To share and connect with those interested in writing from life, recording their personal histories, writing a memoir for publication and/or personal use, and all things related to writing one's story.
"Have you thought about writing your family history, but found yourself stuck from the start? Writing a family narrative can be a daunting task, but Karen Jones Gowen found a way to bring her mother's story to life." (Homespun Magazine)
Friday, October 22, 2010
Painting the Basement
We have lived in this house for ten years with the finished basement being the second home for many of our boys' friends.
Sleepovers, Dance Dance parties, birthday parties, playing pool and/or ping pong, watching the Sponge Bob Movie about 80 million times, Nintendo, X Box, Wii-- whatever new game system comes out to be added to all the games and systems already collected, pizza, donuts, Tropical Smash, popcorn, bowls of candy, bags of chips, the death couch. Oh, the stories I could tell about that basement. One Saturday morning I came down to do laundry and found about 10 boys laying all over the place, in and among 4 tv sets that had been moved in to have some kind of electronic gaming marathon.
And then as the boys grew older they would occasionally clean up the pigsty and make it suitable for girls on dates--turning on the Scentsy warmer, opening windows to air out the "Basement of Stench," fluffing up the love sac, neatly organizing the afghans, pillows, DVD's, and electronic games, cords, and devices.
My husband and I have completely avoided the basement, except for the routine trips to the laundry room (me, not him), the food storage room and the freezer. Oh, and the occasional peek-in during parties. We dwell upstairs, and when the boys entertain in the basement, the farther upstairs we get the better we like it.
But now the basement is being repainted, the damaged white walls full of dart holes are being patched, sanded and painted mango. It will be beautiful. The carpet also begs to be replaced. But then what about the love sac, the death couch, the Dance Dance pads and the millions of cords and controllers? This basement needs a lot more than fresh paint before it is inhabitable for normal human life beyond that of adolescent boys and young men.
When that time comes, I will wander down there and see the mango walls, the new carpet, the updated furniture and decorating touches, and I will sit down on my new leather couch and cry my eyes out.
"I devoted myself, early on, to writing. Really writing. Just doing it, no matter how awkward and unfit I felt. So every single morning I am on the planet, I grit my teeth and this hard, embarrassing, abject, thrilling thing--writing--because I want, in part, to count." (from Page after Page by Heather Sellers)
Photos from Farm Girl
High school graduation photo of Lucille Marker, the farm girl
Lucille drinking from the well
John Marker, Dust Bowl Days
The Marker Nebraska farmstead
"Farm Girl presents a vision of life on a Nebraska homestead during the 1920's and 1930's, told from a child's perspective, and illustrated with photographs of the time." (Quincy Herald Whig)
"Through the intertwined stories of the life of the Marker family and of the broader historical time period, the book is more than captivating. Gowen's vivid account of her mother's life allows Farm Girl to read as seamlessly as if one were recalling personal memories." (The Holyoke Enterprise)
"Farm Girl will capture the interest of readers in the photos the book contains and witty recollections Lucille has of her grandparents in Catherton Township." (The Red Cloud Chief)
To Buy My Books
True coming of age story of a young girl growing up on a 1930's Nebraska farm.
Click to order
A young married couple struggles to find balance during the over-the-top decade of the Seventies. An autobiographical novel.
Praise for Uncut Diamonds
"What I love is the dialogue." (Deirdre Paulsen, BYU English professor)
"Gowen shows a command of the language." (Jennie Hansen, Meridian Magazine)
"Uncut Diamonds--A unique piece of artistic realism." (M. Gray, Author)
"...tight, realistic, warm family truth... exactly the kind of realistic character-and relationship-driven writing I have been waiting to happen in the LDS market." (Marilyn Brown, award-winning author and benefactor of the annual Marilyn Brown Award)