Where's Meghan?

You might be wondering what happened to Meghan and Stories To Tell? It’ has been a long time since I’ve blogged. Life has been so full, and rewarding too! In the summer of 2018 I started pursuing my MFA in creative nonfiction writing at USM’s Stonecoast—a 2-year low-residency program. I’ve been busy writing, writing, writing, and also reading, spending time with other writers, and more writing, of course.

With all this focus on writing and the MFA I decided to simplify other areas of my life, including Stories To Tell. While I still work with the occasional book or audio client and teach workshops once in a while, I do a lot less of it. This helps me to dive into the writing I’ve been dreaming about for a long time now.

Bulletin board inspirations at my writing desk.

Bulletin board inspirations at my writing desk.

When I tell people what I’m studying some of them ask me, “What’s creative nonfiction?”

“It’s nonfiction,” I tell them, “but interesting and well-written.” Creative nonfiction (CNF) has some of the same flavors as fiction writing—good scene writing, dialogue, narrative—but it’s true. It actually happened in real life. It’s the sort of work I’ve been doing here at Stories To Tell, helping people tell their own stories with documentary, storytelling, and memoir. But now I get to pick the stories and try out new ways of telling them.

“What are you writing about?” they ask me.

I write about a lot of things. I write about foxes and intuition. I write about women with dementia. I write about being a single woman looking for a good man in rural Maine. Living with housemates. Losing my father. Love. Trauma. Beliefs. Mothers and grandmothers. Most of this comes out as memoir, personal essay, and flash nonfiction. Sometimes I write poetry (check out the recently published book Balancing Act II with two of my poems). And I recently started playing with fiction. There is so much to explore. I love it. For real. True story.

I am growing and learning so much. I get up each morning excited to write—well, almost every morning. Writing the truth isn’t always easy.

I’m not sure what the future holds for Stories To Tell. I’m still here writing and telling stories. I’m still cheering others on as they write and tell their stories. Let’s keep writing.

A Father's Last Gift to His Son

John McLaughlin had hoped to gather his father’s stories before it was “too late.” He planned to hire me to create an audio memoir. In the meantime John began asking his dad about the old days during their car rides to medical appointments. He was researching and setting the stage for me to record these stories and more, so family and friends could hear Bob’s laugh, the cadence of his voice, his own stories in his own words. But that would never come to pass...

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Like James Dean

"My father started playing hooky and dropped out of school because, in his words, he thought he was 'too cool for school.' He became a kind of early James Dean prototype, a young man about town. He would drive a red 1950 Chevy to weekly dances at all the area Grange halls. At a dance in Mt. Vernon, Maine where there was this pretty and exotic-looking girl (to his eyes) that he just had to dance with..."

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