The text from my sister left me shaken. The past I thought I knew unravelled a little mo
Sentimental Lady (May the fourth be with you)
Music has the power to bring us back to any moment in time from the past. It’s like a time capsule that can be opened by a few simple notes.
May is Motherhood Memoir Month- Welcome
During this Mother’s Day month, consider writing out stories from your past, present, or future even, then share them as a gift with your mother, child, or self.
Another May Down
…there is something about writing a personally challenging piece (on motherhood, of course) that feels deeply refining, like fire.
The Ekphrastic Letter
I should’ve cleaned your fingernails before you died. I know dirty fingernails never bothered you, but in that last photo I took of you where your hands wrap around the ceramic mug of fresh coffee I brought with real cream, instead of the styrofoam cup of instant with powder packets you’d been getting—-in that picture the gleam is back in your eyes, feisty again, but a dark, dirty rim lines each fingernail. I regret not offering to clean your nails, but at the time it didn’t occur to me. You had lots of life left in you. You could’ve cleaned your own fingernails….
Do you ever run backwards up hills? As a break from writing?…
The Jesus Chicken
The other day our middle daughter came over to celebrate our youngest daughter’s 15th birthday. Arielle asked what we were having for her birthday dinner. Chicken Alfredo? I said, knowing it’s her favorite. Where is the chicken from? Arielle asked. She’s taking AP Environmental Science in her freshman year at Camas High School. We try to buy mostly free-range, usually organic chickens, but this class has raised the bar on what she finds acceptable. She’s nice about it, but she won’t eat it if she thinks it might not be responsibly sourced and humanely treated. Or if it contains palm oil. From the kitchen, her father called out some details–it was a heritage chicken, woodland bred, fed a diet of sheep’s milk, soy and hazelnuts, local and organic with at least 4 acres to graze upon with lots of friends… (Portlandia episode–ordering chicken) I added that it was a happy…
May (MaMoMeMo) is Here
Are you ready to write, even just 5-10 minutes exploring your story in May? If so, bookmark this site and subscribe to my newsletter… which I admit I’ve never actually sent out. I write my blog posts (here and more regularly on Ekphrastic Mama https://lorilyngreenstone.com/) but I don’t bother with emails. Some of you have asked me about this… I’m working up to it, is my best answer. I’m still figuring out the public side of writing. Mostly, writing is private, something I do when I’m alone, although I do write in groups https://www.pdxwriters.com/ and with partners, which I find drives my writing forward in surprising ways, but more about that later… I find memoir a bit unwieldy- it tends to run off in directions I didn’t think I was going. Sometimes I have to stop and ask, what is the story that wants to be written? However, during May…
Can Memoir Kill You?
“…It almost killed me.” -Harry Crews, author of A Childhood: The Biography of a Place Both shocking and understandable if you write memoir, right? Have you ever felt gutted when writing your stories? The natural reaction to pain is avoidance. Quite often we flinch and move away from that hot center of a story, afraid we’ll get burned or at least singed by it. But that red hot spot is where the heart of story lies. I’ve taken a break from the red hot center that memoir is, but recently I got back on the horse, to severely mangle some metaphors… though I like this image now of riding a flaming Arabian for all I’m worth. I will not go down in flames. I will rise from the ashes. These are the affirmations I think of as I free flow write… on this hobby horse… Free flow write with me.…
Ending May: 31 Days of Writing
Today is the last day of May- what a month. I focused on words, writing a lot of words, a redemptive story. I got distracted and sometimes felt disheartened, probably a lot like you. But we press on. We realize it is a privilege to be able to press on, to breathe clean air (at least where I live), to write in peace. I spoke with my middle son today. He’s a reporter for the Seattle Times and was downtown last evening doing his job. He got sprayed with tear gas and said he feels “shaken.” He’s never seen anything like this. Who has? None of us have lived through riots in the face of a pandemic. Meanwhile, I’m still writing, still believing the story I’m working on matters. Some days it’s difficult to believe, especially when I look around. But art elevates us all out of the mire, dusting…