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October Newsletter of Personal Essay Writing
Vol. 14, No. 10 October 2014 © 2014 Carol Celeste All Rights Reserved ISSN 2168-7854

Well Art

* Carol's Comments
* Memoir Quote
* Article - "Thermometer or Pen?"
* Course Offerings
* Personal Essay Topic to Write About NOW
* Become a Licensee
* Therapeutic Writing Fact
* Book Review
* Markets
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The year-end holiday season continues to assault us earlier every year, even though the months don't change. Like it or not, the timing of holidays is driven by retailers. When consumers don't buy as much as retailers need to keep going, they prod us into early buying with holiday merchandise displays. I'm old enough to remember when Christmas was a two week affair. Over the years it has grown to precede Halloween, with theme items for three holidays appearing together months before the events. Try not to mix your scary decorations with your Thanksgiving and Christmas decor. Perhaps the best economic indicator isn't a report from Washington, but how early commercial interests start pushing holiday goods.

Keeping with the trend, it's not too early to think about unique presents for the special people on your holiday gift list. A Writing Personal Essays course from Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow is likely to be the most unexpected present they receive and it tells them that you value their life enough to encourage them to put it in writing. To create a deeper personal bond, take a course along with, but independently of, your giftee.

If you have time to spare, consider writing your stories by hand. See the article in this issue to find out why mainstream medicine has taken an interest in cursive writing. And if you're looking for a memoir model to help you structure your life writing, the book review might help.

Look for paying markets for your work by clicking on on the Paying Markets menu tab.

Write to heal, write to grow, write to reflect,
Carol Celeste
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Memoir Quote: "When you set down a truth about the past, a new future dawns.." Lisa Dale Norton, author Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir
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All courses are conducted by email and begin every Friday. Compare the prices to other online personal essay courses and you'll realize the value offered. Meidabistro=$499, Gotham Writers Workshop=$395,$295 and up, Truby's=$449 to name a few. Don't wait another day. To register now or order a course as a gift visit Writing Courses.
These courses are now offered:
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WRITING TO SELL Writing to Sell.
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WTH,WTG writers say...

"I felt like I had really accomplished something every time that I turned in one of the essays."

"I've enjoyed all your comments."

"I have had a few published pieces in the newspaper, online & won the Writer's Digest contest. You are at least a part of that-probably a nice, big part."

"Thank you for your guidance without ridicule. That has meant a lot to me."

"This course has reinforced my belief that writing is a true form of medicine."
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ARTICLE - Thermometer or Pen?
In January, I wrote about the difference between cursive and keyboard writing. The debate continues with the advent of Common Core which stops cursive teaching after first grade. Many studies show a value in handwriting versus typing in many cases and the topic is getting national coverage. An article in a recent issue of Parade, the insert magazine in many Sunday newspapers, suggests that writing benefits children and adults in many ways, citing studies with both groups.

People of all ages seem to retain information better when they write by hand which uses different sections of the brain than typing does. Reading skills improve by use of those brain regions. Retention also improves with cursive practice evidenced by studies showing that college students who take handwritten notes retain the content better and that adults who can write fast by hand produce better and longer prose and process material more deeply. Longer is not always better, however, and some of us can’t decipher our rapidly handwritten words. Still, evidence of a strong mind/body connection mounts as writing studies cover many situations.

Now, writing is finding its way into mainstream medicine as a diagnostic tool. "There is burgeoning interest and growing research on using handwriting as a diagnostic and medication management tool," writes Brandi-Ann Uyemura in a recent article. Conditions from Graves' disease, to Parkinson's disease to healthy aging (or not), have been subjects of handwriting tests. Respected journals written for and by medical professionals publish trial and study results from this burgeoning body of work on writing as a window to our health. If changes in handwriting can identify conditions like those mentioned, what more might it tell about our health, without the lab fees now required?

Typing is still a valuable tool for writers. Writing is essentially a mental activity, after all, not a physical one. But retro-writing, use of pen and paper, may become more important to our lives as studies show how it reveals our level of health. One day soon your doctor may hand you a writing pad instead of wrapping your arm in a blood pressure gauge or taking your temperature.
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Looking for something to write about? Here's a topic to inspire your inner self to emerge.

Write about a time you had to do without a person or thing you considered essential to your life.
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Looking for extra income while you help people? Writing to Heal, Writing to Grow licenses let you set your own hours as a workshop facilitator. All instructions provided. Individuals, facilities and associations may lead these easy-to-conduct therapeutic writing workshops.

Individuals, facilities and associations may license and conduct these easy-to-lead therapeutic writing and discussion programs:
* Writing for Wellness - Why wait until a specific condition strikes to write to heal? Writing helps maintain good health. This four-week expressive writing and discussion course is designed to help adults maintain good health by: reducing stress levels, improving immune system function, working through negative emotional issues, and increasing working memory. Clinical studies indicate that those who are coached in expressive writing show the greatest improvement in stress levels and memory function. Learn more at: Wellness.
* Writing About Cancer - promotes healing and growth for patients and survivors. Visit Cancer to learn more.
* Writing for Personal Caregivers - contributes to stress reduction and coping. Visit Caregivers to learn more.
* Writing for Health Care Professionals - may be eligible for CEUs in your area. Visit Care Professionals to learn more.

You do not need to have special education to be a successful facilitator. What you do need is compassion for people, a desire to help others face their demons and heal, and the ability to talk to others in a group setting and market the workshops. All courses promote personal healing and/or growth. Each license comes with lecture material, a step-by-step facilitator guide, handouts and an evaluation survey. Begin your new career helping others. Email Licensing for details.
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Therapeutic Writing Fact
From: Thyroid. 2014 Apr 2, "The Impact of Graves’ Disease and Its Treatment on Handwriting Characteristics" by G. Papi,, on a study of Graves' Disease (GD). "Hyperthyroid GD was associated with significant changes in handwriting in all patients. Following recovery from hyperthyroidism, a state of hypertrophic and contracted handwriting resulted in greater fluency and fluidity. Variations in handwriting should be included as signs/symptoms in GD."
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Book Review ~ The Time of My Life by Bill Medley
In his memoir, one half of the Righteous Brothers, Bill Medley, shares cover credit with writer Mike Marino, a rare occurrence in celebrity memoir and a hint at Medley the person. However the collaboration came together, the voice sounds natural and seems to represent Medley’s personality.

The theme of The Time of My Life is expectedly the musical history of Medley and those he worked with. He discusses his loves and business partners by name and tells of the career mistakes he feels he made. An interesting treatment that lets readers deeper into this star's life is the insertion of comments from people who knew him at points when he talks about an incident involving that person. These brief commentaries verify his own self-perception. They also take us into the popular music world.

As a bonus, we get a taste of memoir about the people Medley encountered in his life as he reveals his inner self through personal interactions conveyed with a sense of honesty. And he worked with a lot of big name entertainers over the years. There is plenty about the Righteous Brothers, though, from how they met to where their name came from and the ups and downs of their success and relationship, both personal and professional.

Medley conveys true connection with people and compassion for his partner, Bobby Hatfield, in spite of differences in their career goals. Their rocky and rolling relationship is portrayed without rancor, simply as a different personal style, what Medley calls "comfort zone," that caused the duo to breakup for a time. They only renewed their partnership when Hatfield's financial troubles led him to return to the life he found uncomfortable.

Medley shows his deep compassion for people when explaining his feelings about Hatfield's death. It occurred just before a Righteous Brothers concert and Medley found his partner in a hotel room, on the bed with a TV remote in his hand. We feel what he felt.

The book is a fast-paced, easy read, feels genuine, and tells how much of the music came to be while showing insight into other performers from a human, not an idol, viewpoint. For those reasons, The Time of My Life fills the requirements of the memoir genre well, letting us feel a connection with Medley, almost forgetting he's a celebrity from the way he shares his feelings and thoughts about life, as well as about his career. For a good model of how to put feeling into your life story, this one rates high on my list.

And if you’re of an age, you can't help but live through the times of your own life when recalling the songs Medley made famous.
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Contact the source listed for details and to request guidelines. An extensive list of paying markets for personal essays appears at Markets. Writing to Heal,Writing to Grow does not screen or endorse these listings. Submit at your own risk and always check guidelines first. Good luck! If a link doesn't work search for the title.
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Overnight Buses Travel magazine takes personal travel essays about adventures that changed you in unexpected ways. 2,000 to 4,000 words. Pay not specified. Photos encouraged. Learn more at: Overnight Buses.
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Stories of Resilience Contest seeks submissions that reflect the broad impact of domestic abuse in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Sponsored by Family Shelter Service. Writers may be victims, children, friends and more. Deadline October 20.No fee. Pays $500 and two $100 prizes. Maximum 1,500 words. Check details at: Stories of Resiience.

Working Mother magazine takes personal life articles from 1,000 to 2,000 words. Favored are topics that celebrate working moms while solving a problem unique to readers and/or their children and family. Learn more: Working Mother.

HerStories Project: Mothering Through the Darkness anthology seeks submissions of 1,500 to 3,000 words about postpartum struggles. Pays $500 and two $100 prizes. Deadline Dec. 1, Fee $10. Find details at: HerStories.

Share personal essay markets you know about. Email them to and I'll add them to the website list.
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