Teacher, Speaker

ECM Belize Book Group

E.C. Murray teaches Creative Writing at both Seattle Central College and Tacoma Community College. Her writing format focuses on three central areas from which all writing flows: character, plot and prose. Additionally, she speaks at writing workshops and forums from libraries to colleges as well as service clubs and community functions.  

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Up Coming Signings and Presentations

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May 24, 2016 Gig Harbor Library, Gig Harbor, WA. 6:30 – 8:00 P.M.

May 28, 2016, Bellevue Barnes and Noble, Crossroads, Bellevue, WA. 1:00 – 3:00 P.M.

June 7, 2016, Holyoke Public Library, Holyoke, MA., 1:30 – 2:30 P.M.

June 21, 2016, 6:30 P.M. Kiwanas, 7445 S. Homer St., Tacoma, WA.

June 28, 2016, 1:00 P.M., Bonney Lake Library, Bonney Lake, WA.

 

 

Event Calendar April-June 2016

April 9, Sat. 9:00 AM Book Signing; Barnes and Noble; Alderwood Mall

April 14, Thurs., 7:00 P.M. Morso’s –with other writers, Gig  Harbor

April 21, Tuesday, 6:30 PM Island Books, Mercer Island “April in Paris” event with other authors

April 29, Friday, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM, KSER radio, 90.7 Everett, Snohomish

May 7, Saturday, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM, Barnes and Noble, Bellevue

May 24, Tuesday, 6:30 – 8:00 PM, Gig Harbor Library, Gig Harbor, Wa.

June 7, Tuesday, 1:30 – 2:30, Holyoke Public Library, Holyoke, Ma.

The Intimacy of Memoirs…and Beyond

Thanks to you who’ve written thoughtful notes about A Long Way from Paris. I’ve loved the goat photos,  the stories of travels in France, some stretching back to World War II, and the honesty of those  who relate to feeling “less than,” not up to par, not good enough. That’s what memoirs are about: resonating with others’ hearts and souls, revealing the parts of ourselves we often prefer to stay buried.

A student of mine recently committed suicide. She didn’t know many others in our small class, but writing memoir is an intimate process in which strangers feel strangely connected. A knot grew in my stomach, puffed like yeasty bread, and I realized I’d denied dealing with her death—truly wrestled with and accepted it—until I had to face my other students. That’s what memoir is about. Saying aloud that which we’d rather hide away; confronting our emotions that aren’t actually demons, but difficult, often painful tugs on our heart that we’d prefer not see the light of day. And yet, by speaking out loud–and here’s where the cliché comes in –by speaking our truths—we become deeper, clearer, more empathetic beings and so, too, our stories. We become models for the people we touch.

Cape Cod Pochet boardwalkMy next book is actually not a memoir. It is a mystery; a fairly light one indeed. Do you remember hearing about when Dylan was booed off the stage in Newport for switching from folk music to electric? Well, grandiose as it may sound, I feel a bit of kinship. Memoir is excruciatingly difficult to write. Next, I wanted something lighter. After all, Harriet the Spy was my favorite book growing up, I read every Nancy Drew book in fourth grade, and in college, if I felt depressed, I turned to Rex Stout. So forgive me as I switch to lighter fare. Soon you will meet Lori Orondo who’s at her wits end with her wayward son, Austin, and Amanda Perkins, a former rival from college, and Nicole Whryrll, the volatile friend and neighbor, all of whom are wrapped in the shooting of Scott, the charming pharmacy tech with a questionable past.

We all need relief now and then. You never know from whom you’ll find wisdom, but Mel Gibson (I know. Really??) said, movies should 1.) Entertain 2.) Educate 3.) Elevate. I hope the same for my books. And yes, they can even be a little fun.

Much gratitude to all. EC Murray

BOOK EVENTS

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EVENTS

June 13, 2:00 P.M., King’s Books, Tacoma, Wa.

June 18, 6:00 P.M., Darvil’s Bookstore, Orcas Island, Wa.

June 20, 2015, 2:00 – 4:00 PM, Griffin’s Books, Friday Harbor, Wa.

June 21, 2015, 3:00 PM, Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, Wa

June 25, 2015, 7:00 P.M., University of Washington Bookstore, Seattle, Wa.

July 17, 2015, 7:00 PM, Inklings Bookstore, Yakima, Washington

July 18, 2015, Gig Harbor Artfest, Gig Harbor, Wa.

July 25, 2015, Portland Bookfest, Portland, Oregon

September 8, 2015, Soputhampton Library, Southampton, Ma.

September 25, 2015, AAUW Book Club, Gig Harbor, Wa.

Finally!

Kirkus Badge“Writers think they’ll start off writing with a piece like ‘Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.’ That’s not how it works. You need to begin with Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.’” I’ve misquoted author Jamie Ford, but you get the gist. Learning how to write well, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, or poetry, is a long, arduous path. Writing is an act of passion, and to succeed you need to persevere, read critically, and write, write, write. There’s no one way of establishing the habit, no one rule which applies to all writers, which is why I’ve loved interviewing authors about their paths in The Writers Connection www.writersconnection.org

My path began with classes at the community college (long after I earned a Masters in Social Work), and continues to this day with as many classes I can afford. My method was introduced by Carlene Cross in Theo Nestors’s “Generating Memoir” class: read one hundred books of your genre. That, I did. Here postings with lists of memoirs I wrote in order to write A Long Way from Paris.

  1. Possible Side Effects Augustin Burroughs
  2. Writing is My Drink by Theo Nestor
  3. The Story of The Trapp Family Singers by Maria Von Trapp
  4. On the Road Jack Kerouac
  5. Truth and Beauty Ann Patchett
  6. Diary of a Drug Fiend by Alister Crowley
  7. Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelden
  8. When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd
  9. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Hays
  10. Without a Map by Meredith Hall