"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