Workshop This Saturday

Hello and Happy Spring!

On Saturday I will be teaching at a day-long zoom workshop put on by the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine (ChIME) for End of Life Care Partners. As one of the facilitators, I will teach a one-hour class on using writing as a tool for healing and self-care.


Classes on yoga for grief, bedside singing and nature as restorative support will also be available. And my colleague and dear friend, Arline Saturdayborn, will be teaching a class on Sustainable Compassion through meditation.

If you know anyone who would benefit from these resources, please pass this information along.
For more information click here: https://www.chimeofmaine.org/safeharbor

From ChIME

“Join us on Zoom for a day of teachings and conversations that will invite you into practices of body, mind, and heart that will support and sustain your spirit for the difficult work of supporting people through life and death.
In a day of inspiring sessions and meaningful connection, attendees will develop resources, experience relief, and build resilience for managing the grief and stress that accumulate in their lives.
If another day on Zoom feels daunting, be assured that the schedule has been developed to ensure ample time away from the screen and the keynote and breakout sessions will be interactive and experiential.”

Cost: $75




Memoir 101: Writing the Stories of YOur Life starts Tuesday, January 26th, at 10 AM EDT

In every Memoir class I teach, I am astonished by what individuals can do when invited to unleash the power of their voice in writing. I witness over and over what sharing our stories does to create confidence, healing and transformation.

I invite you to join the next cohort of writers starting tomorrow, Tuesday, January 26th at 10 AM EDT for this live five-week online class. Partial scholarships available.

“This class has changed my life. I have the confidence and inspiration I need to see this project through to the end.”

Live Reading Sunday, january 10th at 8 pM

https://www.facebook.com/groups/stonehousereaders

I will be reading from my memoir Now You See the Sky (Akashic Books, 2018) at the Stone House Readers’ Series Sunday, January 10th at 8:00 PM.

Stonecoast MFA alumni BRADY KAMPHENKEL (poetry) and JOHN CHRISTOPHER NELSON (fiction) will also read. The event is free and will be streamed live on the Stone House Readers’ Series Facebook page. I plan to spend some time after I read answering questions about the process of memoir writing.

If you would like to attend but don’t have facebook, send me an email at writingwithcatharine@gmail.com, and I will set you up with a zoom link, so you can watch from there.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/stonehousereaders

WRITE YOUR STORIES…

I hear it all the time. “Do my stories really matter? Does anyone want to read what I have to say?” My answer is a resounding YES. But only if you tell your stories well, only if you write with passion, vulnerability and honesty. And that is something you can learn to do with instruction, practice and encouragement. If you write from your heart, your stories will move people. They will help others to make sense of their own past by reading about yours.

When you start writing your stories in this way, you may be surprised to discover more than you expected. Not only will you access memories you thought you’d forgotten, but also by reaching back into your past and bringing into the light memories you have been ignoring, you can move forward in your life with more clarity, power and awareness. By writing about events of your life, you are able to witness them from the perspective of your older wiser self as you make space to process, reflect on and release them.

This can be a powerful act. As Richard Blanco said to Melanie Brooks, author of Writing Hard Stories, “It’s either writing a memoir or therapy. But even therapy can’t compare to writing a memoir. Writing one memoir is worth ten about ten years of therapy!”

So when you find yourself discouraged by the hard work of writing, keep going. Keep writing from your heart. Keep looking back and writing your way forward.

Catharine H. Murrray

Author, Now You See the Sky, Akashic Books, 2018

Join me for Memoir 101: Writing the Stories of Your Life.

This 5-week live online course, will begin on Tuesday, January 26, 2020 at 10 AM. Click here for more information and to register. Enrollment is limited, reserve your spot early.

Saying Goodbye

I am sharing with you a link for a radio show I hope you will listen to.

As 2020 draws to a close and we find ourselves in that place between the holidays and the New Year, we may be in a kind of no-man’s land of emotion. This year the pandemic and the emergence of deep social and political divisions brought losses and feelings of grief, anger, confusion and dismay. As we move through these final days of the year, we may find ourselves even more emotionally depleted and disoriented than usual.

Saying Goodbye, currently airing around the country on NPR stations, is a show about how to be with our loved ones as they are dying. And yet I think this show speaks to all of us, addressing that tender place of grief that surfaces from time to time, whether from old losses or new.

As an author of a memoir about grief, I was interviewed by host Anne Hallward about saying goodbye to my son. That 7-minute interview and a reading of one of my poems occur near the end of this hour-long show.

I hope you will take some time for yourself to listen to the whole show and be moved and inspired by the stories in it as they strengthen your sense of connection to our one human family.

Save the Date…

Memoir 101: Writing the Stories of Your Life, the 5-week live online course, will begin on Tuesday, January 26, 2020 at 10 AM. Click here for more information and to register. Look for a message from me with more about this next week.