California Writers Club

As a Board Member of the California Writers Club, Mt. Diablo Chapter I recently volunteered to staff our Booth at the Berkeley Book Festival on June 4, 2017. It was a great opportunity to serve my writers community while enjoying the ambiance of a festival that drew throngs.

I spoke with book enthusiasts and writers from the greater Bay Area as well as visitors from England, Sweden and Australia and was gratified to share information about the club and the rich environment for writers and artists in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Memoir: Enhance Your Limited Memories

A Conversation with Brooke Warner

One of the challenges memoir writers face is recalling the details of events that occurred years ago. Memoirists needn’t discouraged by limited memories of valid emotional experiences of real events.  I abandoned my memoir and wrote historical fiction instead for lack of detailed memories of childhood events. Beyond the Silk Mills began as memoir and diverged, because I hadn’t yet considered that many of the the techniques of good fiction writing can justifiably be employed in memoir, which is the art of Creative Non-Fiction.

In this part of my conversation with Brooke Warner we discussed ways that memoir or Creative Non-Fiction gives … Read More

Memoir Workshop– One Family Story at a Time

Memoir Workshop: One Family Story at a Time

The Most Important Thing You Can Leave Your Children Is the Story of Your Life. So few of us have taken the time to write our personal stories for future generations. Excuses about time, expertise, and self-confidence pour from our lips.  That’s why I’m devoting my energies helping people to jump-start their memoirs One Story at a Time.

My next workshop is at Towne Center Books, 555 Main Street, Pleasanton, CA. Please join me there for two hours of of recalling and writing.

It’s the Story of Your Life!

Learn how to make … Read More

Memoir or Autobiography?

To think of writing an autobiography is overwhelming, but consider writing a memoir one story at a time and it’s doable.

We want to write our family stories, yet may wince at the thought of an autobiography, a daunting word to say the least. Matilda Butler clarifies the difference between memoir and autobiography here. http://www.creative-writing-now.com/what-is-a-memoir.html

“An autobiography is—and one of the ways I think about that is as if it was a whole pie –it’s everything. But when you think about a memoir, it’s really a slice of your life.” The interview with Matilda is well worth the read.

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My Teenage Idol

Dinner and Jacks at Angie’s, My Teenage Idol

I was a bee, crammed in a hive with incessant buzzing around me. Nana was the queen, situated in her own quiet bedroom. Mom and Dad slept in the converted living room with baby Jon’s cradle pushed up against their bed, leaving little room for their armoire doors to open. I shared a bedroom with three-year-old Michael.

Most of the time we inhabited the hive with a minimum of collisions, but sometimes it was too much for me. That’s when I would escape to visit my teenage idol, Angie, who lived with … Read More

Memoir: Plausible Detail or Lying? You Decide

There’s a fine line in memoir writing between making up facts (lying), and enhancing memoir with plausible detail. At what point does an author deliberately mislead the memoir reader? Jane Friedman https://janefriedman.com/writing-advice-archive/ offers an archived guest post by Tracy Seeley called When Is Lying in Memoir Acceptable? 3 Key Issues.

Read the story Screaming and Splashing from my book Remembering Childhood: Workbook Your Way to a Finished Memoir and decide for yourself. http://leslierupley.com/rememberingchildhood/excerpt-remembering-childhood-screaming-splashing/

Here are the Facts:

I was four years old The fire hydrant was open
My mother watched
It was a hot day … Read More