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The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing: How to Transform Memories Into Meaningful Stories Paperback – July 2, 2007
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I can't imagine a better guide to lifestory writing. Sharon Lippincott pushes, cajoles, encourages, shares, and stays with you every step of the way. Don't worry if writing and computers are new to you. Do your children and grandchildren a favor. Get this book, take a deep breath, and give them your story. --John Kotre, Ph.D.; author of White Gloves, Make It Count, Seasons of Life; Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan, Dearborn
In this lovely guide, Lippincott helps beginning writers bring their stories out into the light. She outlines the art and craft of telling the True story, and offers writers practical tips for finding and shaping their voices on the page. How wonderful it is to find such an intimate guide with such precision, clarity, and grace. --Lori Jakiela, author of Miss New York Has Everything
"The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing" demystifies the memoir writing process. It shows how to begin writing a personal history, an exercise that can be a cathartic memoir or a thread of the family tapestry. The user-friendly guide includes personal examples of events, memories, and tributes -- a virtual invitation to compile one s own menu of stories. --JoAnn Melton, lifestory writer
About the Author
Sharon Lippincott is a lifestory writing instructor and coach, and the author of "Meetings: Do's, Don'ts and Donuts." In recent years, she has focused her attention on creative nonfiction, specializing in lifestories. An active member of several writing groups, both real-time and on the Internet, she has written over 500 stories and essays about her own life experiences and observations. She holds workshops and lectures on lifestory writing all around the country and lives in Pennsylvania. Sharon's professional background is in training and development. After graduation from Boston University, she earned a master's degree in psychology from Central Washington University, where she received the Distinguished Thesis award. An enthusiastic supporter of Toastmasters, International, Sharon holds the Distinguished Toastmaster award. She claims the conceptual organization skills she learned in Toastmasters have helped her writing as much as her oral communication.
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Top Customer Reviews
I use this as a handbook with writing groups I coach, and would encourage any would be diarist, blogger, or memoir writer to keep a copy hand as they work.
While there is not a book on how to write another's story, Sharon Lippincott's book is all you need to write your own. And learning how to write your own story is the starting point in learning how to write another's.
From planning to polish, this concise book is all you need to organize and write your own stories. And after you've written a few of those, try writing some for those special people you know whose own life stories simply must be preserved.
I've written a memoir and never thought I'd want to delve further into writing my lifestory. And now with Lippincott's gentle prodding, I'm constantly thinking about what events of my life to turn into a story. She tells us how important it is to leave these stories for our families. And I believe her. Now, that I've started to write my stories down, I am also looking for places to submit my work.
Lippincott makes it seem so easy. She spells out all the steps along the way, she provides exercises and ticklers to gently joggle our memories, and she generously shares examples of her own life stories. This excellently-written book includes information about editing and revising, word usage, sentence structure, punctuation, correct grammar, page formatting, and material a computer geek needs to know in putting a book together. She even delves into the subjects of privacy and family secrets, the differences in the way people remember the same event, and whether we should share our stories out in the world or just "write into the fireplace" - that is, destroy our writing before anyone ever sees it.
There is so much in this book that I plan to keep going back to it for reference over and over again. If you are planning to write your lifestory, The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing is a must read and a must re-read.
Madeline Sharples, author of Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother's Memoir of Living with Her Son's Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide
The only thing better would be a face to face class with Sharon. I'll certainly be looking for one soon. In the meantime I can say that this book got me working on a memoir that I had put off for way too long. The ease of following Sharon's method made me think, "I have no excuse now!"