flow through the past, present and future and find ways they connect.  Memories from the past propel you to the present and future.  Ask yourself: What gifts am I finding in my life today?  What moments are hidden blessings?  What am I learning?  How am I celebrating?  What do I want to preserve to remember for myself and for my family?

Examine your life and write your responses to these questions: What motivates you?  What sustains you?  Think of a verb that best describes you at this point in your life.  It may verb such as learn, pray, nurture, create, teach, lead, care, enjoy, defend, play, unite, communicate, love, protect, laugh, or survive)

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Surround yourself…

This morning I have been thinking about this weeks topic for my drop-in class.  The topic is Thankfulness.  What else would you write about in November, right?  There are so many things to be thankful for in my life and one of the most important things I am thankful for are the people who surround me.  I like to think of them as a nice thermal blanket on a chilly day.  Having just lived here in the desert a little over two years ago, I am touched by those I have chosen to surround me (or did they choose me?).  Most of my “surrounders” came to me via my workshops.  My “surrounders” range in age from 37-92 (and a half!).  Here is an example of the love I am surrounded by.  This past June I taught a session one workshop.  The workshop consisted of myself and 3 women.  We met once a week for 4 weeks.  Then summer came and we all went our different directions.  Alice, one of my students became ill and for two months was in the hospital.  I didn’t know until her daughter called me in October and told me that her mother was now in a board and care home.  I went the next day to visit Alice.  Since then I have gone once a week to see her and when I found out her birthday was coming (this past Wednesday!)  I emailed the other two ladies and invited them to come with me to wish Alice a happy birthday.  They both agreed and we had a wonderful visit together.  Alice was surprised and thrilled.  It warmed my heart that these two women would give up their afternoon to visit with Alice, their new friend from the 4 week class.

That is just one example of the wonderful women who surround me each and every day.  Moving to the desert was the best move I could have ever made.  To all my wonderful friends that I have made I want to thank you for your love and support.  I am forever grateful.

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Unexpected Blessings…

Recently Melitas (my 92 year old student…ooops, I mean 92 and a half year old student) saw the computer that I use.  This is the computer that I send out all my newsletters on and create all my curriculum with.  She told me that the computer I use just doesn’t cut it.  Let me explain, the computer I have is just a bit bigger than a deck of cards.  Ok, maybe just a bit bigger, more like a book.  Sure I would have loved a bigger computer, but since I am on a budget I had to buy what I could afford.  Well, last night upon visiting Melitas she gave me her new laptop computer.  This isn’t just any laptop, the screen is bigger than my tv set!  I was overwhelmed by emotion that Melitas loves me so much that she wanted to make my work easier.  Where are you finding unexpected blessings in your life?

Today when I turned on her computer I was surprised to see where her sign in name is there is a picture of us together…thank you Melitas for all the blessings you give me each day!


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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Amherst Writers & Artists

Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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