Why write a memoir about grief…other than the run of the mill, burning (irritating!) drive to write. Is it enough to say, “We want to…? We just do.”
Here we are in our third episode. Writers Rachel Thompson and Meli Walker ask themselves: why write a grief memoir? Why do we want to write at all? We go way way back to early life. Rachel talks about her teenage writing life and Meli shares memories of her childhood stories. At the end of the episode, Rachel has a challenge for you.
In this episode, we mention residential schools, which were part of the genocide of Indigenous people on Turtle Island. Meli said she would fact-check when the last residential school closed in “Canada”. It was 1996.
Here are some cultural resources:
- Indian Residential School Survivors and Family: Phone 1-800-721-0066 or 604-985-4464 and irsss.ca
- First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: Phone toll-free 1-855-242-3310 or chat online at hopeforwellness.ca
One extra warning: this episode has some cursing, so headphones may be a good idea here.
Links & Resources from this Episode of Writing Grief
- Rachel mentioned reading articles about how introverts did not “do better” in the pandemic. Here’s one from The Conversation, and another from BBC
- Meli mentions The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde (Aunt Lute Books, 1980)
- Mary Karr comes up again! Meli mentions her three different memoirs Liar’s Club, Cherry, and Lit
- Meli mentions Rachel’s book, Galaxy (Anvil Press, 2011)
- Meli shares a story about seeing the children’s author, Robert Munsch tell one of his stories seventeen years before it was published as Purple Green and Yellow (Annikins, 2007)
- Rachel quotes Anais Nin who said, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
- Meli vaguely claims that there’s research showing writing helps us heal. You can read more about this in Writing as a Way of Healing by Louise DeSalvo (Beacon Press, 2000)
- Meli mentions The Diary of Samuel Pepys which you can read for free at Project Gutenberg.
- Theft By Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by David Sedaris (Little, Brown and Company, 2017). You may also decide to read *How I Found My Way Back to Journaling (With a Little Help From David Sedaris)* by Laura Studarus at Shondaland.com
- Rachel mentions morning pages in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (TarcherPerigee, 1992)
- Meli quotes Roxane Gay on writing trauma. Both quotes from a speaking event presented by the 92 St YMCA in March 2021, Roxane Gay in Conversation with Soledad O’Brien to discuss Roxane Gay’s Writing into the Wound: Understanding Trauma, Truth, and Language
- Rachel mentions Oprah Winfrey’s March 2021 interview with Meghan Markle (we were recording around the time of the interview).
- Meli talks about Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May (Riverhead Books, 2020)
- We talked about the create more than you consume challenge which is from Rachel’s writing courses
- In each episode, we recommend Settler non-Indigenous writers do research about the lands they write from. (Start at native-land.ca.)
Thank you for listening to another episode of Writing Grief!
The transcript for this episode is available upon request from firstname.lastname@example.org.