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For writers and readers
Maybe the better way to think of this letter is, why you read TreeHouseLetter. For me, it’s about why I write. Which, are two sides of the same coin. I updated my site this year and will have to do so again after this letter. Would love to hear from you.
Key Messages for TreeHouseLetter
- I believe in always learning with a bit of fun.
- I believe in story and music, that the power of words and notes artfully arranged can inform us, transport us, show us what it means to be human.
- Learning is more than knowledge; it is founded on how to be a better person.
- What do leaders, thinkers, and writers—great humans—have to share? What have I learned from them?
- Books have the power to transcend time and place, to connect readers. What makes certain works lasting?
- Read and listen to those who inspire us.
- Writing is thinking on the page. Beautiful writing is an organized whole of well-crafted parts. Start with a single sentence.
- Learn to write, become a better writer and a better thinker. In the process become a better human.
- Aim for authenticity. Shed self-indulgence, posing, and pity to brave the stalwart and narrow path to say and write what you know, see, and feel.
Key Messages for My Upcoming Memoir, Raising Athena
- I am writing memoir because I believe that the past is not set in stone; that we get to create narratives of who we are.*
- I wanted to know what it was that compelled me to join the armed forces and why my daughter did so.
- Who are those called to lead in the military and why do they choose this path?
- How did I raise my daughter and did that affect her choice to be a warrior?
- Who is the modern warrior?
- Why should the citizen and the nation know its warriors?
What do I create and why?
- I write creative nonfiction, which is true story, factually accurate narrative with all the elements of fiction.
- I write the TreeHouseLetter because I love sharing what I’m doing, reading and learning; how leaders, thinkers, writers affect me and change me.
- I had been doing for so long I have stopped to reflect. I do and I reflect. As I get older, I read and I reflect.
- The creative process of writing and discovery help me understand the path I’ve chosen, the warrior and the leader and the writer.
- I read to be inspired, to learn, to escape. Then, I write because I must get it down, the madness in my head, to make sense of my ideas, to organize my thoughts, to discover what I had not known when I started.
Who do I write for?*
An audience of one, in the form of a letter. I think of this person when I write; I imagine you reading this letter. Individuals include:
- a friend, the reader and dancer and medical doctor who likes to golf who joins me at the cafe
- a friend, the florist and former banker who loves to cook
- a friend, the volleyball mom and sports enthusiast
- a classmate
- a mentor, the writer and runner and poll worker
- a friend, the executive and veteran
- a neighbor, the dog walker and book lover
- a Florida friend
- a reading group friend
- a friend from my first duty station
- a friend, the expatriate in China
- a fellow reader, traveler
- a fellow alum, student of life
- an old friend
- a soldier
- a veteran
- a student of writing and of life; a person who wants to write
- my father, my mother, my brother, my cousin, my children, my nieces and nephews
- my husband
*Dan Blank shared this line nearly verbatim and I love it, agree with it, realize I’m doing it. Listened to his class yesterday on bringing together writers and readers and wrote this letter as an exercise in the key messages behind my own writing.
*Whom do I write for — sounds pretentious versus Who do I write for? And, who is okay, acceptable for informal writing, generally. Or any writing outside academe. Unless it’s for that teacher, maybe your Latin teacher. Since the question when written as a statement, I write for whom, makes it clear that who is the objective pronoun. Brian Garner gives a lot of print space to who/whom and (B) The objective who, as well as the (C) The mistaken nominative whom and more, (D) and (E) and (F), the final for Placement of the Relative Pronoun. See Remote Relatives. (Garner’s Modern English Usage, Fourth Ed. pp 964 to 966)