The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Why I Hate Mary Karr and Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday # 25

       A couple of evenings ago I saw Mary Karr's talk on memoir. I was seated surrounded by Lynn Obermoeller, Linda O'Connell, along with Marcia and Jim Gaye.

      I'll post about her talk on Tuesday. Every thing about the night was wonderful. Karr was full of great advice on how to get published. ("Learn to write well.") She was full of confessions. (Sometimes she felt like eating Ho-Hos all day, and was Catholic "but probably not the Pope's favorite Catholic.") She was full of family tidbits. (Her mother was amazed when Karr got an advance for her memoir The Liar's Club. "You mean you get to keep that money? Even if the book doesn't sell?")

     However, as I watched her stride across the room, owning it, in her size 2 white pants and sky-high sandals, wearing her wrinkle-free face, a deep hatred started rumbling around in my heart.

     And when I heard she was 61, I declared my hatred for her--to her face. (She of course thanked me when she heard why I hated her.)

      On Tuesday I'll post more about Mary Karr... and now onto Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday (I know. It's now Saturday, but we were in a car dealership all afternoon and evening and during the day I was at work 'cause, you know, I retired and then went back to work and my knee is really bothering me and if I don't stop this whining I'm gonna have to serve some crackers and some decent cheese to you and Velveeta doesn't count.)

  • Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your book.
  • You choose the genre. A mystery? A coffeetable book full of strange dog photos? A historical piece? You decide.
  • Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Lisa Ricard Claro is the original brains behind this writing exercise. Her third romance book just came out in July (Love to Win) so right now she's booked solid, doing book signings in Europe (mostly in France) as she does double duty--she's selling her novels and constantly on the look-out for Johnny Depp. Or Juliet Binoche. Or Maurice Chavalier statues.
  • Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. 
  • Link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. You don't have to buy him a drink or anything. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is.
  • Check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.
  • And most importantly, have fun. This is supposed to be enjoyable.
Here is the photo and my lame-o blurb:

One Strange Dog

         Fo-Fo was one strange dog. He was a golden retriever and yet he was aloof. Unlike every other golden, he didn't have human contact too high on his priority list. Fo-Fo was content to spend most of his life waiting... waiting to be a missile.
        This golden boy wasn't made to do anything that took any smarts but he was designed to fly across fields after a ball, a stick, a disc—anything that could be thrown. Fo-Fo lived for racing like a missile in frequent games of fetch.
         But then Fo-Fo's family starts spotting a stranger—often seen walking in front of the house or sometimes just standing in front of their house, seemingly lost in thought.
And then one afternoon, Fo-Fo disappeared. The gate was still closed. No holes were dug under the fence... and the stranger was gone as well.

        Where did Fo-Fo go? (145 words)

        And dig in... Here is the photo for next week:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mary's Comin'

        Okay, I certainly am not on a first-name basis with Mary Karr. But I thought, 'Perhaps my few followers will read on, intrigued, wondering who Mary is.'

     But Mary Karr is coming to St. Louis this week. Thursday night she will be giving a talk at the St. Louis County Library Headquarters. The doors open at 6, but people start lining up early to ensure a spot.

      Her first two memoirs, The Liars Club and Cherry covered her childhood and her teenage years. Lit is my favorite--it covers her unraveling as an alcoholic and a mother... and her finding her way back.

        I've spent years savoring and reveling in memoirs. Make Me Into Zeus' Daughter. All Over But the Shoutin'. Stolen Lives. These are books that sit on a sacred spot on my shelves. But I also have favorite books on the art of writing.

        On Writing by Stephen King. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Now Mary Karr has come out with a book on writing memoir.

          I've written a memoir that is thinly disguised as a novel. (The manuscript is with an editor who is probably trying to figure out a way to disguise her lack of interest in it.) Writing gives me great joy. Memoir is how I untangle my life. And writing about the writing of memoir?

          That's just gravy.

          In case you can't make it, or in case you'd like a double helping of Mary Karr, here is a link to a conversation with her. (It's short. A little over 10 minutes long.)

       What is YOUR favorite memoir? Have you written memoir pieces before? Do you have any advice for those who might be just dipping their toes into memoir writing?