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Three Reasons I Could Stop Writing Memoir But Won’t

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A terrific piece fromRonit Feinglass Plank on memoir, what it is, what it is not, and why we write it.

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

zz ronitBy Ronit Feinglass Plank

I had been writing fiction and wanted to try nonfiction, so I began with personal essays. I didn’t think memoir was for me; in fact I was deliberately avoiding it. I didn’t see a reason to revisit the facts of my confusing childhood and thought memoir wouldn’t be as challenging as creating a world from scratch and putting characters in it. To tell my own story, the story I knew by heart, seemed almost too easy.

I could not have been more wrong. I was about to discover that looking at something you think you know pretty well with fresh eyes and trying to understand it in a new way is definitely not easy. I did try writing several personal essays but the history of how I grew up kept barging in, taking up more and more space. It seemed part of me really wanted to…

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Written by Arleen Williams

March 16, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Blasts from the Past

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A fun post and a nice plug from fellow writer, JT Twissel.

JT Twissel

For the next week my publisher is having a Valentine’s Day giveaway.  At first I didn’t think I should participate.  My characters are generally in such desperate plights that romance is the last thing on their mind.  However,  they are all young women and thus it is impossible to avoid clumsy flirtations, heart palpitations, despondency and yes, sex.  Particularly for my youngest, Riley O’Tannen of the Graduation Present, a self-proclaimed klutz who misinterprets a young man’s interest until it’s almost too late.

Riley’s exploits are very loosely based on my own goof-ball  adventures europe5dollars1in Europe 40 years ago. In 2014 I came clean in a series of posts listed here:

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Written by Arleen Williams

February 9, 2016 at 2:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Elena Hartwell Interviews Arleen Williams

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As I head off to the Tri-TESOL conference to present No Talking Dogs: Easy Literature for Adults, I am pleased to share an interview with Elena Hartwell on Arc of a Writer. Elena began her interview with a question about writing easy novels for adults learning to read English. It was a pleasure to explain the work Pamela Hobart Carter and I have done through No Talking Dogs Press.

The Interview Part I

You write novels for adults learning English as a new language. How did you get started in that genre and how is that different from writing traditional novels?

I’ve been teaching English as a Second Language since I was a resident assistant at a private language institute housed on the Seattle University campus back in the early 1970s. This fall quarter marks my third decade working with immigrants and refugees at South Seattle College. Through the years I’ve taught all levels and skill areas from low beginners to college prep.

For the past decade or so I taught the intermediate to upper levels. Not being a fan of most texts written for ESL instruction, I used Young Adult fiction. A few years back, I moved into the lower levels and YA was no longer an option. It was just too difficult. I needed books written at a first or second grade reading level that weren’t picture books full of talking animals and the like. One day I was whining to my writing partner, Pamela Hobart Carter, about my struggles to find appropriate reading materials for my adult students. Her response: “I’ll write one for you!” And, of course, I figured if she could do it, I could too!

Long story short … READ MORE!
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Written by Arleen Williams

April 19, 2008 at 5:06 am

Posted in Uncategorized