This is “Mental Health Week.” It amazes and pleases me to see that there is a week set aside in our culture where we’re invited to celebrate health of the mind. In contrast to the fifties when I grew up, nowadays we’re informed about things that previously could not be named: depression, bi-polar illness, anxiety, and PTSD among others. PTSD is a condition that only recently has been given a name and treatment plan in the diagnostic manual used by therapists and doctors. Having grown up in an atmosphere of extreme shame and silence, with only the term “eccentric” to apply to the extremeRead More →

Until my mother died, I tried to get her to claim/love me. When I was twenty, she’d made it clear that no one in Chicago where she lived knew that she had a daughter, and I was not to call her mother—thus the title of my memoir. I loved my mother despite her rejections when I visited her in Chicago over the years. I was convinced that one day she’d say, “Oh, I’ve been so wrong. I love you and I’m proud you are my daughter.”Read More →

The day in 4th grade begins as usual: the pledge of allegiance, the Lord’s Prayer, a round of spelling. Melodious music wafts into the room. Then a tall, willowy man enters, bright red hair tumbling over his forehead, a violin tucked under his chin. He dips and sways, his enchanting sounds making us stop what we are doing. His violin sings melodies from heaven. We leave our seats to gather around him and drink in the enchantment. He plays and dances and charms us like a leprechaun. He kneels, grinning, his blue eyes shining. He rips through a toe-tapping “Turkey in the Straw,” then anRead More →

  I spoke with Victoria Costello, author of A Lethal Inheritance at the National Association of Memoir Writers member teleseminar. about the legacy of mental illness. Those of us who come from families with hidden or diagnosed mental illness feel “Other,” the ghosts of our legacies chasing us in our dreams, making us shrink down in our waking life. In my memoir Don’t Call Me Mother, I talk about beautiful women who have a pattern of leaving their children behind, beautiful women who scream and rage irrationally, but who are just thought of as eccentric or different. As a child, of course this is “justRead More →

    The train bisects the blue and the green, parting wheat fields by the tracks. Mommy and I rub shoulders, sitting in the last car, watching the landscape move backward, as if erasing my childhood, all those times when she would board the train and leave me aching for her. Now, in my dream, we rub shoulders, her perfume lingering. The old longing wrenches my stomach. Click-clack, click-clack, the train’s wheels on the track, the language of my past, my future. Her face is soft. Her wine-dark eyes glance at me with promise, an endearing look that gives me all I ever wanted. TheRead More →

  “I wanted to tell the secret stories that my great-grandmother Blanche whispered to me on summer nights in a featherbed in Iowa. I was eight and she was eighty . . . ”   At the age of four, a little girl stands on a cold, windy railroad platform in Wichita, Kansas, to watch the train take her mother away. For the rest of her life, her mother will be an occasional and troubled visitor who denies her as a daughter. Linda Joy Myers’ compassionate, gripping, and soul-searching memoir tells the story of three generations of daughters who long for their absent mothers, allRead More →

  Today I’m giving away my two books for Free! Yes, through the KDP program in Amazon. I’m jazzed about doing this, and ask you to please download my books, completely for FREE! And I want to tell you all about this program that can boost your rankings, build platform, and earn you sales, fame, and fortune–ideally!    First: The Giveaway dates are August 27th  through August 29th  Just click the link and “buy” the book for FREE $0.00 on Kindle to read when you have time. No Kindle, no worries. You can get the free Kindle App for your computer, smart phone, or tablet/pad.Read More →

To write a memoir is to embark on a long journey of the imagination and of memory. My path of gathering memories, images, and stories was first through autobiographical art–painting, collage, etching, and mixed media. But I knew that words were necessary as well, and began to capture moments through poetry. From time to time, I’ll post some of the poems that eventually led me to my memoir Don’t Call Me Mother, that were part of the process for finding the story. Photographs and art work can show what words can’t. My great-grandmother Blanche was a powerful figure for me–in her eighties, she taught meRead More →

      It’s one thing to write a first memoir—the journey is daunting, what is the plot, how will it end since my life is continuing? These questions are some of the challenges as we work on our first memoir—which we call “the memoir,” unable to think of yet another book, so we don’t say “The First Memoir.” Still, the idea that there is more to tell—and what about all those chapters we took out during the edit—niggles in the back of our minds. Susan Weidener, author of two memoirs—Again in a Heartbeat, and Morning at Wellington Square—is our guest for the NAMW FreeRead More →

  Today I’m celebrating the official release of the new edition of my memoir Don’t Call Me Mother! There are few second chances in life, but in the world of artistic creation, you can rebirth a book, revisioning it as artists do when they paint. That’s what I have done with the new edition of Don’t Call Me Mother—A Daughter’s Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness. My first step in the process of re-visioning, based on all the comments, feedback and reviews from the last few years, was to ask myself: what is this book really about? What is the message of the book, the arcRead More →