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Healing Stories Project with Diane DeBella
Session Three: Creating Your Own Healing Story



Session Three Podcast

Session Three Exercise: Creating Your Own Healing Story

After you have listened to Podcast 3, I hope you will continue to work on composing your own healing story. As part of this online course offering, you may e-mail me up to 1000 words of your story, in Microsoft Word, if possible, to diane@iamsubject.com, with the subject line of “Healing Story from <your full name>,” and I will use the Track Changes feature in Word to provide you with my personal feedback within 1-2 weeks.

To help you with the creative process, I suggest the following exercise, which takes both intention and concentration (difficult in today’s world when we are constantly distracted).

Remember to move through life with a sense of wonder. Be in the moment, take the moment, and bring that moment to the page. Strive not to miss anything. The writer Pam Houston calls these moments ‘glimmers.’ When a moment glimmers, we can actually feel a vibration. Those are the moments we need to pay attention to; those are the moments we need to record without thinking about what they mean, where they are going, or how they end. Just focus on collecting moments that have metaphoric powers. Try to keep the moments tactile without letting them get into your head. Get the concrete details down first; otherwise, you risk accidentally removing the item that glimmered in the first place. Your analytical brain can gloss over the truth, and you want to avoid that if at all possible. Go out and collect the glimmers, from both the past and the present. Don’t close off the possibilities of other glimmers along the way, even if it initially appears that you are mixing unlike objects.

Sit in a quiet place free of distractions, and write about three glimmers: one from the last 48 hours, one from more than 10 years ago, and one from any time.

When I initially did this exercise, I wrote about picking up my father’s urn from the mortuary during a driving rain storm. That glimmer ended up as the postscript of my memoir. Glimmers can be developed into truly impactful pieces of writing.

I am so grateful that you took the time to invest in the Healing Stories Project. I welcome your comments and feedback at any time – please feel free to send your comments to me at diane@iamsubject.com.

Session Three Readings

Note: When you click on each selection below, the text will open as a PDF. If  you’re reading on-line and the text is vertical, just right-click on the file and select “rotate clockwise.” If you have a Mac computer, click here to learn how to right-click, if you don’t already know how to do so.

Carolyn Heilbrun, “Writing a Woman’s Life”

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, “Moon Shell”

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Solitude of Self

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