Monday, November 25, 2013

Holidays & Memoir Writing

The holiday season is officially here. And all of the traveling, gatherings, eating, shopping, wrapping and cleaning up could give you whiplash.

For the sake of your writing, I encourage you try to find at least a few quiet moments to jot down some notes. The smells and activities will bring back memories and you might be able to fill in some gaps in your memoir.

If you are celebrating with family, you could use this time to ask them some questions about their own memories, too. (You might wait to share any details about your own project until you're ready to hear their feedback.)

In the D.C. area and writing about your past? Sign up for one of my upcoming memoir writing workshops at Politics & Prose Bookstore.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Memoir Writing Classes @ Politics & Prose Bookstore in 2014

Attention D.C.-area memoir writers! My 2014 winter memoir writing workshops at Politics & Prose bookstore are now open for registration!

I’m excited to offer a new class in 2014: Memoir Writing Workshop Version 2.0. This section is open to students who have previously taken one of my memoir writing classes and will run on Monday afternoons: April 7, 21, 28, May 5, 12, 1:30-3 p.m. 

I'm also offering the four week Memoir Writing Workshop, which previous students are also welcome to retake. This class will be offered on four Monday afternoons: Jan. 27, Feb. 3, 10, 24 (no class on Presidents’ Day), 1:30-3 p.m.

The Master Class:Memoir Manuscript Workshop is for students who have already written a full manuscript (75-150 pages). For master classes, we ask that you submit a writing sample in order to be accepted into the class. This class will meet on five Tuesday evenings: January 28, February 11, February 25, March 11, March 25, 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Register today through the bookstore; these classes fill up quickly. Don’t hesitate to email me (chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com) with any questions.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Modern Loss & A Poem for a Friend

I was moved to read about the new website Modern Loss recently on Slate. Modern Loss is a collection of articles and essays about just that - loss. The essays are beautiful. Here is a line from a piece by Emily Rapp that has stayed with me, "My son’s life was ending. Mine was not. To want to live is not a failure of love, but a tribute to the person you’ve loved and lost."

After losing my great aunt two years ago, I've been writing and reading a lot about loss. This new website helps to fill in some of the gaps and provide a community in our nation where we tend to expect everyone to simply "get on with it" after losing someone. As a new mamma, I was particularly interested in the recent piece about (non-religious) children's books on the topic.

This last weekend, we lost a dear family friend, Nicky Baccile. In the spirit of participating in a larger conversation on mourning, I'd like to share a poem I've been working on in his memory:

for Nicky

Baby smiles in his stroller-sleep
as we follow the streets home.
A taxi blocks the traffic, mailman sorts his packages;
just another day.

Autumnal light recasts
the gingko’s yellows.

I think of you in Abruzzo,
leading our family through a field high above the Adriatic.
Summer shadows were playful
creatures through the grass.

We hadn’t yet lifted glasses of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
to toast hand-woven mozzarella and round bread loaves,
al dente pasta with fresh mint and walnuts,
roasted pork with a side of spinach and

our days together.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Singapore Poetry: New venture from poet Jee Leong Koh

"Next time someone says Singapore to you, say Poetry." - Jee Leong Koh on Singapore Poetry

Poet Jee Leong Koh, who has kindly shared his thoughts on this blog in the past, recently announced his newest venture: the website Singapore Poetry. It addresses all things "poetic" from Singapore - poetry and other writing genres, movies, art and more. The website has an expansive nature. I particularly love the idea of the Favorite Singapore Poem.

I look forward to continuing to read! And hopefully visiting the country one day.

For more on Jee, a New York City poet originally from Singapore, visit his blog, Song of a Reformed Headhunter

Friday, November 1, 2013

Every Single Day in November: Write! Write! Write!

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.) Are you joining the challenge of writing every single day and, perhaps, finishing your novel by November 30th? Join the official website to find events near you and an online community.

Poets might try the Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge with Robert Lee Brewer. He offers daily prompts here. And Creative Non Fiction folks shouldn't miss their own daily challenge.

While I'll be passing this year (valid new baby excuse), I hope you'll let me know how you do. I welcome guest blog posts throughout the month or afterwards about your progress. Email me if you're interested: Chloemiller(at)gmail(dot)com.