Kate Farrell, author of Story Power, has written a new blog post on her recent book review and the support she has received from the Story Circle Network, take a look!
Story Circle Book Review (reviewed by D. Ferrara)
Even a brief visit to a good-sized bookstore will reveal row upon row of writing books. Not the blank books, waiting for your thoughts (although there are lots of those, too). The books about how to write, and what to write and when to write—it seems like anyone with a published book or an MFA needs to share their secrets to help you, too, write your story.
So what is the appeal of Story Power by Kate Farrell? Is this just another “write what you know” lecture?
Farrell’s approach is focused primarily on memoir, the writing of one’s own story. Rather than an airy wave towards the “share your truth” school, Farrell believes in setting out the steps, exploring, analyzing and taking notes. Put in the work, one can imagine her saying, and you will be rewarded.
In the first chapters, she takes broad themes, such as “Childhood & Coming of Age.” After a brief introduction with fairly standard advice—purge yourself of distractions, find a place to write—she gets down to business: ruminate on your childhood, find a bit of the past and let it into your mind. If it won’t come willingly, drag it, shape it, find it in tiny bits of memory that you may not realize you remember… Read more!
Story Circle Network, a non-profit for women who have stories to tell, has been an enduring supportive network of brilliant, talented authors for me over the last ten years. During the summer of 2014, when I was co-editing a difficult book, I was able to share the process on a private listserv, hosted by Susan Wittig Albert, founder of SCN. Though we authors were writing across the country, many were in Texas, since SCN is based in Austin. With their guidance and empathy, I felt a veritable army of women behind me as the heat of that summer and my continuing recovery from surgeries kept me at the computer keyboard. SCN’s mission to give voice to women has always been a driving force, especially when silence can kill.
My co-editors and I, Ann Hutchinson and Michel Wing, met our deadlines, and released Cry of the Nightbird: Writers Against Domestic Violence, August 2014. But the mission of SCN was in the background, silently urging it on. In the book, thirty-eight writers speak out in more than fifty prose and poetry pieces of a hidden tragedy: violence in homes, living in fear, and forced silence. Authors from every walk of life and every aspect of this difficult issue raise their voices as one to end this silence, to bring freedom and release for themselves and others. These words will inform and inspire readers: give them eyes to see, a way to express, and motivation to act. Proceeds from sales of Cry of the Nightbird: Writers Against Domestic Violence will be donated to YWCA Sonoma County to benefit their Domestic Violence Programs.
The previous year, Story Circle Network, not only reviewed the anthology, Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ’60s & ’70s, but invited me and my two illustrious co-editors, Linda Joy Myers and Amber Lea Starfire, to present at the Story Circle Conference in Austin, TX, April 2014. The conference organizers were eager to showcase women’s voices in the turbulent era. They encouraged us to dress in costume from the era and celebrate women’s memories of their part in history.
Standing, l to r: Sara Etgen-Baker, Linda Joy Myers. Seated, l to r: Kate Farrell, Amber Lea Starfire
In the book, forty-eight powerful stories and poems etch in vivid detail the breakthrough moments experienced by women during the life-changing era that was the ’60s and ’70s. And finally, here, they tell it like it was. Their stories range from Vietnam to France, from Chile to England, from the Haight-Ashbury to Greenwich Village, and from the Deep South to the Midwest. They write of cultural reverberations that reached into farm kitchens and city “pads,” from coffeehouse jazz clubs to psychedelic rock concerts. This inspiring collection celebrates the women of the ’60s and ’70s, reminds them of the importance of their legacy, and seeks to motivate young women today.
As the new decade begins in 2020, with crises of epic proportions, Story Circle Network is there, providing the opportunity to face the challenges through documenting and encouraging women’s voices in online classes, writing circles, by reviewing important books, and more. I am proud and grateful to be part of the supportive sisterhood of Story Circle Network.
Secrets to Creating, Crafting, and Telling Memorable Stories
Stories are everywhere. The art of storytelling has been around as long as humans have. And in today’s noisy, techy, automated world, storytelling is not only prevalent—it’s vital. Whether you’re interested in enlivening conversation, building your business brand, sharing family wisdom, or performing on stage, Story Power will show you how to make use of a good story.