My Goals So Far and My Memoir Class

Doof Pott on the floor

Doof Pott on the floor

Hi Friends!

Are you wondering how I’m doing on my goals? I thought I’d give you an update. Do you have your chocolate pie and Mocha coffee?

I’ve had a month to stick to my goals written out in January here on my blog. So far so good. I’ve written a picture book manuscript that after it went to the “first 250 words critique” on 12×12 I decided that it would be better as an easy reader. I don’t know any of the rules for that so I am shelving that one. I went immediately to another idea which I have fleshed out pretty much. It needs more conflict though and I am working on that.

My memoir class s is moving along great and I thought you’d like to hear about it so here is the rest of the post on what we’ve covered in class and what I’ve learned.

My memoir class is taught by Eva Shaw, It is called Write Your Life Story and is an on line course offered at my community college, NOVA COCO/No. Ann. Or to sum up the abbreviation, Northern Virginia Community College of Northern Annandale Campus.

Eva Shaw has published over seventy books as a ghost writer and over more than 1,000 articles. She has produced a comprehensive and motivational DVD called “Write Your Book in 20 Minutes”. You should really look at her web site and see all the places she has been a keynote speaker for and all the places her work has been published.

As a teacher she is generous and honest giving out advice under the adage of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”I am in her fifth class as I write this and am flabbergasted as to how much work went into each class. And it is with great restraint that I don’t start writing out my memoir right now.

Last week she gave us character sketches forms for making our character full-bodied and round. We also wrote a short summary on our fears of writing. Maybe in a future post I’ll share mine. This was after reading and except from Ralph Keys’s  “Courage to write.”

We’ve also learned where to go for writer terms more than just the Writer’s Market although my teacher is featured on page 63 on the 2013 edition, which made it a pretty good reason to go there for the terms. I printed our glossary from

Previously we learned how to outline our memoir by the bubble method to brainstorm. If I get her permission I may tell you about this in a future post.

And since I am working backwards I’ll tell what we did the very first class. We selected an object, studied it for a total of five minutes and then wrote our recollections. This is called “Stream of consciousness” or “inspired writing.” Then did some going back to it after doing something other than writing. Returning to it finally and writing some more. This was a very effective for heirlooms. I chose to write about my calendar but may many students made heirlooms by writing about a guilt or chest.

I just love his class. I hope to go back some day and write about my doof pott. This assignment inspired me to ask my Dutch cousins in the Netherlands to translate a poem book of my grandmother’s. This is now my heirloom.

How are you doing on your goals? Have you written a rough draft of a Picture Book manuscript or done some writing on a project you are working on? Or have you ever written about an object your grandmother gave you

, thereby creating an heirloom?

Doof Pott on woodstove

Doof Pott on woodstove

Doof Pott on floor by woodstove

Doof Pott on floor by woodstove
Northern Virginia Community College (Annandale...

Northern Virginia Community College (Annandale Campus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
This entry was posted in Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, life story, memoir, personal growth, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to My Goals So Far and My Memoir Class

  1. Thanks for shaing the info on your Memoir writing class. Found the site interesting.


  2. Rosi says:

    This is a fun post. It sounds like a wonderful class. Now I really want to know what a doof pott is!


    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Rosi!

      A doof Pott is where in olden times the living room was kept warm by putting burning peat in one of these containers and snuffing it out with the lid while keeping the heat inside and radiating out of the copper sides. The equivalant of a electric heater. 🙂


  3. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I may have a video from your teacher. I’ve got one on how to write a book in 20 minutes! Glad you are moving along with your goals. I’ve fallen behind on one project as my learning curve larger than I expected plus computer/technology problems. Those are always tough. I’ve written a PB manuscript each month and should have a second submission for the year by the end of this month. Lots going on. I’m digging into the memoir in March, so I’ll be ready to pitch it in April.


  4. Your memoir class sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing your goals, Clar. It spurs me on. 🙂


  5. Darlene says:

    Looks like you are doing well with your goals! keep up the good work.


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