Old Friend from Far Away

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by Roxannah
Last updated 5 years ago

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Old Friend from Far Away

Our Reading on Writing

Title: Old Friend from Far Away

Writing Prompt 2: OutsideWhat about a time you slept outside? Tell me about it. Go. Ten minutes.

SummaryNatalie Goldberg's book, Old Friend from Far Away, serves as an invaluable guide for writers wanting to enter the world of memoir writing. Rather than a "how to," Goldberg offers promt after prompt to immediately engage writers in the act of memoir writing. Her tone and voice sound like a familiar friend rather than a harsh critic. Goldberg's book, much like Writing Down the Bones, offers novice and expert writers alike a way to capture the meaningful and heartbreaking memories that make up our life.

Writing Prompt 1: Tell MeTell me everything you know about Jell-O. Go. Ten Minutes. Let it rip.

What is Memoir?

"Don't worry about being a good writer. Just show up and write."

According to Goldberg, "memoir is the study of memory, structured on the meandering way we remember" (xx). For this reason, thinking about cheerios leads us back to when we were five and the babysitter who forced us to drink all the milk at the bottom of the cereal bowl. Unlike other genres, there is no stiff pattern that a memoir has to follow. Instead of starting with where you were born and plodding through adolescence, memoirs push pause on the moments when we realized goodbye means never seeing a loved one again or love has many different languages. Many people, Goldberg acknowledges, want to write a memoir not just to capture a moment but to explore the emotions underneath.

Author: Natalie Goldberg

Words for the Journey ...

"Writing Gives you this second chance."

"What you fear, if you turn to it, will give your writing teeth."

Glog created by: Roxannah Hunter for Teacher as Writer 2015


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