One of the unexpected…and loveliest…perks of my writing career has been the opportunity to share what I’ve learned through the years speaking to audiences in libraries, women’s groups, and university settings. These are the topics I have prepared for the coming year.
Writing The Stories of Your Life
Studies show that writing slows you down, clarifies emotions, dispels demons…and heals. The process can take you from self-expression to self-discovery. This talk is meant to encourage the audience to uncover the wonderful stories hidden within their life experience.
Introduction to Feature Writing
Looking over the pieces I’ve done as a feature writer, I am at once humbled and saddened. Humbled by the lovely array of opportunities, both local and national, available to a young Long Island writer for a good 25 years beginning in the 80’s… and saddened because so many of these venues are no longer welcoming. In those days you were paid a respectable (for a writer) fee and you were encouraged to submit suggestions for articles. Being a woman, a mother, a neighbor, a friend, a citizen, a teacher…supplied me with endless ideas. Each inquiry was respectfully considered, and a surprising number were green lighted. Print was king. Being a big fish in a little pond exceeded my expectations. And while life has improved in oh so many ways since then…not so much for a “seasoned” (read someone who remembers black and white TV) freelance feature writer.
Putting the Black
The talk deals with the kind of information about the writing process (where do you get ideas, the differences in writing fiction and non-fiction, the particular skills necessary for writing for kids, the role of inspiration, how you market your work, the role of tenacity over talent, the harsh world of publishing today, etc.) that those in saner professions might not be familiar with. Using personal anecdotes and humor (“Comedy is tragedy plus time.” Carol Burnett), I explain what term “freelance” really means.
Transitioning into the Sweetest Years
This 45 minute presentation includes my top ten reasons for believing that we indeed do have a shot at making a tired old cliché come true… maybe the best really is yet to come. I read from my columns that garnered the warmest response through the years. And I include plenty of quotes, scientific evidence and optimistic statistics to bolster my argument!
Transitioning into the Sweetest Years of Life
For almost 30 years I’ve been chronicling my life on a monthly back page of Long Island publications beginning in the 80’s in the Women’s Record, then continuing on in Distinction magazine until it ceased publication a few years ago. Recently when I was thinking about putting these articles together in a collection, I had the opportunity, for the first time, to look back on the last three decades of my life. What I found, which surprised me and warmed my heart, was that the columns of the last few years contained much less angst, fewer struggles (except with technology) and considerably more appreciation, wisdom and acceptance than the ones written in my 30’s and 40’s and 50’s.
This good news encouraged me to put together a talk entitled Transitioning into the Sweetest Years of Life which was enthusiastically received by Women in Transition at their annual meeting a few months ago. This 45 minute presentation includes my top ten reasons for believing that we indeed do have a shot at making a tired old cliché come true… maybe the best really is yet to come. I read from a
few of the columns that garnered the warmest response through the years.
And I include plenty of quotes, scientific evidence and optimistic statistics to bolster my argument.