Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In Her Own Words - Maureen

As we celebrate the third anniversary of the Women's Writing Circle this November, I asked the women to write what the Circle means to them. So from now until the end of the month, this blog will feature the women in their own words.  Here is Maureen Barry's story.

"Although I am not a regular visitor to the Women's Writing Circle because I travel, I have always stayed connected through my friendship with Susan. Three years ago, Susan shared with me her memoir, Again in a Heartbeat, and discussed her idea about forming a women’s writing group.

Over the next year, I watched from afar as the Circle blossomed. I use the image of a blossom because whenever Susan creates a book cover, it includes a flower. Her Circle is her main flower that she has nurtured from a seed. As a friend, I celebrate her success. I celebrate her bringing her dream full circle.
Susan has touched other lives by bringing them together to share their stories. The Circle validates each woman’s voice and has created a strong community. The women have become friends to each other on different levels. What is more valuable than the art of listening?
As a drop-in visitor, I delighted in sharing my childhood memories whenever I was in the area and could attend the Saturday Circle. Being a storyteller and a children’s author, I am at my best in front of an audience. I love the spoken word. As I read childhood memories in the Circle, I saw myself as a ten-year-old drinking beer with Grandpop. I realized that the loved ones from my past meant a great deal to me and I want my children and grandchildren to know these people, too.
I also have suffered through difficult times that I think, if they are shared, could help others. No matter what  - fiction or nonfiction - when the story makes a connection, it makes an impact on a person’s life. The lure of the past has captured me and my determination has put the stories into the written word. I submitted to the Women’s Writing Circle anthology collaboration and my childhood memoir about my grandpop was accepted. It is only my beginning to a longtime dream to write “My Story.”
So I have pulled out my box of journals saved since 1970 with this thought: “Someday I will write my memoir.”  The Circle has helped me understand memoir and its intricate parts and, more important, helped me see how my story may unfold.  I, too, have come full circle because now the Women’s Writing Circle can offer me not only a place to read my stories but can serve as an editorial coach. So as I evolve with my memoir, I will have support along the way.  My memoir resembles a sailing journey.  Each part is a figure-eight knot; a weaving story with a secure underline.
In the meantime, my world as a storyteller and children’s author continues to thrive. I perform stories for all ages."

Maureen's books can be found on her website: http://www.maureenbarry.com/ and can be ordered through maureenbarry380 @hotmail.com or amazon.com.

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