Embarrassment of riches: A conversation with Priscilla Gilman, and thank you to Becca, Katrina, and Kelly

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Yesterday, dawn. Stone Harbor, New Jersey. We stood on the beach and watched the tangerine-pink sun rise.

Back in Beth Land, extraordinary things were happening. Becca Rowan and Katrina Kenison were finalizing Handling the Truth contests—and engaging in conversations with their many readers about loved books. I am so grateful to both—surprised by Becca's stealth move and overwhelmed by her beautiful thoughts about Handling, and amazed by the choral voices on Katrina's blog—and Katrina's own thoughts on the book. Kelly Simmons, that devilishly fine friend of mine, was also launching her own Handling contest. She's a special lady, that Kelly, and her contest is on, and if you haven't been to her blog lately, then I insist. Go. Cherish.

And then there was Priscilla Gilman, the award-winning author of The Anti-Romantic Child and well-loved teacher, who posted a conversation we had a little while ago about favorite memoirs and the memoir form. We also talked about poetry, a form that Priscilla knows deeply. What is my favorite poem, she wanted to know, and so I said....

Well, you'll have to go here to find out more—and to have a chance at winning Handling.

Huge thanks, then, on this day when the sun rises again, some two hours east, over the shore. May the day bring you goodness. May you feel the burst of tangerine-pink.

I leave you with these words from Becca:

But what I love most about Handling the Truth is that it reveals a side of Beth Kephart I’ve not seen before. She is fierce in this book, like a mama bear protecting her cub. Kephart has written five memoirs of her own, each one astoundingly good, each one proving anew her passion for this genre. And throughout handling the truth she exhorts all of us – we fledgling, aspiring memoir writers – not to take this work she loves and mess it up. In the opening pages, she gives us a forthright and adamant list of what memoir is NOT – not “a lecture, a lesson, a stew of information and facts.” NOT “a self-administered therapy session.” NOT “an exercise in self-glorification.” NOT a “trumped-up, fantastical idea of what an interesting life might have been, if only.”


Becca said...

I only wish you could have spent a week on that beach. Thank YOU for doing what you do and inspiring all of us.

Serena said...

I do love that fierceness in you!

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