Your Life Story in a Beautiful Book – Personal Biography

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Write Your Memoirs in 5 Minutes a Day

I’m giving lots of advice, mentoring and expert tips on writing in general and memoir writing in particular, in an easy-to-follow blog at By taking only five minutes each day–you gotta start somewhere!–you can kick-start your momentum, establish a relationship with your muse, and begin getting meaningful words onto the page.

Read More September 16, 2013

Helga: A Memoir of Privilege, War and Family

The glamour and beauty of Helga’s youth still radiate from her face, defying both her eighty-eight years and the events thereof. Look closely and you will see a shield of Germanic pride: the self-control over her expression has yielded very little over the years. “I have tended to be stoic about life,” she says, “believing…

Read More August 27, 2013

Benefits of the memoir-writing process

Beginners are both fascinated and daunted by the idea of having a biographer writing their memoirs. In this video, made a few years ago, I briefly explain and illustrate some of the benefits to having your memoir writen.

Read More July 22, 2013

Memoir Writing: Easy as Falling Off a Cliff

“Have you written your memoirs?” she asked me. I’m a biographer so the question leaves a big, long echo resounding in the air until I answer. It’s a test, I know. “I’ve written…parts,” I confess. A mini-memoir about my last year with my mom before she died (“My Name As A Prayer” on A…

Read More June 4, 2013

“I’m Staying Alive for This Book Signing!”

“I’m staying alive for this book signing!” Helga is in her eighties. We have been working on Helga’s memoir for about a year. It has now been through a copyeditor and a proofreader, and Helga’s daughter now is going through it one more time before it goes to our book designer. After the memoir manuscript…

Read More April 29, 2013

Paris in the Snow

Somewhere over the cold Atlantic, French words start sailing through the waters of my memory. Seventh- and eighth-grade French classes (thank you, Mrs. Watts!) and my three previous trips reward me now. “Bonjour madame!” I say to the border policewoman at the airport, feigning confidence. I manage the airport ATM, withdraw  Euros (high to the dollar…

Read More January 29, 2013

Memoir vs Biography /What is the Difference?

The Oxford English Dictionary  confirms how I view the difference, which is that a memoir is generally not considered a full historical record of a life, while an autobiography  or a biography is thoroughly researched. My Simple Explanation: A memoir is written in first person (“I”) and includes only information that the subject of the…

Read More January 9, 2013

How to write your memoirs – organize by decade

The first step in beginning to write your memoirs is to think by decade. Create an outline that allows you to organize your memories by decade. This is only one of many approaches, but it helps the beginner because most people just do not know where to begin. If you map your life roughly by…

Read More November 27, 2012

The Wake: Spirit Singing for the Dead

Last week I was asked to play harp and tone for a three-day vigil over the dead body of a friend. Dear Claire followed anthroposophy (see Rudolf Steiner), which holds that the soul hovers around the body for a while after the heart stops beating. They prescribe that the body be attended for three days…

Read More November 19, 2012

Florence Nightingale and the Divine Feminine

Working with a client’s biography this morning, I took time to look briefly at one of my client’s heroes: the Italian-born Florence Nightingale. Nightingale felt a spiritual calling when she was a teenage girl. In thousands of pages of writings she left behind, she describes a painful awareness of the suffering of others, particularly European soldiers fighting…

Read More November 6, 2012