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TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir: How To Tap Memory and Write Your Story Capturing Character & Spirit (Volume 1) Paperback – March 31, 2012
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"Rarely does a book carve out a unique place for itself within the hallowed
halls of writerly advice and wisdom, yet Ms. Henriksen has fearlessly
stepped into uncharted, original waters with TellTale Souls Writing the
Mother Memoir. Not only is this a book for me to recommend to the many
people interested in writing their own story, but one to keep on my desk as
a reference tool to inspire my writing moments. TellTale Souls brings to
mind both Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Walking on Water by
Madeleine L'Engle. It is destined to be one of the classics required to
complete the journey for writing the truth and writing it well. I've
discovered a new favorite that incorporates all the aspects of writing I
trust and believe in-spirituality, memory, passion, and the power of story!"
-River Jordan, author of Praying for Strangers: An Adventure of the Human
"TellTale Souls is an inspired guide for those who want to explore the
loving but complex emotional terrain that exists with our mothers. With
gentle encouragement, Henriksen invites us to journey into our pasts,
skillfully laying bare the nature of memory itself. An eloquent exploration
of creativity and memory for writers and non-writers alike."
-Zoe FitzGerald Carter, author of Imperfect Endings: A Daughter's Story of
Love, Loss and Letting Go
"'Emotional memory' is as universal as mothers. Lynn Henriksen helps writers
and would-be writers explore the far reaches of their emotional memories
along with the more tangible, sensory memories to create stories, essays or
poetry. In her beautifully designed and organized "how-to write a powerful
memoir" book, she artfully guides the writer through the dark mazes of the
heart, illuminating them with the power of the imagination."
-Talia Carner, author of Jerusalem Maiden, China Doll, and Puppet Child
"Memoir is tricky business. It requires allegiance to the truth and, at the
same time, the ability to craft a compelling story. Questions arise: How to
access memory? What is important? What about sequencing? Where it the
borderline of fiction? Through TellTale Souls Writing. Lynn Henriksen
dissects the idea of memoir into its many invisible parts and shows us a
framework for making it all come together. She gives activities, prompts,
examples and if we worry the process is becoming too mechanical, passes
along advice as to how to go about accessing the deepest spiritual truths.
In the end, and with her guidance, we might not only make literature out of
memory but be blessed with unexpected enrichments of spirit."
-H. David Watts, M.D., author of Bedside Manners and The Orange Wire Problem
and Other Tales from the Doctor's Office
"Every writer should read this book, as its combination of the spiritual and
the practical transcends other memoir writing guides. The gifted Lynn, a
lyrical, perceptive writer and teacher, brings incisive advice and technique
together with true stories for a carefully devised, matchless performance,
in which the reader will play a major part. I wish I had read TellTale Souls
years ago; it would have saved me a lot of trouble. It is a tour de force
and bound to become a classic."
-Ann Seymour, author of I've Always Loved You: A True Story of WW2 in the
Pacific battlefields, in California, and in the Imperial Palace, Tokyo
"'To run after a shadow and learn to describe it...' For those of us who
long to capture our mothers' spirits in words (and who among us
doesn't?)-that's exactly how writing a mother memoir feels. Happily, we have
a mentor and companion in Lynn Cook Henriksen's TellTale Souls. Part can-do,
part how-to, this book leads us along a writer's path rich with prompts and
exercises, hints and watchwords. Inspirational sources illuminate every step
of the way with illustrative vignettes written by all kinds of people about
all kinds of moms. Their stories trigger ours. Through guided exploration,
we discover (and chronicle!) the depths and truths of our mothers' lives."
-Amanda McTigue, author of Going to Solace
"In five tenderhearted acts, Lynn Cook Henriksen creates a stage from real
life, a theater in the round centered around our mothers, and guides us in
an open ended approach to write a lasting impression of Mother through
story. Along the way we are delightfully instructed through a sampling of
authentic and unforgettable memoirs, vignettes, and poems. Henriksen is
encouraging, never dictating, and suggests a variety of techniques and
exercises to bring our own memories of Mother into an enduring literary
-Kate Farrell, editor of Wisdom Has a Voice: Every Daughter's Memories of
"As caring a writer as she is a daughter, author and speaker, Lynn Henriksen
has developed a matchless method to help every daughter and son keep their
recollections of mother vivid and fresh through Writing the Mother Memoir.
Her brilliant technique, explained in clear and compassionate terms and
alive with true stories, is simple to follow even if one is not a writer by
trade. I highly recommend this guidebook."
-Patricia V. Davis, bestselling author
"Tell Tale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir is a gentle guide that invites
you to explore the terrain of mother-child relationships, a journey of
wisdom, courage, and heart. In every chapter you'll discover tips and
techniques that invite you to breathe life into stories about your mother
and times gone by. This book is a true memoir writer's companion."
-Linda Joy Myers, Ph.D., author of The Power of Memoir, How to Write Your
"I could absolutely see this being part of a Reading List in a memoir workshop at a college or university. And the Mother Stories included by other writers serve as excellent examples. The layout was also engaging - prompts blocked off in boxes, etc., are visually engaging for a reader." -- Writer's Digest Review
About the Author
More About the Author
An intuitive leader and writing coach of story salons and workshops, Lynn knows tapping memory and learning to write with honesty about intimate, often trying, relationships is the most valuable form of writing. To demystify writing memoir and make the journey more available, she wrote the guidebook: TellTale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir: How to Tap Memory & Write Your Story Capturing Character and Spirit.
The tears, laughter, unique voices, and thank-yous from the spirited writers she has come to know will forever reside in Lynn's heart and soul. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Top Customer Reviews
It's on such an important topic: the attachment bond to your mother and how best to write that
relationship and also capture what is most important about your mother. Jung once said that with every child born the mother will experience deep grief, consciously or unconsciously, that they will provide for that child more than they ever received. The grief, of course, is not for what they will give but for their own deprivation with which they have struggled. In this context, we set up the beginnings of any memoir and only hope we can express our feelings and appreciations deeply enough.
Author Lynn Henriksen book is full of exercises and examples of how to plumb memories of your mother and to explore what made your mother feel most alive. She asks us to explore self-knowing and to develop more knowledge of our mothers through these exercises. Henriksen shows how to write about unique people in a unique relationship. It helps us tell the truth and, at the same time, validate our mothers. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants professional guidance in Salt and Paper: 65 Candlesmemoir writing.
Janell Moon, counselor, author and editor of memoir
Many different emotions flood my mind as I read each story.
I could feel the strength of these women, many times the vulnerability and the love with which each story is told.
The stories stir up so many memories of the great women in my life, that I feel the urgency to sit down and start putting my thoughts on paper, before I tuck them deeply away in my mind again.
I can smell my grandmother's homemade bread and almost taste it. I can hear her silly laugh as she told me a story that I was not to tell my mother that she told me, under any circumstances!
I see my mother sitting on the edge of her bed, my father holding her hand, comforting her as she cried for reasons, as a teenager, I could only ponder.
But soon the thought of her running after me trying to rescue a daddy long leg off of my shoulder while I screamed wildly takes over my mind and I smile............
I can only imagine what compelled the author to compile a book of stories that touch my heart to my very soul
and conjure up a life time of memories.
I fervently hope that she will continue this venture and promise you that these stories will touch you as well!
Bless you Lyn!
As Lynn is so respected in the literary world, the writers gave her their best shots. Read, enjoy, learn. You'll read many of the stories a second time, some a third. Then you'll tuck the book on your permanent bookshelf and start thinking of friends to send it to. They may or may not be writers; it doesn't matter. Everyone will love it. As instructional material, it belongs on college reading lists.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is soul food. It’s brain food. It’s refreshing…and I am intrigued. I love that it's about writing and people and making sense of things. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Tawna Davies
It was a rather different version of writing memoirs. I enjoyed it but wouldn't rate it 5 stars. Worth reading however.Published on March 20, 2013 by Phyllis Combs
Telltale Souls Writing the Mother Memoir is a treasure for anyone who seeks direction in writing a Mother Memoir. Read morePublished on August 8, 2012 by will wilkinson
It's rare that you find a how-to book that compels you to turn the page. But that's what author Lynn Cook Henriksen has accomplished. Read morePublished on May 13, 2012 by Judith Marshall