Kathleen Murray Moran has just had the seed story for her memoir The Widow and the Hijacker picked up by NPR’s Snap Judgment!
What I love love love about Kathleen is how her complexity and vulnerability as a narrator is revealed. There are certain “stitches” that hold together beautiful memoir writing, and one of them is being able to invite the reader to the closet of memory, those places where secrets are held, vulnerabilities, neurosis and perversities, and, finally, redemption. The best memoirs show us that the conditions of our lives can create small prisons and in order to escape these prisons, we have to dig into a dark place, we have to go underground, using our own reserve and resources to tunnel out to the sunlight again, where a fresh wilderness of freedom waits for us. And only in this new territory can the reader feel for sure that the human spirit–in all its goodness– will eventually prevail.
And this is Kathleen’s story. It is the story of what I call the hidden hero. There are the Ghandis and the Mother Theresas, the ones who broke a huge mold and showed up as iconoclastic domain-changers. And then there are the quiet heros and heroines, the ones who are creating deep tectonic shifts even while they raise their kids, rise for work each day, shop at the grocery store and all those other normal activities. Kathleen is one of those tectonic shifts.
It’s true that once-upon-a-time, she was the wife of a hero, a man who died saving the city of New York from a terrorist threat. But she did not just survive her grief, she rose like a phoenix from her loss, raising two young boys, leaving a life of poverty to become an English professor, founding an organization to help other widows in similar situations, and finally, having the courage to walk away from the seduction of her husband’s killer to own her story, and finally write it down in all its powerful beauty.
Thank you, Kathleen, for becoming a guiding light in a world where we can easily become mired in the sadness of what we have lost. Your story has at its core an iron strength and will that shows itself with such force and beauty in a moment of deep conflict ringed with secrecy. The fact that you can tell it with so much honesty and clarity is a testimony to the strength of who you have become as a writer and also as a leader for others who are longing to move past any kind of trauma, sadness, confusion, and into a greater more abiding light. – Suzanne Kingsbury, Author, Editor, Publishing Consultant, Book Shaman, Writing CoachKathleen Murray Moran, memoirist and long-time writing professor, is the wise woman we look for all our lives. A truthteller; a seer of light; committed and loyal, Kathleen will challenge you to skip the living room and go right to the closet in your memoir, and she will be holding your hand the whole way so you never have to feel alone as you explore new territory. Able to see the big picture and also hone the work on a sentence-level, Kathleen is in love with words and knows that telling those powerful stories we’ve been keeping inside can lead to not only book deals but also a legacy of healing on a cellular level. If you have happened upon Kathleen, look no further, you have found a true gem. – Suzanne Kingsbury Suzanne Kingsbury: It became my work to create groups and one-on-on spaces where writers could seed their secret, imaginative selves, where they could be nurtured. I called this Gateless Writing and its mission was to provide a buffer against early criticism, so what sang and thrived in their writing could be cultivated and developed. Kathleen is the perfect blend of longtime writing professor knowledge and growing up street smart skills. Kathleen isn’t afraid to hold the space for even the most difficult of stories to be told. A gifted and steadfast memoirist with a sharp eye and ear for editorial detail, she can help you mine to the heart and truth of your own story and then line by line, polish each nugget, each gem until it shines. – Karen Kenney ~ Writer, Workshop Leader, Gateless Teacher, Spiritual Mentor, Potty Mouth, Yoga Teacher & Host of the “The Yoga Show with Karen” – Concord, NH Kathleen Murray Moran’s hard won confidence and skillful storytelling are just what I needed to push into my own uncharted waters. Her ear is tuned to something deep inside the action that coaxes true north into its rightful place. – Minton Sparks, Award winning Performance artist. Kathleen’s gentle toughness makes you reach deeper. Sylvie Kurtz, Author of 21 books. Kathleen was an integral part in initiating a gigantic breakthrough in my writing. She is unafraid to talk about her own process in order to help guide yours. Her gentle encouragement made me get honest with myself about how I could go deeper, and as a result, I grew further into myself as a writer. – Regina Lee Tingle: blog reginatingle.com A writing workshop with Kathleen is like a portal to your deeper wiser self. Under her skilled guidance you will develop greater trust in your own creative voice and you will enjoy every minute of it. Do not miss this opportunity to work with this gifted writer and teacher. This is the truth, Kathleen. you’ve got it all going on. Dulcie Witman – Founding editor of Minerva Rising Literary Journal. Kathleen has spent a lifetime reading and teaching the masters which has given her the eye and ear for astute editing. She sees what’s on the page and what’s not on the page and is determined that your stories shine. – Jodi Paloni – 2013 recipient of the Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction