Meet Linda Miller: All the Write Stuff


As the single mother of two teenagers, Linda Miller, years ago, decided to go back to school to earn her bachelor’s degree and inspired her children to believe in the power of a good education. Today, at age 75, now a retired English teacher, Linda is pursuing her interests and passion for writing.

She recently enrolled in a class offered at the Edward A. Myerberg Center to learn how to write, post and promote her personal blogs. Twice a week the group meets, now online due to the pandemic, to learn best practices and offer peer feedback.

Here’s what Linda had to say…

 

Earlier job

I worked at Good Shepherd Center, which was a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed teenage girls. It was a tough job because the girls were difficult, but I loved it. I have never had a better job. I taught English to high school girls who had big holes in their education because of their troubled background.

Always interested in writing

When I was around eight years old, I remember writing little poems and rhymes for my parents’ anniversary or birthday. I wrote a lot of poetry. And then, when I started teaching, I really started writing memoirs. I would give my students a week’s worth of journals. For example, I would ask them to write about a time they were sad or write about the best day of their life or a time they were scared. Naturally, I would demonstrate what I was looking for, so I also would write about a particular time in my life. And I quickly discovered that I loved doing it.

Write what you know

I don’t make up stories…just embellish my own. I find that if I am writing about something that actually happened, it just writes itself. I journal everyday mostly so I can keep track of what is going on. And I try to infuse humor in my writings. Shakespeare knew how important that was…that’s why he would have his little clown type characters.

Having a good editor

I will never publish a blog or let other people read it until I ask my husband to read it first. Even if it’s just a second or third draft, when I think it’s close to being finished, he will look it over. And he’s not just looking for errors, which of course he does, he is a former professor after all. But because he knows me so well, he’ll say something like, ‘this doesn’t sound like you’ or ‘maybe you should reword this.’

Favorite childhood book

When I first started reading myself my favorite book was Kiki Dances, which was about a little girl who wanted to be a ballerina. By the time I was a teenager, I would read whatever was on my mother’s shelf. She belonged to the book of the month club so I would read books like The Caine Mutiny and Mutiny on the Bounty. Pearl S. Buck was my favorite author at the time.

Three must have items

That’s easy… books, something to write with and chocolate!

Next Steps

My ultimate goal that I am working on now is to write my stories and have them put into a booklet which I plan to leave for my children.

Stories from the Soul is an online journal for women by women offered at the Edward A. Myerberg Center thanks to a generous grant from The Associated’s Jewish Women’s Giving Foundation. Participants learn how to write, post and promote a blog about their life experiences.


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