I wish to acknowledge four writers who have been mentors for me in a great many ways: Laurie Arnold-McMillan; Sharon Lippincott; Adam Reger; and Maggie Messitt. All have been supremely supportive, instructive, and encouraging toward my writing endeavors. Each one has offered a unique perspective. Laurie’s gift has been to create a climate for creative expression and sharing, often using works of art and poetry as prompts to inspire thoughtful written response. She works her magic at Osher lifelong learning classes at the University of Pittsburgh, in workshops at various locations, and also at salon sessions for writers at her home.
Sharon’s experience with life story writing—memoir—and the We Write! Workshops and life stories writing group that she facilitated at the Monroeville Public Library, prior to her relocation to Austin, Texas in 2015, was valuable in cultivating my early interest in memoir writing, 2012-2015.. Sharon also has offered insight into the varied options for self-publishing. You can access help from Sharon with the “heart and craft” of life story writing at the following link:
Adam Reger is experienced as a writer of fiction, ghost writing, and as a freelance copy editor. Adam’s perceptive and in-depth feedback and thorough copy editing of my memoir chapters have kept me focused and inspired to improve through free writing and revision. Also, his guidance and feedback on my essay, “Ironing Day: Gift of Reflection,” were instrumental in my completion of an essay that has been included in the online archives of This I Believe at http://thisibelieve.org/essay/140694/.
You can connect with Adam Reger’s work at the following link:
I am also indebted to editor and writer, Maggie Messitt, who recently taught an amazing onsite workshop titled, “A Cinematic Approach to Essay Writing,” at the headquarters of the Creative Nonfiction Foundation in Pittsburgh, Pa. In the five-week workshop Maggie focused on how to differentiate scene from narrative summary and taught participants systematic processes, including the use of sketching, to enhance scenic elements in memoir and other creative nonfiction writing. One of my memoir chapters was workshopped during our sessions, along with essays from other participants. That chapter and all the chapters of my memoir will be better executed as a result of that workshop. I am deeply grateful to Maggie Messitt for walking into my writing life at just the right time.