How to activate your brain's superpowers.
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Braiding memory and imagination to craft your story.
I was never a fan of Halloween — controversial, I know. A lot of people love to dress up, take on another identity. A Venetian Carnavale. But after Pittsburgh, Halloween pales.
Some people long for the peace of the countryside, but others thrill to the beat of the city. Wherever you go, tune in to the sounds to enhance your experience and your writing.
Bells and whistles. Cries and whispers. Sound has more effect on us than we may realize.
When I think “something is the matter with me” or “I am defective,” stress arises. If I change it to “I’m quirky,” I like that. I’m not bad or wrong. I’m different.
My nerves were outside my skin. Hypervigilantly, I gathered clues, flaring up at the sound of my mother’s voice, loud noises, sideways glances.
I hadn't wanted to buy a home by myself, but I hadn't found my man. I didn’t feel rushed or panicked; there would always be another relationship. Until there wasn’t.
Obsessed by our bodies, my mother and I joined Weight Watchers when I was in high school. "Bernie, you gained 2 pounds," the lecturer yelled. "I had a martini at Grossinger's!"
I thought I should write more, publish more, but it’s hard to be creative while you’re scratching for roots and berries. I considered my options. Not stock options..
The value of memories and stories can not be underestimated.
Even if you have a Pantone color chart, you can't match colors exacly. But you can get pretty close.
For 4 days in Mexico, I stared at a ceiling fan spinning lazily. After I fell in love, my mother arrived to check it out. Happiness with Mexican Catholics was not acceptable.
How do you cope when your #MeToo assailant is dead?
In slow slurred speech, my boss shocked me by saying, "You're so desirable."
Drunks shouldn't use words with "s"s, I thought.
Writing about my father, I’m surprised how it takes me back and reawakens a deep sense of loss that is no longer part of my daily consciousness.
Studies suggest that there are brain-friendly benefits of writing by hand that you can’t get from typing.
Smell bypasses thought, jumping from the cerebral cortex straight to the limbic system. It can snap us to another time and place, and excavate memories and emotions long forgotten.
Should you self-publish your book or go with a commercial publisher? Explore the pros and cons of going either route with someone who's been there.
I was so busy being a Renaissance Woman that I forgot to find my niche. Finally in my fifties I found my passion and my gifts — my niche.
It wasn’t until I sat near Marcello Mastroianni in Rome that my knees turned to water. I hadn't been phased by Elvis or Dustin Hoffman. What was happening to me now?
The answer may surprise you. Should you stick to facts when writing memoir or merge events and rename characters to protect their privacy?
When writing I am fully present. If I'm worried about something, it gets out of my head, onto the page. Often I write for just 10 minutes, but it clears the flotsam. I can focus.
"What's the next Sriracha?" asks chef Michael Vaughn (SF Hilton), regarding trends in green hotels and cookery. Dept stores are dying. But grocery stores are delivering. Literally.
Whether you're writing about your life for your family or a wider audience, these tips from memoir author Mary Karr can help you shape your story.
I’ve chosen something for 2017 that I really think I can do. No more resolutions to lose ten pounds, get married, have children. Now I’m committing to something within my control.
Lying on the table naked, I learned Italian, stroke by stroke.
To choose the right word when writing, let it tumble around in your mind. Are the nuances right? Is there a better way to say it? A way it hasn't been said before?
Writing a travel essay, make sure you include sensory details that help the reader share your experience. Here is an example of a travel essay about Italy.
Writing a travel essay, use the same elements as in a personal essay. Here they are.
The genius of the Chopra Center is that it makes the ancient healing system of Ayurveda accessible.
If you use a Warhol painting as a prompt, you might want to write about your 15 minutes of fame or what life would be like if you or one of your characters suddenly became famous.
Laura Deutsch is a San Francisco-based writer. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and More magazine, among others.
A guide to help you access your best writing and craft engaging personal essays and memoir.