Holiday Memories

"Christmas is not an external event at all, but a piece of one's home that one carries in one's heart."

--Freya Stark

Tell us a specific story that reflects the essence of your holiday experience as a child--regardless of your religion or background. Avoid sentimentality or stories that gloss over your real felt experience. Use specific detail instead of platitudes.

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The Two Wolves That Live Inside of Me

 “A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, ‘I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.’ “The grandson asked him, ‘Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?’ “The grandfather answered: ‘The one I feed.’” ~ Native American Story

Tell me about the wolf you feed.

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Shelby Foote on writing

"A man must write for himself, and then he must accept the penalties--including the possibility of damnation. You've got to put it all on the line; anything less than all is hedging and your work is weakened at the wellspring, hopelessly flawed, shot through with rot. Not to mention the sapping of vitality; that's what hurts."

--Shelby Foote, Civil War historian

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Doña Bumgarner: A Conversation with My Frigidaire

Doña Bumgarner writes in the moments in between raising a toddler, buying groceries to feed a hungry teenager, and cooking (apparently) delicious meals for her family. After a few years in a practice class, she found the courage to commit to Laura's Thursday Evening Feedback Class this fall. This piece is in response to one of Laura's all-time favorite prompts: "What my refrigerator would say about me."

A Conversation With My Frigidaire

Oh, hello you. You went to the store? You have more food? Did you not think to check in here first? Where, exactly, do you expect to put that gallon of milk? I'm full.

Oh, well. You might want to check the back. There's probably some expired stuff. There are a couple of Tupperware ... [Continue Reading]

Marketing Your Business As a Self-Employed Entrepreneur, Part III

  Part III: The Nuts and Bolts of Creating Marketing Materials

This is the third in a four-part series on how to market your business as a self-employed entrepreneur. The first article, "Selling is Not a Dirty Word," can be accessed here. The second, "Marketing Basics" can be accessed here.

• Branding is essential. People ... [Continue Reading]

Harvesting the Unexpected

“We hope for a linear method or writing. Do A, B, C, and voilá—your memoir is before you, sprung like a cake from a pan. But look at your life: A often doesn’t lead to B or C. And that’s what makes it compelling—how things worked out in the wrong places or were a disaster when they were supposed to bring happiness. Even if you managed to narrow your life to one thin line: born, went to school, worked a job from nine to five, saved your money, ate a single lamb chop and baked potato on Saturday night, there were still dreams and nightmares, the gaping hole of death at the end, the sudden unmistakable crush on the woman with the pale eyes who worked the register at the employee cafeteria.” --Natalie Goldberg, [Continue Reading]