August 26, 2011

Life Histories and Colorado Peaches

I'm in a very small town in the northwest corner of Colorado right now, conducting a life history interview for an 87-year old man. The interview is interesting so far, as always, and I am enjoying being in the high desert after a long absence from this part of the country. On the 88 mile drive from Grand Junction to Rangely, I saw wild horses, deer, and cattle grazing on the side of a precarious cliff. There is a quietness here that has a buzzing sound to it. I couldn't help stopping at a peach stand and I am now living off of Palisades Peaches (which is apparently the place to get peaches around here.)

It has been some time since I have traveled for work, and I'm surprised how much I am enjoying it. Lately, instead of traveling myself, I have been training others in the art of "Life History Facilitation" and certifying them through Memoirs Ink. The plan is to create my own army, because there is only one me and there is a lot of work to be done in the world. The demand for recorded life histories is growing, and I love training people. What better job could one have than to be paid to listen to interesting stories, learn new things and sometimes travel to interesting places.

Here are just a few of the things I learned about today:

The Road to Berma
The Flying Tigers
Mount Everest
The Forbidden City in Tibet
Riding an Elephant

August 18, 2011

2 Memoir Genres That Will Change My Life This Fall

I'm a memoirist. It even says so on my cards. But for some reason I have largely ignored the sub-genre stratification of memoirs. A memoir was a memoir. But now I see my error. There are war memoirs, there are midwifery memoirs, there are political memoirs, and so much more.

Let me tell you about two genres of memoir that are currently on my radar and why. They are: food memoirs, and dating memoirs. Culinary memoirs are on my radar because I love food and because Memoirs Ink just started a food memoir blog called Heart of the Platter. Starting this blog has changed my culinary life and brought me and others around me much joy. (I'd like to invite readers to think about food stories, too and submit them if they have them. They are fun and easy to write.) The latter genre, dating memoirs, came onto my radar when Tamara Duricka Johnson showed up in The Writer's Mind Class this February.

Tamara was in the editing phase of her dating memoir, 31 Dates in 31 Days, which is forthcoming this October 2011 from Seal Press. I got to hear her story and read some of the chapters. It was fun to see how her dating experiment changed and stretched her, and ultimately brought her true love (but you'll have to read it to find out how). I realized that dating memoirs are a legitimate genre. And so in honor of Tamara (who is now a dear friend), and her forthcoming book, I have decided to do her 31 date challenge this fall. Lucky for Tamara, and some good men out there, I am currently single, rooted in self-love and open to any and all learnings. Seems like the perfect time to do it.


However, I am not quite crazy enough to attempt 31 dates in 31 days, so I will be doing the 30 dates in 60 days (September and October), and the 31st date will be a second date of my choice sometime around the end of October.

Just to satisfy the highly voyeuristic, I might blog about it here every other week or so and let you know how it is going. And I'll be doing a guest post on Tamara's 31 Dates blog sometime in October.

So fun! May the force be with me.

Me at my last Art, Music, and Spoken Word Salon. (Before I spilled tea and honey on my shirt.)
P.S. If you are in Los Angeles and want to set me up with someone handsome and healthy (nerdy welcome too), or be part of my date quest yourself then hit me up through the blog. In general, I'm only saying yes to people who I know through someone, but hey, there's no harm in trying. That is a lot of dates to fill.