Tales of Our Lives-Cover-Reflection PondTales of Our Lives-Cover-Fork in the Road


These brave and honest stories in TALES OF OUR LIVES describe a rich range of experiences, joy and sorrow, love, death, birth, and personal transformation. In giving voice to many of us who share similar memories, the writers help us to honor our own lives.

~Maria Espinosa,
American Book Award for “Longing” and
PEN Oakland Award for “Dying Unfinished.”


a two-volume anthology series of 81 inspiring true stories, informs woman’s desire to record, examine, understand, and report life journeys. In an era of reality shows that aren’t close to reality, the authentic voices of these authors stand out, clearly conveying their heartfelt stories. As you read, you’ll find yourself laughing, crying, even cheering the women on. And, if you want to compile your own stories, you’ll find a bonus writing tool included–Introduction to Writing Alchemy–the document that helped these women go deeper into their own stories.


published by Knowledge Access Books, brings you life stories in two anthology volumes — Fork in the Road and Reflection Pond. Put on your comfortable walking shoes for in Volume 1: Fork in the Road, you’ll travel down life’s path with the authors as they reveal the people and events that made all the difference in their lives, the stories that made them who they are. In Volume 2: Reflection Pond, pull up a chair so you can sit with the authors as they think about their lives across the years–the stories, big and small, that they recall.


On Memorial Day, in honor of his service in the Marines, Nina Fosati posted a remembrance of her father on her website, which was well received. When she saw the contest on WomensMemoirs.com, she decided to dust it off, rework it into a story and submit it. Nine months later, she’d almost forgotten about it when she got the news her story, Semper Fi, had won a professional review and edit, a precious prize for a fledgling writer. Thinking carefully about her editor’s suggested changes, Nina revised and expanded her story and re-submitted it for publication. To her delight, it was chosen for inclusion in the second volume of the two-volume anthology, Tales of Our Lives: Reflection Pond.

Nina Fosati has always been a storyteller but she believed she was too old to be a writer. Then physical limitations crashed into her life, and she decided she had to try. Finding she no longer functions well in the world, she uses impairment as the inspiration for many of her stories. Semper Fi was Ms. Fosati’s first professionally published work. A longtime resident of Buffalo, New York. She would like to extend her sincerest thanks to her editor Matilda Butler and the members of the Hamburg Writer’s Group, who supported her as she wrestled with the final edit. You can follow Nina on Facebook.


The award-winning stories in the two volumes of TALES OF OUR LIVES are part fascinating read and part learning tool. WomensMemoirs.com conducted a contest for the best written and most engaging life stories. The writers selected from the first round won the right to take part in the second round where they used a new methodology called Writing Alchemy to revise their stories. The Introduction to Writing Alchemy (based on the award-winning book by the same name) guided the rewrites, helping the authors delve more deeply into their stories and make them more powerful and compelling.

These inspiring stories stand on their own and may also serve as a springboard to writing your life legacy vignettes. As a reader of these two anthologies, you receive the same material on how to use Writing Alchemy as the authors did. It is a gift to you so that you can use this dynamic writing methodology to shine a light on the moments that helped shape you.

AND STILL MORE. In addition to giving you a full description of Writing Alchemy, you also can use these two anthology volumes to enhance your writing skills in two more ways. First, each section includes a series of writing prompts based on the types of stories shared in that part. Volume 1 gives you 42 prompts and Volume 2 includes 56 prompts. Second, you can study these stories to learn about effective openings, titles that foreshadow the story, character descriptions, emotions that pull the reader in, dialogue that moves the story forward, sensory details that bring story scenes to life, and time/place elements that serve as backdrop or become as important as the main characters.

THE ANTHOLOGY AUTHORS provide you life narratives that will delight, entertain, and enthrall you. The telling of these extraordinary stories of ordinary women may trigger memories of your life for these authors speak to our collective experiences as much as they do their own.

 Tales of Our Lives-Cover-Reflection PondTales of Our Lives-Cover-Fork in the Road


(If you don’t have a Kindle you can read the books on your computer, tablet, laptop, netbook, and phone by downloading the widely available free apps for your device.)

New England Book Festival Award Winner,
Compilations/Anthologies Honorable Mention:
Tales of Our Lives

About the Editor

Matilda Butler (with Kendra Bonnett), is the co-founder of http://WomensMemoirs.com and the award-winning co-author of the collective memoir ROSIE’S DAUGHTERS: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story, now in its second edition; WRITING ALCHEMY: How to Write Fast and Deep; and other books. Butler is the co-editor of the 10-time award-winning anthology series SEASONS OF OUR LIVES (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) that rose to #2, #3, #4, #5 on Amazon Kindle’s bestseller list.

A social psychologist, online and in-person memoir coach and conference speaker, Butler writes and teaches in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and Waikoloa Beach, Hawaii.

TALES OF OUR LIVES is a collection of stories as colorful and textured as a vibrant quilt that’s been pieced together by a community of lively women. Curated into chapters that reflect powerful turning points, each story speaks with its own voice about critical moments when life has taken a surprising turn—and the ways in which those turns have expanded and enriched the writers’ understanding of themselves. Beyond the stories, the chapter openings and the Appendix, “Introduction to Writing Alchemy,” provide invaluable guidance—structured inspiration—for others who may be wondering how to transform the tales of their own lives into memorably written stories that they can share with family, friends and the wider world.

~Susan Spangler, artist, author & illustrator of the graphic memoir
The Year of the Bird: True Stories in Words & Pictures,
and blogger at http://shygirltalking.com and http://susanspangler.com

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