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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Guest Blog from a wonderful high school senior

Afloat in the Pacific

By Mlen Azurin

 

Superpowers do not exist, so they say.

But let me tell you about human flight.

 

In 1996, a young man flew for 11,700 kilometers.

He soared 30,000 feet in the air

to land in a country that didn’t even use the metric system.

So I used feet here for dramatic effect

And so Americans can understand.

 

Now his English was okay,

A little accented, but just enough to get by.

He lived in a tiny LA home,

with an aunt to teach him the way.

 

Shortly after, a young woman he knew from college joined him.

He proposed to her a while before over the phone.

I was eight, with wide eyes and a glittering in ‘em,

When I learned of this not so romantic story.

 

Now let me tell you about where he flew from.

A country riddled in poverty,

But with a hospitality that can cleanse the filthiest heart

And lands so riveting they have to be art.

 

In 2000, a little girl was born at 7:42am.

So much potential in the tiniest of bundles,

Surrounded with love and grace.

Who knew of what she would face?

 

Now let me tell you about myself.

I’m stuck in this ravine of cultures

The Philippines is in this strategic spot,

And because of it, in wars it was caught.

 

From it bubbled a confusion.

I’m not Asian enough Because of imperialism from Spain

But I will not claim the source of 300 years of pain.

 

My origin is not considered Hispanic, either.

Because of its language and East Asian influences,

And its basic geographical location Which places it in Asia.

 

But the country that this man flew to,

The one that doesn’t use the metric system,

Ruled us, it’s true.

And it’s the location of my birth.

 

Now let me remind you of the importance of labels.

Outsiders find it so necessary

To put us on a spectrum

Because it’s easier that way.

 

For them, but not me.

Not us,

Not the little girl born at 7:42am,

Who’s stuck in this arbitrary web.

 

She wants to fit in with the larger crowd,

But she can’t help but feel a bit lost

. A little too different,

Like she’s afloat in the Pacific Ocean.

 

Now let me tell you about superpowers,

The man could fly,

The woman built force fields to protect the girl,

And the girl could swim for lifetimes

But still feel like she’s drowning.

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Let’s make 2018 your year to make a difference in your writing!

If you are like most people, you probably have thought about some new year’s resolutions.  If you are a writer it may center around wanting to pen that next great novel or complete your memoir.

Believe me, I get it.  3 years ago I came up with the idea of an online writing club.  A place where we write and share and learn together.  I have tweaked it each year and this year is sure to be the best ever.  You have until the end of the month to join.  There are so many benefits to joining that it is almost free!

get all the details at www.thememoircoach.com

click on Online Writing Club and you can pay via pay pal (super easy!!)

hurry, registration closes January 31st for the 2018 year!

For $260.00 you get:

  • monthly lesson
  • feedback from your group
  • b12 shot boost mid month
  • 4 hours of one on one time with me
  • discounts on workshops and retreats
  • free video lessons and workshops
  • exclusive fall retreat for online writing club members only
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Perspective in Memoir

As a memoir coach I read a lot of memoirs.  And  a lot of people ask me when is the time to write a memoir?  I think there are a few elements to consider before taking on the task of putting memories to paper.

Many of you are familiar with Cheryl Strayed the author of Wild, which was later released into a movie.

Cheryl took her hike in the summer of 1995, and her book just released in 2012. When asked in an interview why she had waited so long to write the book, Cheryl said:

“For a number of reasons. It took me years of apprenticing myself to the craft before I could write a book…. I don’t write about something unless I feel a stirring inside of me to do so and it wasn’t until 2008 that I felt that in relation to my experience on the PCT. I think the years between my hike and writing about it made for a better book. I gained perspective that I wouldn’t have had if I’d written about it immediately.”

I love two things about what she said:

1) “Years of apprenticing myself to the craft.”

2) “I gained perspective.”

I believe these two elements are what made this such an excellent memoir. Think about this when considering whether it’s the right time for your memoir.

→ In order to tell your story effectively so that it has the maximum impact, you’ll probably need to spend years apprenticing yourself to the craft; that is, actively studying, learning and improving as a writer.

→ And in order for your story to resonate with deeper truth, you should have enough distance from it that you’ve gained perspective. When you’re still too close to it, you won’t be able to write it well.

 

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And what have you done with those memories?

Last night I had dinner with a friend I met over twenty years ago.  It was wonderful connecting to someone who knew me when I was in my early thirties.  The beauty in reconnecting with another person is the memories I had forgotten about she remembered and vice versa.

How can I help you record those memories of your life?  I have many ways to connect,  I have classes in the Palm Springs area a few times a year, I have retreats all over the world, I have private retreats in my home and I also travel to the homes of my students who would rather me come to them.

One option is the Online Writing Club that will give you monthly lessons with a small group of other men and women who like you want to learn and write….

Send me an email or sign up for my newsletter!

You can email me at thememoircoach@gmail.com

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The Craft of Writing

As a writer I will always work on my craft.  I will write and sometimes edit immediately.  Other times I will write and let it sit for awhile.  Sometimes what I write I want to just let it be…already feeling like I can’t add to it to make it better.  As with most things, you work on what you want to get better at.  About 3 years ago I had the idea of the Online Writing Club.  I took the idea and worked on it, presented it to my students and some signed up.  I learned a lot that first year and now 3 years later I am still molding this project and making it the best I can.  Each year I learn and grow, along with my students.  I am currently signing up a new group of students for the online club for 2018.  Are you wanting to be a part of a small group of writers wanting to grow in their craft?

If so, I hope you will read about the online writing club here on my website and consider joining us!

email me if you have any questions!

thememoircoach@gmail.com
A Writers Tools

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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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