Writing Your Resilience Episode Two: Breaking the Silence with Melanie Brooks



About This Episode

Melanie Brooks joins the Writing Your Resilience Podcast to speak about her book, A Hard Silence: One Daughter Remaps Family, Grief, and Faith When HIV/AIDS Changes It All. This is the book she once struggled to write about her father’s death.  In today’s episode, we’ll explore the powerful impact silence has on you and how to break through it.





Show Notes

Melanie Brooks joins the Writing Your Resilience Podcast to speak about her book, A Hard Silence: One Daughter Remaps Family, Grief, and Faith When HIV/AIDS Changes It All. This is the book she once struggled to write about her father’s death.  In today’s episode, we’ll explore the powerful impact silence has on you and how to break through it. 

Before we get to this conversation, I have a few questions for you. What role has silence played in your writing and in your life? Has it ever been helpful? Has it ever held you back? If you could learn one thing about it, what would that be? How could learning this help you become more resilient? 

Melanie Brooks is the author of A Hard Silence: One Daughter Remaps Family, Grief, and Faith When HIV/AIDS Changes It All (Vine Leaves Press, September 2023) and Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma (Beacon Press, 2017). She teaches professional writing at Northeastern University and creative nonfiction in the MFA program at Bay Path University in Massachusetts. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast writing program. She recently completed a Certificate of Narrative Medicine at Columbia University. Her work has appeared in Psychology Today, the HuffPost, Yankee Magazine, the Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, Creative Nonfiction, and other notable publications. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, two children (when they are home from college), and two Labs.

Episode Highlights

  • 2:55: The pain of living with secrets
  • 5:54: Navigating anticipatory grief 
  • 15:45: The transformative power of finishing your story 
  • 20:00 The magic of timing and the stories we tell ourselves 
  • 26:00 The influence of narrative medicine on Melanie’s story
  • 30:00 Marrying two stories into one 
  • 37:00 Melanie’s best writing advice 

Connect with Melanie:

Connect with your host, Lisa:

“This new podcast promises to be a great resource for writers, from a writer and coach who knows from her own experience the power of writing her resilience.”

Anonymous

“Lisa is a great teacher and writer so I’m eager to hear these podcast episodes.

BK Jackson

Writer

About Your Host



Lisa Cooper Ellison is an author, speaker, and trauma-informed writing coach with an Ed.S in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She has spent the last two decades helping clients and students turn difficult experiences into art, and currently teaches courses in memoir, the psychology of writing, and the book proposal. Her essays have appeared in Huffington PostHippocampus Literary Magazine, and Kenyon Review Online, among others. 


“Lisa is a wonderful, informative, and generous speaker. I always learn something new and compelling when I listen to her.”

Katherine Kyle

Writer

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