Page 65 - Sonoma County Gazette June 2019
P. 65

   The Write Spot: Memories
  By Diane McCurdy
Just in time for June the month we celebrate fathers, Petaluma resident,
Marlene Cullen, has released another collection in her Write Spot series this time featuring those patriarchs. Some of the vignettes are written by fathers, some are about fathers written by sons and daughters. Some are true and some are flights of fancy but the theme is paternity.
        Most pieces start out as free writes, just getting thoughts out on paper. Then this is the formula.
   After each composition the prompt that inspired it is indicated. Then there is a very interesting section on how the writer was able to quiet his “inner critic”. Some writers even personify that pesky fellow and give him or her a name. The “inner critic”consists of that amorphous, spectral person who admonishes us and diminishes our self-confidence. Then there is a brief biography and a resume of past accomplishments and maybe a photograph.
The introduction called “Circles of Life, Circles of Death” tells us to embrace death. Whether you are dying to live or living to die will describe your journey. These stories trace how an individual might perceive that journey. The first section tells of a literary but eccentric father who left seven kids in Marin and traveled around California with his little dog, Fred, in
the passenger seat of his truck. There were several stories about dogs, some were happy retellings, some were macabre. Some offerings were in epistolary form. In a letter a father told of an experience in India during WWII when
he adopted a pet leopard. Another was a diary recounting incidents from
that same war but in the Pacific. The diary became absolutely fascinating as the reader of that diary became a writer by summarizing every paragraph in Haiku poetry. Another tells of a hippie couple who pretend to be married so as not to upset an elderly and very frail grandmother.
  HIGHLIGHTS at our Libraries -
Summer Reading Program
June 1st through August 10, the library will host a range of FREE activities for children, teens and adults to encourage a love of reading. This year’s program theme is It’s Showtime at Your Library and those who participate can earn free books and virtual raffle tickets for prizes.
NEW THIS YEAR, participants can track their reading and participation in the program online at and through the Beanstack app. Paper logs will also be available at each branch.
To combat the SUMMER SLIDE, we have a diverse lineup of educational children’s events, including visits from Eliot Fintushel’s Masks & Mime, Jungle James Animal Adventures, Shuffles Magic Show, Try It Truck and Musical Robot, as well as themed activities such as It’s CraftTime!
Hands-on workshops for tweens include French Knitting and Maker Studio: Zoetrope, while teen activities include Dungeon Master 101, Learn How
to Draw Comic Books, an Intro to Screenwriting with former Executive Editor at Lucasfilm and bestselling author J. W. Rinzler, an escape room experience, self- defense, DIY bath bombs and much more.
AND...Events for adults, providing something for the whole family. Some activities require pre-registration: or a local branch.
Memories is the fourth book Cullen has edited. The others are Write Spot: Discoveries, Reflections and Connections. In this last one the editor even bares her own soul and recounts her less than idyllic childhood with an alcoholic father. In all, Cullen exhorts us to, “just write!” She feels that it is a practice that is entertaining and therapeutic and there is the added pleasure of being able to share thoughts and feelings with others. She always gives hints, directions and instruction on how to embark on what could be a cathartic experience. She tries to ignite “the spark”. Diaries, journals, letters, fiction or non-fiction get those words down on paper!
“Writing isn’t about the destination – writing is the journey that transforms the soul and gives meaning to all else.” —Sue Grafton
 SEARCH Diane McCurdy on our website for DVD/Film and BOOK Reviews:
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