David Naseby Artshow Invitation-Wyong

Just wanted to let everyone  know David and I are  both  looking forward to his first art show on the Central Coast. We’d  love to see you at the launch if  you can make it .

7.00pm Thursday November 7, 2013

11 Alison Road, Wyong

David Naseby Exhibition Card

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I need your feedback

I have a decision to make about whether to change the venue of my one-day memoir writing workshops.  The workshops  I ran earlier in the year were well attended and I received some great feedback from  the participants. However I had to cancel  the last  couple of  workshops due to low bookings. While,  some writers  who usually attend had clashes with other arrangements,  I began to wonder whether  the travel hike to Ourimbah and back to Sydney is maybe a bit much on a monthly basis.

One the possibilities is to run the workshops in Sydney instead. I am getting  some feedback about a couple of venue options.  What I really need to know  is would you be more likely to attend a one-day workshop  if it was held in Sydney as opposed to  Ourimbah?   The more feedback you  give me,  the easier it would be for me to make a decision.

Thanks for your help

Eileen

 

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Just Sit Down & Write

Skeletons & Dirty Linen
Just Sit Down & Write
Memoir Writing Workshop

 

TAKING BOOKINGS NOW

Ask any writer you know if they have a fear of actually sitting down and putting words on the page. Most will confess to have a long list of often ‘valid’ ways to avoid the challenge of their writing practice.

There are some exceptions. Popular writer James Patterson signed a book deal in 2009 to write 17 books by the end of 2012.  That’s a book every three months.  In the last 12 months he earned US$91 million.  If he’s scared he doesn’t let it stop him from writing.

The rest of us are mostly cowards who avoid the hard stuff  with similar excuses we use to avoid physical exercise.  It’s too cold, I’m tired, and I’m too old to start, what’s the point?;  any reason to postpone taking action. Whatever way you look at it, it’s not the actual practice that causes procrastination but the fear of failure. Do I have the tenacity, the imagination, the skills I need to write?;  why would anyone want to read my story?;  I’ve got too many pressures;  I need to do the laundry.

Memoir writing has its special scary devil called – The Truth.  Avoiding the truth, whether it’s being afraid of what others will think or upsetting our own family, or, worst of all, having to dig into those dark places where our own truth lies buried is especially tough for memoir writers.

This workshop we will talk about these fears.  I’ll show you some of the psychological skills that I use to push past the scary stuff, as well a couple of practical devices that really work for me and other writers I know.

Address:  18 Kauri Court, Ourimbah
Time:        10:00am to 4:00pm
Contact:  Eileen Naseby
0416 181 645 or en@eileennaseby.com
Cost:         $120 per workshop, includes lunch

 

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Spring Memoir Writing Workshops – Book Now!

Skeletons & Dirty Linen

Spring Memoir Writing Workshops

2 skeletons

 TAKING BOOKINGS NOW

 

 CREATING A SCENE
Sunday 8th September 2013

 JUST SIT DOWN & WRITE!
Sunday 13th October 2013

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR WORK
Sunday 10th November 2013


CREATING A SCENE
Scenes are where the real business of writing takes place. Scenes are a gathering together of set-ups and payoffs, of ideas and perspectives, of hopes and disappointments, of plot and story.

A scene is to story structure what a heartbeat is to the body, the pulse that sets the reader alive. You create this rhythm by what you bring to each scene, by making use of the human senses to describe the action and the setting from the point of view of your character.

 As Chuck Palahniuk says:

“Your story will always be stronger if you just show the physical actions and details of your characters and allow your reader to do the thinking and knowing.  And loving and hating.”

 This workshop offers you the opportunity to find how to breathe new life into your scenes.

JUST SIT DOWN & WRITE!
Ask any writer you know if they have a fear of actually sitting down and putting words on the page. Most will confess to have a long list of often ‘valid’ ways to avoid the challenge of their writing practice.

There are some exceptions. Popular writer James Patterson signed a book deal in 2009 to write 17 books by the end of 2012.   That’s a book every three months.  In the last 12 months he earned US$91 million.  If he’s scared it he doesn’t let it stop him writing.

The rest of us are mostly cowards who avoid the hard stuff   with similar excuses we use to avoid physical exercise.  It’s too cold, I’m tired, and I’m too old to start, what’s the point?;  any reason to postpone taking action. Whatever way you look at it, it’s not the actual practice that causes procrastination, but the fear of failure. Do I have the tenacity, the imagination, the skills I need to write?:  why would anyone want to read my story?; I’ve got too many pressures;  I need to do the laundry.

Memoir writing has its special scary devil called – The Truth.  Avoiding the truth, whether it’s being afraid of what others will think or upsetting our own family, or, worst of all, having to dig into those dark places where our own truth lies buried is especially tough for memoir writers.

This workshop we will talk about these fears.  I’ll show you some of the psychological skills that I use to push past the scary stuff, as well a couple of practical devices that really work for me and other writers I know.

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR WORK
Participants in this workshop will have the opportunity to discuss their work and the specific problems they are face with at this point of the their memoir project.  Limited places. More details to come.

 

Address: 18 Kauri Court, Ourimbah
Time:
10:00am to 4:00pm
Contact:
Eileen Naseby
0416 181 645 or en@eileennaseby.com
Cost: $120 per workshop, includes lunch


Find out more…

Ursula: A Voyage of Love and Drama by Eileen Naseby

Skeletons & Dirty Linen Blog

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Searching for Self

 

David Eye

 There’s more to you than meets the eye      

Skeletons & Dirty Linen | Advanced One-Day Memoir Writing Workshop

How much do we really know about ourselves? There’s the Open Self we let others see, and the Private Self, the parts we hide. There are also two more selves we rarely encounter. The Blind Self, which is what others see in us that we cannot see, and the most enigmatic of all the Undiscovered or Unknown Self.

This workshop will demonstrate how to better understand the relationships at play in your memoir, and how to reveal these, and all those ‘unknown’ factors, to your readers.

Thank you so much for a wonderful day on Sunday it was truly enjoyable, motivating and helpful – like minded interesting people with fascinating stories to tell, ideas and solutions related directly to our struggles with the pen, inspiration – led from the top guiding us to the next level. Not to mention fabulous food and a great kitchen hand!!  

Carolynn King, workshop participant

 DATE                        Sunday July 14

TIME                         10.00am – 4.00pm

PLACE                     18 Kauri Court, Ourimbah?

COST                        $120.00  including lunch

 Bookings & Info | Contact Eileen

0416 181 645 or en@eileennaseby.com

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Skeletons & Dirty Linen Reading List

Thanks to everyone who jumped in and fired off your favourite memoirs to recommend to my workshop students. If anyone else has any others that spring to mind let me know.

Here are the first 50…

  Author Title
1 Maya Angelou Even the Start Look Lonesome
2 Maya Angelou Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now
3 Jean Bauby The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
4 Anthony Burgess Confessions of Anthony Burgess
5 Austen Burroughs Running with Scissors
6 Mary Carr The Liars Club
7 Jung Chan Wild Swans
8 Laura Shaine Cunningham Sleeping Arrangements
10 Edmund de Waal The Hare with the Amber Eyes
10 Simone de Beauvoir Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter
11 Joan Didion The Year of Magical Thinking
12 Annie Dillard Pilgrim at Tinkers Creek
13 Annie Dillard A Writer’s Life
14 Patrick Leigh Fermor Time of Gifts
15 Janet Frame An Angel at My Table
16 Anne Frank Diary of a Young Girl
17 Raymond Gaita Romulus, My Father
18 Elizabeth Gilbert Eat Pray Love
19 Rita Golden Gelman Tales of a Female Nomad
20 Vivian Gornick Fierce Attachments
21 Robert Gray The Land I Came Through Last
22 William Horwood The Boy with No Shoes
23 Clive James Unreliable Memoirs
24 Frank McCourt Angela’s Ashes
25 Norman Lewis I Came, I Saw
26 Franz Lidz Unstrung Heroes
27 Barry Lopez About this Life
28 James McBride The Colour of Water
29 Patti Miller The Mind of a Thief
30 Henry Miller The Colossus of Marrousi
31 Jessica Mitford Daughters and Rebels
32 Rick Moody The Black Veil
33 Sally Morgan My Place
34 Vladimir Nabakov Speak Memory
35 Michael Oondaatje Running in the Family
36 Amos Oz A Tale of Love and Darkness
37 Ruth Park A Fence Around the Cuckoo
38 Ruth Park Fishing in the Styx
39 Paul Rusesabagina An Ordinary Man
40 Susan Swingler The House of Fiction
41 Desmond Tutu No Future Without Forgiveness
41 Peter Ustinov Dear Me
43 Jeanne Winterson My Place
44 Tobias Wolff This Boy’s Life
45 Lidia Yuknavitch The Chronology of Water
46 Lech Walesa A Way of Hope
47 Clifton Pugh Patterns of a Lifetime
48 George Jackson Soledad Brother
49 Les Murray A Life in Progress
50 John Elder Robinson Look Me in the Eye
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Starting June 24 & June 26 – Central Memoir Writing Workshops- Day & Evening Classes

Kick Start Your Memoir - Skeletons & Dirty Linen

Week 1. Learning to let go

Using examples and exercises, you will discover how to let go of your natural inhibitions so you can free yourself to write creatively.

Week 2. Marinate your head with research

Information gathering can be both exciting and rewarding, and the more you discover, the richer your story will be.  You will find how to maximise your research skills using specific techniques and resources.

Week 3.  Use detail to tell it how it really was

Every scene should say ‘it happened like this’ instead  ‘this is what happened.’ At any given moment our lives are determined by a myriad influences. ‘Am I feeling hot; are my feet aching; am I in a hurry; what am I hoping for; or what have I just lost?’

Week 4. Looking from the outside

The structure of any memoir writing project revolves around pivotal turning points linking the present to its past and future. Discover how to find the beginning, middle and end of your chapters as well as your story.

Daytime Workshops

Wednesday June 26, July 3, 10 & 17

10.00- 12.00am

Evening Workshops

June 24, July 1, 8  & 15

6.30pm-8.30pm

4 Workshops Only $140.00

  For bookings and information contact Eileen on 0416 181 645 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Six Tough Rules For Memoir Writing

 The First Rule of Memoir Writing
Your memoir is not about you!

I’m not usually bossy. In fact I tell my workshop participants that rules are an anathema because they can be very inhibiting.  A rule is quite different to a discipline. For instance  I know that I get some of my best writing done if I get up at 5.00am because my brain is always more alert at that time. So my  personal rule is to try and discipline myself to always get up early.  This ‘rule’ works for me but it won’t necessarily work for you because you might write your best stuff at the midnight.. The most important rule is to focus on what really works for you.

Having said I hate rules I’m now about to break my own rule by setting this list for you.

My Six Most Important Rules for Writing Memoir

 Rule 1.
Your memoir is not about you

Never play for sympathy. Readers don’t care about you personally. They’re only interested in story, and universal themes such as abandonment or betrayal. What they really want to find out is how you dealt with whatever it was that was dished up to you.

Rule 2.
Tell the truth

Don’t make stuff up after the event to make yourself look good. The Germans call it Treppenwitz – ‘staircase wit’. Come clean about your failures and weaknesses. It will be much more interesting than trying to show your readers how clever you might have been at the time.

Joan Didion said in Slouching Toward Bethlehem, “The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.”

Rule 3.
It’s not your job to judge

Relationships are very complex. There are very few all bad or all good characters, even in your family. Saints have their flaws, and devils their soft spots.  Let your reader decide whether to love or hate the people you are writing about. Your job is to describe them as honestly as you can with all their complexities.

Rule 4.
Your memoir is not your psychotherapist

If you’re really serious about being published don’t treat your writing as a treatment for your emotional wounds. Some people won’t agree, but believe me, if this is your ultimate goal you’ll lose your perspective. Make sure you write from a distance, which is probably the best therapy anyway.

Annie Dillard said in her book A Writing Life  “This is not a meditation… but a despatch from the desk.”

Rule 5.
You don’t have to start at the beginning

Even experienced writers get bogged down when they try to write chronologically. Start with a scene that really excites you. Then you can work forward and backwards from this point.

Rule 6.
Do mountains of research 

Unless you’re a writing genius you should leave no stone unturned. The more you know before you start putting your story down, the better your writing will be.

American writer, David McCullough says, “Marinate your head.”

 

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Central Coast Beginners’ Memoir Writing Workshop

 Want To Write Your Life Story?

 Skeletons & Dirty Linen

Beginners’ Workshop – Ourimbah

This workshop will introduce you to the art of letting go of your writing inhibitions, research techniques, and structure. At the end of the workshop you will have an idea of where to begin your memoir, and how to plan your structure. You will also take away a short piece of writing inspired by your own creativity.

“The timing was perfect. The stories that have been
incubating in my head for so long are finally hatching”
-
Jack, workshop participant

date: Wednesday June 12
time: 10.00am to 12.30pm
place: 18 Kauri Court, Ourimbah
cost: $35.00
bookings & info: Contact Eileen – 0416 181 645 or en@eileennaseby.com

 

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Lightning bolts & Karl Marx. Stop waiting for inspiration.

There was a time when I didn’t need to look for inspiration. In those days I thought it came out of the sky. I just churned out my writing. Back then my poems and stories brought me heaps of praise. I won competitions. I was regularly published in the Sunday papers. At one stage I had to decide between becoming an author or a tightrope walker. I even wrote my poems as I practised my circus routines. I didn’t actually have access to a tightrope so I had to make do with a rickety fence. Inevitably a nasty fall ended my circus career before it even started. That was when I was eight.

As I grew up, the praise eventually stopped, and with it the ‘inspiration’. I found another career. I married, had children. Boxes full of scribblings attest to my persistence, but inevitably the flow slowed to a trickle. Then in my early fifties I swallowed my pride and went looking for stimulus in a creative writing course. The most important thing I discovered was I was not on my own. Virtually everyone in my class had suffered a similar experience. The second and most important lesson was I must never sit around waiting for inspiration to arrive like a bolt out of the blue. My gut feeling should have already warned me lightning never strikes twice in the same place.

What I did discover was I had to do the hard yards first. I had to keep putting pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard no matter what. I had to accept that much of what I would write would be rubbish, but never to allow my humiliation to force me away from my desk. Eventually I found if I worked hard enough, in the end, inspiration did inevitably arrive. To my old self this would have seemed like a lightning bolt, but now I know better than that.

Maria Popova has just published a Daily Ritual: A Guided Tour of Writers’ and Artists’ Creative Habits on her Brainpickings website. Apparently Mark Twain would ‘go to the study in the morning after a hearty breakfast and stay there until dinner at about 5.00.’ He is said to have always skipped lunch. Now I find the thought of that quite scary.

However if you’re interested in productivity, and really want to scare yourself, then you should read Guardian writer, Oliver Burkman’s, article on How To Be Productive and Creative, The Karl Marx Way.

Creativity tips from Karl Marx

You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. - Jack London

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About Eileen Naseby

eileennaseby

In 2006 Murdoch Books published ‘Ursula- A Voyage of Love and Danger’, my mother’s memoir. I am now in the process of completing a work of fiction.

Email me at: en(at)eileennaseby(dot)com

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