Friday, October 01, 2010

Lisa Dale Norton Workshop

This weekend I'm attending a memoir writing workshop with Lisa Dale Norton. Tonight was the opening session and it was essentially a "getting to know you" opportunity. There were about 20 people there, including numerous English teachers.

Everyone introduced themselves and talked a little bit about what they're working on. I'm never quite sure what to say in those situations. Generally people talk about what they do for a living, or what they used to do for a living. That's just not the most interesting thing about me - even though I have a job that leads to some really cool situations. But, I'm not sure there's anything I can say in a brief introduction that is at all interesting to someone who doesn't know me.

All of this leads me to believe that memoir might not be my forte.

As usual I was taking notes. I gathered some thought-provoking quotes from Lisa Dale Norton I'll be mulling over. I thought I'd share some of those with you, in no particular order.

"Writing has a way of beckoning more stories."
"Lots of our stories rise out of grieving."
"'Excellent craft' and 'market' - two different worlds."
"Memoir is the application of structure."
"There are people who come with great gifts."
"The rude truth about the publishing industry is finding where you fit on the bookstore shelves."
"The creative mind is very smart."
"Everyone's experience is different, but true."
"We're fiction making machines."
"Winnowing is an act of creation."
"Memoir has to have structure. It needs a sense of completion."
"This is about how to take the narrative form and apply it to your life."
"If you want readers, you need story."

Warm Mug Equal Warm Feelings

Did you know that holding a cup of something hot increases your feelings of well-being? I'm surprised the coffee industry hasn't been using this in advertising.

A study at Yale found people who held warm mugs had warm feelings.

I just read about it, and other similar ways to increase happiness, on Shine at Yahoo.

Getting to know you

My friend, Martha, posted a link to Scott Ginsberg's blog on how to get to know someone. You can read it here:

As you know, I'm continually interested in how we form meaningful relationships with people. I'm considering if I know the answers to even a few of those questions about very many people in my world. It's a good exercise.

Beyond that, I'm wondering how many people would answer even half of those questions.