UPDATE: just wanted to add in here that a new review is up for Doll God. Reviewer Gautami says “A few poems also comment on the scientific reality of life, yet the metaphysical and spirituality is never far away.” I love that she noticed that as that is never far from my mind when I write a poem.
Thanks to Sherrey Meyer, who blogs here for inviting me to participate in the Work-in-Progress blog tour. Sherrey is writing a memoir based on a dysfunctional and abusive mother-daughter relationship. The twist is that, when Sherrey was 57, she discovered that her Southern matriarch mother needed to escape abuse herself.
Sherrey has completed a first draft of the memoir and is eager to begin a rewrite. Sherrey is widely published in various anthologies. She credits her love of words (and her editing knowhow) to her publisher father.
Thank you so much, Sherrey, for thinking of me and my memoir. It helps me get focused back on this intense writing project. You’re an inspiration with your dedication to the craft!
Synopsis of my book:
Secrets create a painful wound at the heart of a family. Dangerous emotions, such as anger, fear, guilt, shame and curiosity, grow from this wound.
Memory must be excavated scrap by scrap, salvaged, and pieced together to create a new story of origins and identity. With the building of the story, the wound begins to heal, and the resulting emotions dissipate.
Thus it is with my family. My book is the story of an old family secret that infects the present and creates a dysfunctional father-daughter relationship–and the quest for answers that allows the father and daughter to learn and forgive.
Status of my book:
Although I wasn’t ready to finish my first draft, I had to pull something together for the final step to completing a certificate in Creative Nonfiction Writing at Stanford University. This step is a tutorial where I am working under the guidance of Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land and A Thousand Lives. She has now read my manuscript and given me revision suggestions, which I am working with. Things have been so hectic with the publication of Doll God and my father’s illness (not to mention that traffic blockage I wrote about last week!) that I don’t get much time to write.
Here are brief excerpts from my first three chapters of Scrap:
Dad popped his gray-streaked head into my open doorway on his way to the kitchen. Not much bigger than I, he seemed to fill the space. “Get dressed for ballet class!” His voice was a brief bark.
Chapter One: Frank Talk
The drive south from our home in Phoenix exposed the flat desolation of the region. The only sights were the occasional saguaro and the roadside ostrich farm where travelers can stop and feed the animals. Since ostriches have a reputation for being downright mean, we had never stopped there on trips to my parents’ winter condo in Green Valley, twenty-five miles past Tucson. I’d brought up the idea once. My husband of over three decades said, “Sure, I want to get snapped at by a big bird and then by your father. I don’t think so.”
Chapter Two: Nuclear Fallout
2008: the year before
“Doesn’t look like much,” Mom said, as we pulled into the parking lot of the Titan Missile Museum.
The main building was low to the ground. A few small buildings, which looked like garages or tool sheds, and large equipment were scattered throughout the fenced property.
If I hadn’t known where we were, I would have thought it looked like a work site with a few trucks and what seemed to be oil tanks, not a nuclear missile site.
The work-in-progress blog tour rules:
- Link back to the post of the person who nominated you.
- Write a little about and give the first sentence of the first three chapters of your current work-in-progress. Sherrey gave more than the first sentences, and I like that idea, too.
- Nominate some other writers to do the same.
Tag. You’re it!
I was thrilled that these writers have agreed to take part in this work-in-progress blog tour. Please stop by their sites and get to know them and their work.
RENEE at Unpacked Writer teaches college writing. She has published creative nonfiction and won awards for her writing and is writing a book about her adventures as a young special education teacher in a small and remote Alaskan village. Renee describes herself this way:
My interests might find me behind a camera, an acetylene torch, spending a day with a legislator, at the farmers market, or with my nose in a guidebook mapping an adventure. Usually, I’m responding to thoughtful student writings and preparing ways to get students to think about writing.
Most days find this mid-life mother of teenagers, behind the wheel of the mommy-taxi, revising writings, volunteering in the community, figuring out how to prepare a healthy meal everyone can or will eat, or shooing our urban chickens from our kitchen door.
I am a mother, writer, traveler, wife, thyroid cancer survivor and writing instructor.
During the work week, MARIE is a public health data analyst. After hours, she is a writer, compiling a nice tall stack of first drafts that she rather dreads having to sort through.
Marie started writing when she was about 9 years old, but she was never very confident (if at all) about her writing talent, and it was easy for her to “give up” periodically, in spite of the support she got from mentors and fellow writers. Once she got a “real” job (cue public health), it was hard to argue with anyone that she should or could expect to do better by writing. She’s made a lot of detours on her path to happiness, but finally she’s woken up to the fact that she’d rather be writing than anything else (ideally, in her pjs with a pot of hot tea for fuel).
Through her blog, www.1writeway.com, Marie has discovered a truly wonderful community in blogging, one that has been so supportive that she no longer hesitates to say, “I am a writer.”
A born and bred Brit, SHERRI lived in California for 17 years before returning to the UK with her three children in 2003. She began her writing career a few years ago while caring for her Aspie daughter. Since then, she has been published in magazines, anthologies and company websites and launched her blog, A View From My Summerhouse. Today, she lives with her husband, daughter and two cats in the West Country of England where she keeps out of trouble writing her book (a memoir), walking, gardening and taking endless photographs. Her muse, a garden robin, visits regularly.
You can reach Sherri at these online locations:
Blog link: http://sherrimatthewsblog.com/about/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/aviewfrommysummerhouse
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/103859680232786469097/posts
Renee, Marie, and Sheri, thank you so much for agreeing to take part in this WIP blog tour. I look forward to reading your posts in the future.
How about you? Do you have a work in progress?
31 responses to “Read All About It Here: The Work-in-Progress Blog Tour Stop”
This really looks like fun, Luanne, and thank you for the invitation! I love the excerpts from your memoir. Can’t wait to read the whole thing 🙂
I can’t wait to read your post, Marie! Thank you so re the excerpt. I can’t wait until my memoir is done! It seems as if I’ve been working on it my whole life!
I guess you could say with a memoir, you have been working on it your whole life 🙂
Haha, SO true!
I will keep this for future reference – thanks!!!
Thanks, Julie! I hope your sorting is going well!!!
Luanne! Thank you! This is a huge step in your process! Congrats! Renee
Sent from my iPhone
Thanks for participating in this, Renee, and all your help with the book. I’ve been ripping and tearing and nibbling on the book . . . .
What a neat idea! I like the way your sentences tell just enough of the story to make the reader hunger for more. Nominating other writers to do the same thing spreads that hunger for “more of the story” throughout the blogosphere. I can’t wait to read your memoir — and the responses from writers you nominated.
Do I have a work in progress? Always.
I love your writing, as you know, WJ. It’s so “carefully wrought” and precise and evocative and brilliant. Re my memoir, I can’t wait to read it as a completed project either! hah
Wow, Luanne, three of my favorite people in one post…you, Marie and Sherri. 🙂 I’ll have to check out Renee’s blog.
I loved reading your excerpts from your memoir…now hurry up and finish, I want to read it! Just kidding, but I do want to read it.
Yes, I have a couple WIPs, but nothing anywhere near completion.
You’re so sweet, Jill!!! I wouldn’t know Sherri, for sure, without you!
Yes, I want to finish it. I can’t wait to be done!!!
So glad you are in the middle of writing projects. Just keep keeping on and eventually they will be done, as you know!!
This is fantastic, Luanne!!!
Thanks, Windy! I’m working on it!!! Hope your writing is going super well!
I love this Luanne and enjoyed reading the passages again. xo
Thanks so much for all your help so far with the book. More to come in the future, so be forewarned haha!
I love your introduction to your memoir Luanne and can’t wait to read it! But oh how I understand that frustration in finding the time to write. And thank you so much for including me in such amazing company, goodness, I don’t feel worthy. I know lovely Marie’s blog through our wonderful friend Jill and I look forward to heading over to read more of Renee and also Sherrey 🙂 xoxo
I’m thrilled you participated, Sherri, and I so can’t WAIT to read your memoir! In the meantime, I’ll read your teaser post when you put it up! The frustration has been really annoying me lately. I’m exhausted, but I am going to go look at the ole manuscript . . . right now.
Ahh…thanks so much Luanne, but I hope I don’t disappoint! And yes, that exhaustion…but you are doing so great and you continue to inspire me in so many ways to keep going with my memoir despite the endless frustrations. I really hope you get some relax this weekend… catch up soon! xoxo
I like that you gave us some inspiration from good review of your book, along with motivating us to get busy on any works in progress, Luanne. I also liked the ‘tid bits’ or pieces of your puzzle where you find out more about your parents, especially a grumpy Dad with a short fuse. Bridging the gap like you have and both of you coming to peaceful communication is how I can see this ending. I read lots of love in between the lines, Luanne. You both needed to come to respect your differences, while understanding what the secret had done to create the rifts. I may be way off base, but I hope by now you ‘know’ how I like to figure things out! Big smiles and I am so proud to know you, Luanne!
Robin, I am enjoying reading the reviews so much because I like to see the different things different people pick out to comment upon. To see what resonates with different people. So interesting! Thank you so much, Robin. I really appreciate your friendship. And now maybe some prayers, too, if you’re so inclined, for my father is back in the hospital as of today. We’re waiting to hear the results of some medical tests.
Luanne, I eagerly await your memoir! What a fun idea!
Thanks, Lindsey. I feel the same way about yours!!! Feel free to consider yourself tagged and do a post like this. I would LOVE to read it!!!
Thanks Luanne! I will accept the challenge!
Good luck, Luanne with your memoir. I like your crisp dialogue.
You might like to know that I tried to order Doll God on Amazon.ca but didn’t find it there. ???
Thanks so much about the dialogue, Carol! Did you try this link for Doll God? http://www.amazon.com/Doll-God-Luanne-Castle/dp/0692334882/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421379316&sr=8-1&keywords=castle+doll+god or are you unable to order from the U.S. version? It is on Amazon UK, too. Why wouldn’t it be on the Canadian Amazon? If you can’t order through the US or the UK, I will ask my publisher about Canada. Let me know!
Luanne, that would be great. Do you have a Pay Pal account?
Carol, I just sent a request from Paypal to your email that I have. Let me know if you do or don’t get it or if I should use another email. And thank you so much–I really hope you enjoy it!!
It went through PayPal and I’m really looking forward to reading your book, The Doll God. 🙂
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