Amber Lea Starfire


6 Journaling Prompts to Conquer Your Inner Critic 3

ARE YOU SELF-CRITICAL? Get down on yourself for making mistakes or not meeting your own standards? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Many of us run a constant inner dialogue that sounds something like this: I can’t do anything right! Who would want to read anything I write? What an […]


Writing Memoir: Where’s the Conflict? 3

WRITING MEMOIR IS A LOT LIKE WRITING FICTION — only with all the made-up parts left out. You have scene (place and time), which is inhabited by characters, dialogue, and action. You have a point of view, usually first person, through which the narration occurs. In addition, memoir also includes reflection, in […]


In the Ring — Scrivener vs. Word 1

IF YOU’VE BEEN WRITING ANY LENGTH OF TIME, you’ve probably heard of Scrivener. And if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I’m a big fan. I use Scrivener for pretty much all my writing these days: blog posts, short works, such as essays and […]


Writing Memoir: A Confession and a Question 2

CONFESSION TIME. This week, I had planned to write about a topic that stymies many memoir writers — how to write about family members. When you write about your life, you will, at some point, wonder how much to include about your family members. In order to tell your story, you may […]


Strengthen Your Writing – Kill Your Thought Verbs 7

WHEN LEARNING THE CRAFT OF WRITING — which, as far as I am concerned, is a never-ending state of being — we often hear the refrain that we should “show, not tell.” “Showing” means writing in scene, using physical actions, sense-based details, and dialogue to create the story, rather than explaining […]


How to Keep Writing When the Going Gets Rough 5

ANYONE WHO HAS WRITTEN A MEMOIR KNOWS that it’s hard work. Not at the beginning, necessarily, but when you’re part way through, and that nice, round idea you had of your story has become fragmented by scenes and summaries of scenes, and reflections about those scenes The memories aren’t clear […]

Uphill climb

My Takeaways from the San Miguel Writers’ Conference 8

“[The plot] of personal essay, its drama, its suspense, consists in watching how far the essayist can drop past his or her psychic defenses toward deeper levels of honesty.” – Phillip Lopate LAST WEEK, I had the privilege of attending the twelfth annual San Miguel de Allende Writers’ Conference. I confess, […]