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Archive for July, 2011

Writing about Love…

The greatest vignettes that I love to write about are the times of love in my life.  Not only the people I love or have loved, but the things that I love.  One way to approach this topic in your writing life is to make a list of the different people you have loved in your lifetime.  This list could be divided into categories such as a romantic loves, friendships, family, etc.  Now you can also make a list of the things you love to do.  What are some things you love to do but are maybe now no longer physically able to do?  Who are the pets in your lifetime that you have loved? 

Stretch yourself a bit further and focus down on the loves you have loved and now no longer have.  Tell about what you have learned about yourself in each of these relationships.  In these relationships, are there some that you wish you could just erase completely from your life or are you thankful for the lessons you learned through them?

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Writing about Firsts…

On July 9th at my Saturday workshop one of our writing exercises was the topic of firsts.  The first of anything is usually a memorable experience and very often marks a change in our lives. 

Sam was the first dog that I can remember having and one that I will always.  It is interesting to note that Sam was not really my first real dog according to my dad.  A few years ago I was at a speaking conference for my book Fig on a Stick and when I was up in Seattle I was able to meet up with my dad and step-mom Lee for dinner.  I was showing my dad pictures of my miniature dachshund Courtney and that is when I heard the story of my “first” dog.  I forget now what he said the name of this dog was, either spooky or midnight, but it was a miniature dachshund that looked just like Courtney!  I had no idea until I heard this story!

Here are a few firsts that may trigger some memories for you to start writing about:

  • kiss
  • love
  • heart ache
  • ride a bike
  • broken bone
  • child born
  • pet
  • car
  • date

Try to write a paragraph for each of these firsts and see what it helps you remember.  If you have some pictures to help refresh your memory try to find them!

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Passion…

I am working with an online group and we are working through The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  One of the things I have discovered through working through the pages is realizing my true passion.  I have a passion for connection.  I love connecting with people in general.  I love connecting with my fellow yoga friends at Bikram Yoga University Village in Palm Desert.  I love connecting with my students at my various workshops.  I love connecting with various people in the grocery store or wherever I happen to be.  Connection for me takes place on a variety of levels.  Sometimes the connection is brief, at other times a connection can change my life. 

I think one of the most amazing writing exercises to work on is looking at your connections.  Write your story of how you met your true love.  Have you had many loves or just one that you still cling to?  Examine the circumstances around your meeting.  Write about how you met him/her.  Did you know immediately that this person was going to make a difference in your life?  If not immediately when did the love grow?  When your heart thinks about passion who is the image that is recalled in your memory banks?  What about the various friendships you have maintained throughout the years, can you recall your first meeting?  Take some time today to travel through your memories and see what you remember about the important people in your life.  Focus in and see what you remember.  Sometimes (especially if your true love is no longer a part of your life) this exercise can be painful, but travel down the path gently and see what it is that you recall.  Let the tears fall if you need them to, it is cleansing and healing.

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When opposites attract…

The picture to the left is of my great-grandparents.  I unfortunately never had the opportunity to know them as they passed away before I was born.  Even though I never had the privilege of getting to know my father’s grandparents I have heard many wonderful stories about them.  As you can see from the picture my great-grandmother towered over my great-grandfather.  Just looking at this picture makes me smile because I would have never put them together as a couple.  But from what I have heard my great-grandfather adored her.

I would love to know the story of how they met and fell in love.  The beauty about you writing your memoir is that you can tell your story to the generations that will come after you that you may never know.  You can tell them about how you met your mate and fell in love or you can share stories of what attracted you to that seemingly opposite personality.  You can share your view on love and what it takes to make that love last through the years.  Or you may want to share on why you moved on and didn’t make it work.  The joy of writing will take you back to those places that you may want to explore deeper.  Take out those pictures and start today by sharing what you were feeling in those moments.

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When are you “Home?”

One afternoon when I was driving home from a workshop at Inter Valley Health Plan I heard the most beautiful song on the radio by Christina Perri.  It was called Arms.

Here are the lyrics:

I never thought that you would be the one to hold my heart
But you came around and you knocked me off the ground from the start

You put your arms around me
And I believe that it’s easier for you to let me go
You put your arms around me and I’m home

How many times will you let me change my mind and turn around
I can’t decide if I’ll let you save my life or if I’ll drown

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, ’cause I’m already falling
I’ll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I’m home

The world is coming down on me and I can’t find a reason to be loved
I never wanna leave you but I can’t make you bleed if I’m alone

You put your arms around me
And I believe that it’s easier for you to let me go

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, ’cause I’m already falling
I’ll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I’m home

I tried my best to never let you in to see the truth
And I’ve never opened up
I’ve never truly loved ‘Till you put your arms around me
And I believe that it’s easier for you to let me go

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, ’cause I’m already falling
I’ll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I’m home

You put your arms around me and I’m home

I love these lyrics because it made me think about when do I feel “home”.  In my workshop a few Saturdays ago,  I talked about the “masks” we wear,  who do we let into our “home” space?  Which of your friends do you feel the most at home with?  Where are the walls that you may have put up, can you see them?  Who holds your heart?  Spend some time journaling about this topic.  Explore and write your feelings.

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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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