Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story is a memoir by Lynn C. Tolson. The story begins with her suicide attempt. In the aftermath, she commits to counseling. The reader accompanies the author through therapy sessions, where she reveals dysfunctional family relationships, including incest, domestic violence and mental illness. Her story illustrates physical, emotional, and spiritual transformation. In sharing her inspirational journey, she provides readers with a message of hope.
Monday, January 5, 2015
Tolson 4 TEARS* Reviews "Fearless Confessions: A Writer's Guide to Memoir"
Sue William Silverman was my role model for memoir because she had dared to write about issues usually silenced in our society. She wrote Because I Remember Terror, FatherI Remember You and Love Sick: One Woman's Journey Through Sexual Addiction. Then, I had the pleasure of meeting her at Vermont College of Fine Arts, post-graduate writer’s conference, where she was faculty/advisor. She taught the group metaphor, voice, and technique, and encouraged expression from the writer within each individual. Sue urged us toward Fearless Confessions, an apt title for the Writer’s Guide to Memoir. Despite my notes from the conference, and hand-outs from Sue, I wished I had a “go-to” guide at my fingertips. Sue has made such a guide available in Fearless Confessions.
The book contains chapters that have writing exercises and inserts with tips. Sue also arranged for appropriate articles by other authors, which exemplify what Sue is conveying in the body of the chapter. Sue generously offers examples of her own. I was especially moved by her revealing essay The Pat Boone Fan Club. That is what a memoirist does: revealing life matter that one thinks is individual, yet the emotions are universal. Some confessional memoirs put into words what others are thinking, but are afraid to say aloud. Sue dares us to dig deep and write down, such as with an exercise that asks the reader to “Write a short paragraph about a secret you’ve never told anyone, except maybe a therapist.”
Sue explains the craft of writing, and elements such as “the voice of innocence” and “the voice of experience” She leads us to websites, books, marketing opportunities, and publishing options. (note of disclosure: Sue used my essay From Process to Product: Using Print-on-Demand to Publish in Appendix two).
I eagerly awaited Fearless Confessions because I wanted to hold Sue Silverman’s knowledge and ability in the palm of my hand. Sue packs more in 237 pages than I ever expected. If you want to write a memoir, let Sue’s “go-to” guide you to write it right.