Thursday 23 November at 7.45pm (SA time) I'll be chatting to the iconic, and soon to retire (as in next week), Peter Goers. What an amazing radio host. We first met years ago when my memoir about accompanying my mum with dementia was published. Delighted that I'll get to say goodbye when we chat later this week about Gladys and Stripey -- my first children's book.
It's hard not to laugh when chatting with Peter Goers, even when the topic is tough. His dry quick wit is really something. This photo was taken in Adelaide at an Alzheimer's conference a few years ago.
I happened to discover this wonderful book, published in 2015, in the it's-yours-for-free box at the local library. Just proves that one library's trash is another person's treasure.
Here's one of my favourite quotes. 'In fact, every memoirist I know seems doomed to explore the past in an often-agonized death march down the page.'
Hope you get a chance to at least read the Preface. It's a classic.
Hunkering down at home due to COVID-19 (coronavirus)? Now might be the perfect time to start that story you've always wanted to tell. Michele Gierck, a specialist memoir writer and professional biographer can work with you, via Skype or phone, to write, or help you write, your story. For those of you who are not sure where to begin, YOU MIGHT ONLY NEED A COUPLE OF SESSIONS WITH MICHELE TO KICK-START YOUR CREATIVITY.
If you'd like to discuss your writing project with Michele, please get in touch with her via the contact page on her website.
Although based in Australia, Michele has been working with people in the USA and Europe for a number of years.
You can check out her author profile at, Amazon or on her website.
Recent praise for Michele's writing, or help writing, memoirs: 'Michele genuinely loves what she does. This is evident not only by the finished product but the way she goes above and beyond throughout the process of writing a book. I highly recommend Michele.' (Tracey Hughes - Biography/Family History)
"I decided to put pen to paper and write my migrant journey. I am indebted to Michele Gierck for her guidance, incredible insight and structural ability so that my story flowed, resulting in the completion of a magnificent outcome, both as a literary achievement and quality of finished book. I can confidently recommend Michele as a true professional.' Sam Tarascio, Founder and Executive Chairman of Salta Properties, one of Australia's Top 50 privately-owned companies.
Image copyright Michele Gierck (Michele speaking at a literary event)
I'm just about to send the first few chapters of my latest non-fiction book to my agent who loved the earlier draft. All I need is a title. If you can think of one, I'd sure appreciate hearing from you.
Just drop a line via the contact page of my website: www.michelegierck.com.au
About the manuscript
It's a post-injury come-back tale in which the bush, the ocean, a bloke (a fellow) and travel all play their part.
Here's the pitch.
When Michele, a broken down sojourner, meets Mac, a dedicated river scientist, she is drawn into his orbit, the gravity of which propels her onto an uncharted trajectory. And yes folks, it's a true story!
If you'd like to know more about this book, including the title that we choose or publication date, just sign up to the newsletter on my website.
Image and text copyright Michele Gierck
It's great getting reader responses to Fraying. So many people whose parents have had dementia have written to me, and I find their stories so moving.
Here's a few lines received this week.
'I purchased a copy of Fraying and I simply couldn't put it down. It was like I was reading my own life experiences with my mother... Thank you so much for writing this story for me too. It will remain a most treasured book on my bookshelf and shared with others.'
All I can say is thank you, thank you to readers.
The more we share our stories, the richer the community. Stories, after all, are our treasures.
So you want to write your story.Wondering where to begin?
Here’s three questions to get you going. Take time to consider them.
1) If you were to choose six parts of your life to write about -- they could be events, experiences, life stages, transitions or times when you've learnt something significant – what would those six things be?
2) Why do you now feel the urge to write? Is it because you promised yourself you would before you turned 30,50,60 or 75? Is it because you want to hand stories down to family members? Or to reflect on your journey so far? Is it to tell the story of others through your eyes? Or perhaps just to let your creative self flourish, and see what emerges?
3) Who would you like the audience for your writing to be? Are you writing it for anyone in particular? Or just for yourself? Would you like it published?
Once you’ve answered the questions, write down the six things you want to write about. And then write about them! It's okay if you only write a paragraph on each. Or you could write pages and pages.
Then, once you've got that writing done, take a good look at it. Then put it down, leave it for a bit. And look again. What are the threads that are common to each of the six pieces? What might hold them together? What would you like to replace or add?
This might give you an idea of what you really want to write.
And at least it's given you a starting point.
The rest of your writing could easily develop from this.
Rather than pressuring yourself to write a book, you might consider writing an overview piece that links the pieces you’ve written. Or perhaps you'd prefer to write on one of the pieces that just seems to grab you.
You never quite know what’s going to happen once you start on your own personal writing adventure… So, be brave, be creative, and allow the story to emerge.
Go for it!
ps for all those who say they can't write, then speak it, record it, and get hold of some apps or technology that types it up for you! (See, there's no excuse not to write.)
Text and Image copyright Michele Gierck
Michele Gierck is author of 700 Days in El Salvador, Fraying: Mum, memory loss, the medical maze and me, and co-author of Peter Kennedy: the man who threatened Rome.
Michele's website: www.michelegierck.com.au
Michele is a member of The Australian Society of Authors.
Michele will be on tour in the USA and Canada in June and July 2016
Michele Gierck, author of Fraying and 700 Days in El Salvador will be on tour in the USA and Canada in June/July 2016. If you'd like Michele to speak at your bookshop, university, corporate, community, library or not-for-profit event, please contact her via the contact page on her website.
Confirmed cities so far are: Washington DC, Chicago & Halifax.
Michele's website: www.michelegierck.com.au