Refugee Voices Tour

Bringing Attention to Atrocities in an Apathetic Western World

But there is no victorious ‘democratic’ ending to this story. In Syria the civil uprising has gradually been transformed into a full scale civil war. Sayid and his colleagues have all lost loved ones to this war and their political is personal. Sayid’s own crime–and why he is here–was to film government violence and put it up on YouTube, after which he was put on the list of wanted terrorists.

Reauthoring your Stories, Narratives and Uncovering Beliefs

So you’re here at last. Right now you may have no inclination as to what re-authoring looks like or feels like. To see different plot patterns in your stories, takes a great deal of distance. To do so you must also have gone through the grief cycle to mourn your trauma, or maybe even several. Have I done it? Yes… …

The Impossible Conundrum of Objective Journalism

Our word choices, even if–or perhaps especially if–unconsciously made, reveal our attitudes, values, bias, education, self-image and purpose. For a man of letters like Stephen, who has made his fortune from a personal brand of verbosity, that means his objectivity in linguistic matters comes under question.

What to Cut (and when to not)

So what should you be cutting (or rewriting)? Anything that does not move the story forward, anything which seems slow. This is the reason you need fresh eyes, because without them you will be too attached to what you have just written. It’s like a child, in a manner of speaking. Right after birth, you are smack in the middle of attachment. A few years down the line, you start to see them as a separate person! Thus when you re-read what you’ve written after a while, you may find that there are places where even you put your story down because it lags. These are the first passages to examine.

Working on Individual Scenes

But be careful that you don’t make outright assumptions about others’ motivations and behaviours. You cannot know what is in their mind, you can only know how you interpret their words and behaviour. If you move into describing the internal reflections of someone else, your memoir will be less believable. Do it too much and you will have moved into the realm of fiction using an omniscient narrator.

Silly Putty

The shell which included social etiquette, consideration and interest in the outer world is broken.  I feel a desperate need to be intensely focused on being sad and I resent any attempt to pull me out of my business of being so. Still, I will go through the motions, but I will not be happy. I do not want to be happy because that is just another attempt to invalidate what I’m feeling.

Help! My Memoir isn’t Good Enough

It took me fifteen years to publish my first book and it is my hope that I can shorten that time for you because a lot of that time was spent on unnecessary self-doubt. Those fifteen years were spent trying to improve my self esteem. Had I continued writing despite my self-doubt, I truly believe that my self-esteem would have improved much more quickly. Instead I looked to others to give me tips which were for the most part a load of rubbish.