Sunday, March 20, 2011

Author Steve Friedman: "Everyone has a story"

This week on The Love Project we're talking about "your story" and who better to advise about this than New York Times best-selling author, Steve Friedman!

Friedman spoke at the Boulder Writer's Meetup Group last week about memoir-writing, in a session titled: "Me, Me, Me: The Terrors and Delights of Writing First Person."

He entertained us first with a story of the time he'd bought a new suit for an interview with GQ. He'd been quite proud of his stylish new suit, only to realize when he stepped out in the sunlight that it was lime green! And then, to make things worse, a mime imitated him, mocking his strut and his own obvious obsession with his suit. The mime was apparently so excited about this opportunity to ridicule him that he broke the cardinal rule for a mime: He spoke! "Nice suit." (I guess this mime didn't know how to act out sarcasm... Stupid mime.)

Friedman will tell you the whole story and much more in his new book, Lost on Treasure Island: A Memoir of Longing, Loss and Lousy Choices in New York City. A second memoir he has coming out is the story of his relationship with his father and the communication they share during a memorable game of golf, Driving Lessons.

Friedman reminded us that we all have a story. It's the little things - the ordinary every-day-life kind of anecdotes - that are the real stories. He told us the best stories were the type in which we revealed our insecurities and feelings, no matter how embarrassing. It's in exposing those vulnerabilities that we become human and readers will relate. (I was patting myself on the back, because revealing my embarrassing insecurities is my speciality in The Laptop Dancer Diaries.")

There were plenty of other stories Friedman shared with us, including a few about relationships! Yes, he's single and, apparently, around my age. Check out this essay he wrote about a breakup. Unfortunately, I understand only too well. (Those of us who have had to endure mid-life dating and actually write about it share a special bond.) He did have a gorgeous, blond girlfriend with him so he wasn't able to openly share his true feelings about how attracted to me he undoubtedly was...but I'm sure it will all come out in our future memoirs...

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