When I was little, I entered talent show after talent show, never winning but always hopeful. I’m really just a ham. I no longer tap dance or twirl a baton, but I do love giving readings and talks. I especially like tailoring a talk to a specific group — whether it’s a Friends of the Library event, book fair, writers’ conference, civic group, religious organization, or any gathering of women.

For example, I can talk about relationships (the changes that take place in every marriage – the slow, expected ones and the sudden, surprising ones); the importance of taking on new challenges as we grow older; how we patients must navigate today’s health care system; the craft and process of writing – or more specifically, writing memoir and personal essays. I can talk about the similarities and differences in writing memoir, novels, and poems; how I’ve used details from my life in my writing. I also love encouraging others to write their story. I believe there are a lot of people out there who want to turn their memories and real-life experiences into art.

Got another idea? Run it by me. I’m always happy to come up with a new talk.