Moving Forward

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.”

Old Post Resurrection Hop: Twilight

I’m re-posting this blog I wrote in December of last year as part of  Old-Post Resurrection Hop:

It’s twilight, I’m driving up Laguna Canyon Road to dinner with friends, and thinking about how much I love this time of day.  I sneak glimpses in my rear view mirror to catch the last glow from the setting sun behind me.  Ahead, the snow-dusted San Bernardino mountains are turning into a barely delineated dark hump in the gloaming.

And then like one of those scenes where the camera pans in, I notice the glimmer of lights in this one house to my right.  It’s not a particularly homey place or anything, yet, I’m filled with a sense of well being, of belonging; all that’s missing is the smell of freshly baked bread. This isn’t the first time this has happened.  But this is the first time I’ve given it any thought.   The last time I got snagged on the glow of lights in a random dwelling, was a single apartment in an otherwise dark building by the side of the freeway in Reno. I was on my way back from that writers workshop in Lake Tahoe. Again, nothing spectacular; in fact, the sight of that apartment would be downright depressing during the daytime.

 The time before that, that I can remember anyway, was seven years ago on a trip home to Africa, Zimbabwe this time.  Off to the side of a narrow dirt road at the base of a massive rock, sat a solitary hut, its scruffy thatch aglow from a flickering light inside.

This phenomenon is not about missing having someone waiting for me at home, or family all under one roof, that much I’ve figured out.  Who knows who lives in these places I glop onto, could be a single guy.  All I know is that when this sensation comes over me, I feel connected to whomever is inside that dwelling; it’s like we’re linked by the light.  And by twilight, that time of day when sunlight scattering in the upper atmosphere illuminates the lower in a most magical way.

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