Writing the First Story in your Memoirs

Here are memoir-writing guidelines that can help you to write the first story in your book of memoirs–and all the stories you want to tell. You will want to pay particular attention to the guidelines when you begin your first story, however, since that first story is often the hardest… Continue

So You Want to Write Your Memoirs

For too long, you’ve been saying, “I want to write my memoirs.” But that’s about as far as you’ve gotten. You’ve not even had writer’s block yet–since to have such a malady you have to at least be a writer, and to be a memoir writer you have to have… Continue


I throw my head back as hard as I can, and it makes a satisfying whack against some part of Joey’s face. He yelps, lets go of my arms, which he’s been holding behind my back, and retreats. I pursue, and the fight continues. The two of us smack and… Continue


On the lunch shift, the drunks are at tables rather than at the bar, and the waitresses serve them my Bloody Marys and martinis along with their New York Strips. Five or six ounces of vodka and 16 ounces of dead cow in an hour, and then they’re gone—until after… Continue

From Shy to Sociable

Shyness is a real and often painful problem, but there are some things you can do to feel more comfortable and confident around other people. Almost half of all the people in the United States are awkward and unsure in social situations. More than 10 percent suffer from painful shyness… Continue

Don’t Remember Much?

Memories can be brought to life again through the sense of smell. “I remember holding my first baby in my arms. This was back in 1943, November. The nurse had just settled my child, my baby, into my arms, and I was inspecting all those fingers and toes I had… Continue

See Me

The mood soars; the energy heightens. Suddenly I am the very soul of the mountain. A vast, round rump. Blue sky, warm sun, grassy hillsides. Your hand, brushing against my skin, feels like the breeze that keeps the bluebells bobbing. It tickles, as though you were kicking a pebble along… Continue

The Beginning

A very long time ago, before our world began, Before there were men, Before there were things, Even before there was time, There was only O. Whole, complete, real, good, only O Alone. Now, O was not a man. He had no eyes, for there was no one to see…. Continue

Two Cinquains

A cinquain, in poetry, is five unrhymed lines in a 2-4-6-8-2 pattern. Line 1 must be a noun with 2 syllables. Line 2 must be 2 adjectives with a combined 4 syllables, which describe the noun. Line 3 must be 3 -ing words with a combined 6 syllables, which describe… Continue

Love, Never

I see him seeing me With his right eye only He examines my right ear And finds it too small My poor belittled ear It cannot hear … him But I can use it to hear His left ear Which is too large For his own good He’s no good,… Continue

We Know Where Lopez Is

Any bus ride you take in Puerto Vallarta is a sightseeing tour. It won’t be the kind of tour that tourists from the States get after being sales-talked into a timeshare presentation with free city-excursion hook. It won’t be the kind of tour that expatriates take when they venture away… Continue

And Again

Gray gusts. Rain comes at last. Dull drifts and comes up bright. Clouds are clean now. Sky is safety. The sun sings for me again. My voice rings for you again. Continue

You Too Are Us

CAST OF CHARACTERS: Peepee Boy, 10 years old, the instigator, always ready to shock the younger children Katharine, 8 years old, studious Stork Girl, 8 years old, a know-it-all Baby Fairy Girl, 9 years old, demure Belly Buttons Boy, 9 years old, acts reasonably Buffalo Boy, 8 years old, always… Continue

On Time

Every evening about this time, a man with a mean pout and a gold cross at his open shirtfront drives a BMW along the street in front of where I’m living. From various houses emerge my neighbors, anxious for fat grams in 20 bags. Meanwhile, women who want to be… Continue

Every Parent is Proud

“The Phantom … was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand. But for this it would have been difficult to detach its figure from the night, and separate it from the darkness by… Continue


Don’t push me into that Fire It’s flickering Bickering with me No! I am too Insubstantial I will burn! This is no Daydream But wait! It’s no Nightmare Either It’s just my own Drama Silly I’m not even here Yet Continue

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