As I move forward with getting my memoir, Loveyoubye out into the world–my book launch at Laguna Beach Books over a month ago, and the reading in Santa Barbara last week–I’m realizing just how powerful going through with the publication of Loveyoubye has been. I’ve crested a steep hill and found the view expansive, welcoming, the light a little brighter. I’m discovering a whole other side of myself. Writing my memoir was cathartic and healing. To paraphrase Linda Meyers, “I drew upon layers of my consciousness and discovered more of my true nature, my essential self, and became transformed by the process.” But it’s in publication that I claimed my story and set it free.
This Saturday, May 17th, the next step in my journey awaits. I’ll be at The Avid Reader in Davis with fellow She Writes Press authors, Judith Newton, (Tasting Home, a memoir), and Jessica Levine (The Geometry of Love, a novel), to talk about the diversity and power of the She Writes list, and to reflect on the reality that more women are writing for public consumption than ever before.
In addition to reading selections from our books, we’ll discuss the ways in which women’s lives and stories are as central to history and culture as those of men. I’m going to focus on today’s memoir as the modern version of traditional storytelling, especially women’s memoirs, the good ones, the ones that enrich us in some way, beyond the events of the story. I think of this as duende, which actually means having soul, artistically speaking, a heightened state of emotion, expression and authenticity, the spirit of evocation. Bella Mahaya Carter said it best: “The more you look inward, and the more you share what you see and know, the greater the gift.”