Memoir Building: March 2018 Recap

Good evening, everyone.

I’m excited to announce I am making progress with my Iraq memoir. I am sitting at 24 pages (yes, baby steps!) as I continue to juggle work, writing, and reading (along with all my other life responsibilities). I’ve always been a bit more of a short focus writer (journal entry to 1,200 or so word length blog entries) and this project is my longest writing endeavor. I am thankful for the privilege of living in a nation where I can share my thoughts and experiences in such a way.

In case you’re wondering what I am reading to be a better writer at this point, here’s what’s floating around on my nightstand, in my home office, and occasionally, in my backpack for those commuting days I stay an hour later.

The Mirror Test: America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan

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The Things They Carried

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Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Flight in Afghanistan and On the Homefront

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I also recently finished the following book and the tips in the book helped me to shape two particular stories that are certainly more personal in nature but worth sharing to give readers a better sense of what freedom means, how boundaries are negotiable, what it’s like to be a privileged war fighter, and things of that nature.

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I am off work tomorrow to enjoy Good Friday and I look forward to relaxing a bit more than I have lately. My next graduate course begins soon, and I’m a bit disappointed I’ll lose off-hours time for writing to continue my graduate studies. It’s only eight weeks so I can trudge through it and get one step closer to my second Master’s.

And just to touch base, the reason why I am reading so much lately is to improve my balance of dialogue, background, and personal voice. I am quite particular about liking (and disliking) certain authors based on their writing styles and as someone who’s gravitated heavily to blog writing in the past few years, it’s work to rebuild circumstances with a place setting, characters, and dialogue rather than to just talk about what I saw, felt, and did during that time period. I don’t have an English or Journalism background so it is imperative, in my mind, to re-educate myself on stylistic matters to build a useful product for generations to come.

Thanks again for your great patience.

~Cheryl

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