“Make Love Not War” in book trailer for “Seasons of Our Lives”

Back in July 2011 I posted here crowing about winning a writing contest. The story, titled “Make Love Not War”, is about my brief love affair during a summer-study abroad program in 1978.

Sarah and Halim, 1978, Dijon, France

Sarah and Halim, 1978, Dijon, France

Now that story has been published  in Seasons of Our Lives, a new ebook series available on Amazon’s Kindle Store from Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett of Women’s Memoirs. And they asked me to read my story for the book trailer!

You can view it here–

They’d like me to tell you that “These are award-winning life stories that will charm, intrigue, captivate, and inspire. There is a second treat in these volumes. After each story, there is a takeaway to help readers think about their lives and consider effective ways to write their own life stories.”

I was delighted with the “takeaway” Matilda and Kendra wrote to accompany “Make Love Not War.” They called out aspects of my essay that I had not yet seen–such as the way the details of time and place are essential to this story. And they liked the way the repeated phrase about the telephone “brings change and creates hinges in the plot.” It’s nice to know that something I worked hard on actually worked for my readers! (And please, let’s talk more about my writing. This feels good!)

I believe this was the most revised piece of writing in my memoir repertoire. I boiled away episodes and even characters until some would read this and say, “That’s not the way it happened at all,” in order to make it work in the Women’s Memoirs short essay format. This is the craft aspect of writing memoir. I killed a lot of darlings to create that contest entry. (For my actual memoir, I’ll go back to the 30-page version and see if I’ve learned enough to make it work.)

So here’s my request–my message in a bottle. IF YOU know someone who was part of the Group Indiana, 1978, Dijon France–If YOU know the whereabouts of a boy from Lebanon who passed through Dijon before moving to Moscow to study medicine in 1978–whose family was from Morocco and may have returned there–if YOU are, or knew, the boy we called “Miko” who loved Halim as much as I did–please get in touch. What are the Internets for, if not unlikely reunions?

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About first person productions

My blog "True Stories Well Told" is a place for people who read and write about real life. I’ve been leading life writing groups since 2004. I teach, coach memoir writers 1:1, and help people publish and share their life stories.
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4 Responses to “Make Love Not War” in book trailer for “Seasons of Our Lives”

  1. Erin Farrell Adamany says:

    Great story, and Halim is so handsome! I shall put ‘searching for Halim’ on my ‘Moroccan To Do List!’ If he isn’t located before then! 🙂 I pray that he is alive and well – inshallah!

  2. Erin Farrell Adamany says:

    Do you have a last name? I am asking my father-in-law, who befriended a Lebanese man about your age, if the description of Halim rings a bell. I believe Sammy was still living in Lebanon during the 70’s. At times the world is so small!!

  3. Sarah! Great story! I don’t know what you had to sacrifice but the essay is tight, fascinating and well written. I liked hearing you read it and congratulations about being included in an anthology! Where did they put you? Spring? : ) Dhyan

  4. Pingback: Mopeds in Burgundy | True Stories Well Told

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