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DEAR BULLY: A memorable experience - JOYFUL NOISE [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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DEAR BULLY: A memorable experience [Mar. 25th, 2011|08:14 am]
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Memoirists are sometimes asked how it is that we're able to recall, with sensory details, our long-ago experiences. Rightly so, and here I must confess: While I clearly remember many childhood experiences, I sometimes lose track of things that happened a few months days minutes ago! (What was it that brought me downstairs just now? And hmmm, I seem to have misplaced my coffee cup again!

Without wading into the psycho-pathology (I'm certainly no expert), I'd venture to say that most long-term memories are shaped by these circumstances:
  1. Emotional Impact. The event is so harrowing...so powerful and gritty that it's permanently sandblasted into your brain. (Think: 9/11, or the Civil Rights protests of the 60s.)
  2. Repetition & reinforcement. I have lots of siblings, with whom my own story intersects. We bore witness to the same events, and have talked about them many times since. Sure, we might quarrel about minor details. But when it comes to the underlying truths, we're usually on the same page.
  3. Sensory Impressions. Memories are sometimes paired with physical sensations (aromas, sights and sounds, touch and taste), which help serve as triggers for later recall.  (Rose-fragranced hand lotion, for instance, reminds me of my Nana, as do dandelion puffs and crocheted afghans.) 
  4. Wish fulfillment. The experience is positive, and somehow related to your wildest aspirations and your most fervent dreams. (Who among us can't remember their first kiss?)

Now to a more recent example: I'll always remember the exact moment I learned that my personal essay, Luz, was going to be published in DEAR BULLY: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories. I was checking my email-- a steaming mug of vanilla-nut coffee in hand--when the good news arrived in my inbox. And lord knows, I've repeated the story many times over since then. Enough so that I'm willing to bet that friends and family have memorized it, word for word. 

More grist for the memory mill: DEAR BULLY was featured in the February issue of Glamour magazine. And this past Monday, we got our pages for final proofing. LOL, I couldn't edit the thing to save my life! Instead, I found myself staring at the formatted pages, a silly grin plastered across my face. Seeing the dimensions of the book itself...the typeface, the page numbers..whoa, unforgettable! The reality (the magic!) is finally hitting home.

And then today, we received an updated publication date (Aug 23, 2011), table of contents, and book cover. And even though they've already created an indelible impression in my own mind, I decided to post them here. Because I suspect I'm not the only contributor who's hoping (and perhaps praying) that this anthology will shower its eventual audience with love and light, hope and joy. 


Dear Bully

Dear Bully by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Love Letter to My Bully by Tonya Hurley
Dear Audrey by Courtney Sheinmel
Slammed by Marlene Perez
My Apology by Marina Cohen
Dear Samantha by Kieran Scott 

Just Kidding

Stench by Jon Scieszka
What I Wanted to Tell You by Melissa Schorr
Subtle Bullying by Rachel Vail

Hiding Me by R. A. Nelson
Midsummer’s Nightmare by Holly Cupala
BFFBOTT.COM by Lisa McMann
The Innocent Bully by Linda Gerber
The Secret by Heather Brewer
The Funny Guy by R. L. Stine 


A List by Micol Ostow
There’s a Light by Saundra Mitchell
The Soundtrack to My Survival by Stephanie Kuehnert
If Mean Froze by Carrie Jones
Abuse by Lucienne Diver
The Boy Who Won’t Leave Me Alone by A. S. King
That Deep Alone by Lise Haines
break my heart by Megan Kelley Hall
End of the World by Jessica Brody
Girl Wars by Crissa-Jean Chappell
The Curtain by Deborah Kerbel


The Eulogy of Ivy O’Conner by Sophie Jordan
Regret by Lisa Yee
Karen by Nancy Werlin
Surviving Alfalfa by Teri Brown
When I Was a Bully, Too by Melissa Walker
Carol by Amy Koss
Never Shut Up by Kiersten White
The Day I Followed by Eric Luper 

Thank You, Friends

The Alphabet by Laura Kasischke
They Made Me Do It and I’m Sorry by Cecil Castellucci
Simplehero by Debbie Rigaud
Isolation by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Luz by Melodye Shore [Meep! That's me!]
Dear Caroline from Canada by Carrie Ryan
The Blue-Eyed Girl by Jocelyn Maeve Kelley
Frenemies Are Not Friends by Michelle Zink


The Other Side by Nancy Holder 
Can We Make This Letter Disappear? by Sara Bennett Wealer
Bully on the Ledge by Kurtis Scaletta
Informed Consent by Lara Zeises
Silent All These Years by Alyson Noël 
Now and Then by Aprilynne Pike
Strangers on a Street by Diana Rodriguez Wallach
Objects in Mirror are More Complex Than They Appear by Lauren Oliver


Levels by Tanya Lee Stone
Slivers of Purple Paper by Cyn Balog
The Sound of Silence by Claudia Gabel
Starship Suburbia by Maryrose Wood
Kicking Stones at the Sun by Jo Knowles
Memory Videos by Nancy Garden
Finding Light in the Darkness by Lisa Schroeder


Write It

The Sandwich Fight by Steven Wedel

Fearless by Jeannine Garsee
Without Armor by Daniel Waters
The Seed by Lauren Kate

It Gets Better

Now by Amy Reed
Standing Tall by Dawn Metcalf
The Superdork of the Fifth-Grade Class of 1989 by Kristin Harmel
“Who Gives the Popular People Power? Who???” by Megan McCafferty
“That Kid” by Janni Lee Simner
This Is Me by Erin Dionne
Bullies for Me by Mo Willems
To Carolyn Mackler, From Elizabeth in IL
Dear Elizabeth by Carolyn Mackler

Resources for Teens
Resources for Educators and Parents  


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