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Maiden Voyage: My First Public Reading from Undertow, Plus More

We’re sailing out of the harbor … if you live in my area, join us for a FREE event on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM in the meeting room of Cocina 214 (a restaurant) in Winter Park for my first public reading from a portion of Undertow, which just appeared on BookRiot’s list of 100 must-read cult books.

This is FREE but seating is limited. To read more about it from the host, Lezlie Laws, and to reserve a seat, visit ⇒ Creative Momentum . You can also just send her an email at info@lezlielaws.com.

An event for Undertow

This is the Oscars for me. “Creative Momentum” is a series of events hosted by Writers Block Bookstore and my former Rollins writing professor, Dr. Lezlie Laws, featured in this photo next to my book cover. Lezlie not only coaches creatives at her LifeArt Studio, but is also a yoga instructor. I owe Lezlie a mountain of thanks for setting high standards to strive for, nudging me to keep writing, and loving me along the path.

“Escaping a Cult and Writing About It” Feb. 28 agenda

When this post first came out, a writer friend of mine, Ned, left a comment expressing hope that, besides reading from the book, I would share what this extraordinarily long process was like, what I learned, etc.

YES. I do have time reserved for that. Lezlie touches on this in her blog (link below) but I thought I’d make a point here of telling ya’ll that this Maiden Voyage has added-value:

Here’s what I plan to do (not set in stone, but pretty much carved in):

  1. Share a bit about writing this story – why I decided to write it, how long it took, the “process” of writing it, etc.
  2. Offer my top three tips for memoir writers, actually for writers of any genre.
  3. Give a quick overview of how I self-published it.
  4. Read from Undertow.
  5. Q&A – I welcome discussion on the writing experience, cults, fundamentalism, anything pertaining to the night’s topics
My teacher and the start of Undertow

Lezlie and I go waaayyy baaack to 1991, when, in her class, I wrote a journal entry about my cult experience. She encouraged me to keep going with that. She planted a seed. In all the classes I took with her (4), I learned the value of close reading, textual criticism, autobiographical writing, editing, and more. My love of writing grew by leaps and bounds.

All through the years as I wrote my book, Lezlie cheered me on. Near the end of the process of writing Undertow, she met with me regularly to listen as I read the book out loud! That practice, that labor of love, improved the text immeasurably. As every writer knows, having someone hear your voice reading the story you wrote is an invaluable gift. It’s during those times you catch mistakes, smooth out the bumpy parts, ask questions you would not have thought of considering earlier in the process. Thank you, Lezlie!

Undertow will be for sale at this event.

Also, at this event, meet my writer friend, Patricia Charpentier, owner of Writing Your Life and author of Eating An Elephant – also available that night. We go waaaay baaaack as students of Lezlie. As a motivated and compassionate creative who puts her nose to the grindstone—I can testify to that!—Patricia offers high-quality writing and publishing services that she can tell you about better than I can.

Come and enjoy an evening of celebration.


(this is a new section of my blog posts for bits about books, writing, misc. news):

Check this out: Hope from The Authors Guild



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7 Responses

  1. pat
    | Reply

    Thanks for the note about the public reading. Hope to be there.

    • Charlene L. Edge
      | Reply

      Hi Pat, we’d love to see you there. Hoyt will be there, too, of course. He’s the cute guy playing cashier at the book table. We’re having fun (mostly) with this book business – sales tax, keeping records of all sorts, etc. … but I miss the long stretches of writing the book.

  2. Ned Kessler
    | Reply

    Charlene, I responded to Lezlie’s invitation yesterday and she told me I had a reserved seat!! I’m happy for you in general, but in particular because I’ve had a writing project I’ve been working on (on and off with some diversions) since the late nineties, and your success in publishing over a period of many years inspires me and helps me feel I can finish my project. So even though I want to hear from your book, I also am eager to find out if you have any advice to share about how you clung to your dream and saw it to fruition. In what you wrote above, I can see that having a friend like Lezlie was probably a huge part of it. See you on the 28th or perhaps earlier at a Master Class.

    • Charlene L. Edge
      | Reply

      Ned! So happy you can be there. I know what you mean about thinking you’ll never finish and wondering if all your notes, scribbling, journals, discarded drafts are anything you can make into a book. I will talk about this at this meeting. Your note makes me think I should revise my blog to include the agenda, although Lezlie covers the themes in her blog. Actually, I’ll do that right now!

      My favorite quote that kept me going, which is tacked on the bulletin board above my desk, is from Andre Dubus, “But the writer who endures and keeps working will finally know that writing the book was something hard and glorious.”

      See you at Winter With the Writers events this month AND on the 28!

    • Charlene L. Edge
      | Reply

      Yes, there will be time to talk about the writing experience I had with Undertow. Thanks for asking. I’ve revised this post to include more details on the evening’s agenda. Bring questions! See you there.

  3. Lucy Morse
    | Reply

    Charlene, I am planning to be there.

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