“You’ll declare what you know, overcome what you’ve forgotten,
move away from anecdote toward meaning” (9).
Philadelphia writer Beth Kephart is a generous soul. She shares. Quite some time ago she began a free, online newsletter called “Juncture Notes.” With her focus on memoir this venue is a wealth of detailed reading suggestions in addition to her own commentary and that of other contributors centering on chosen topic.
With this new workbook, Tell the Truth. Make It Matter: a Memoir Writing Workbook, she extends to you, the reader and writer, a more intimate and self-paced road map to learning the byways to memoir writing. I was reminded of a past title I embraced, The Artist’s Way: a spiritual path to higher creativity by Julie Cameron. This, published in 1992 when I was what is known as a “working artist,” offered me a different approach than Kephart’s but an inspiration from which evolved some of my favorite art. So too, it is with Beth Kephart’s proffered “Exercises”; I am writing beyond my former self.
Within these pages you will hear her voice. It is the familiar one for readers of her titles such as, Into the Tangle of Friendship: a Memoir of Things That Matter or Ghosts In the Garden: Reflections on Endings, Beginnings, and the Unearthing of the Self. Hers continues to be a rich voice, dense with content and meaning, yet clear in its simple presentation of the complex “unearthings” of the soul.
I wish you well as you traverse this gently, sometimes steeply sloping path. Rest and breathe. Refresh yourself along the way, and above all, trust you own voice as Ms. Kephart trusts you to do just that!
Cameron, Julie. The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Perigree. 1992.
Kephart, Beth and William Sulit, illus. Tell the Truth. Make It Matter: A Memoir Writing Workbook. Kephart and Sulit, 2017.
Kephart, Beth. Ghosts In the Garden: Reflections on Endings, Beginnings, and the Unearthing of the Self. New World Library, 2005.
Kephart, Beth. Into the Tangle of Friendship: a Memoir of the Things That Matter. Houghton Mifflin and Company, 2000.