Memoir Moment #9: Mary Gordon Spence Shares Her Thoughts on Memoir Openings

by Matilda Butler on January 4, 2010

catnav-interviews-active-3Post #34 – Women’s Memoirs, Author Conversations – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

mary-gordon-spenceIt is a special pleasure to interview someone who is a well-known and respected public speaker, especially someone who calls herself a humolosopher. Mary Gordon Spence has her own take on combining humor and philosophy that is fresh and comforting at the same time.

I asked Mary Gordon if she has always been funny. She responded with a story. “I was in the first grade,” she began. I wondered where the story was going as she said she was worrying about an assignment where she was to describe herself. Her mother, clearly an early and consistent influence, suggested that she begin her talk with, “I was born at a very early age.” “Aha,” I thought. No wonder some of us don’t seem comfortable with humor. Perhaps we just didn’t grow up in the right type of family.

Mary Gordon assures me that they didn’t sit around the living room and tell funny stories. She says that everyone in her family just saw the humor in all kinds of situations.

And most of all, Mary Gordon said that humor isn’t something you can add “like nosedrops.” If your natural voice encompasses humor then it will find its way into your writing. If not, don’t worry. It is most important to speak from a genuine voice that you and others will recognize as belonging to you.

Mary Gordon and I both hope you enjoy our conversation.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

SCN-Heart1Want to hear Mary Gordon Spence in person? You’re in luck. Mary Gordon is the keynote luncheon speaker at Story Circle Network’s Stories from the Heart V conference in Austin, TX, February 5-7. We both hope to see you there.

You can find more information about Mary Gordon on her website.



{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Matilda Butler January 4, 2010 at

Mary Gordon:
I want to thank you for such a fun interview. You provided a number of wonderful insights for women writing about their life. Your encouragement to be true to one’s own voice is especially helpful.

-Matilda

Jessicca Burris January 6, 2010 at

I just found this interview today. Thanks you two. It was fun to listen to and I got a couple of ideas for my own writing. I like the perspective presented here.
-Jessie

Mary Gordon Spence January 7, 2010 at

Talking with Matilda was a real treat. She made me THINK about things I do and helped me remember why I do them. So, thanks, Matilda. I’m so looking forward to the Story Circle Network’s conference in Austin, TX, February 5-7.

Here’s to a wonderful NEW YEAR!

Mary Gordon

Leave a Comment

Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Interviews Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category Writing Prompts Category StoryMap Category StoryMap Category StoryMap Category Writing and Healing Category Writing and Healing Category Writing and Healing Category Scrapmoir Category Scrapmoir Category Scrapmoir Category Book Business Category Book Business Category Book Business Category Memoir Journal Writing Category Memoir Journal Writing Category Memoir Journal Writing Category News Category News Category News Category