Lorraine Ash, MA, is the author of Life Touches Life: A Mother’s Story of Stillbirth and Healing (NewSage Press, 2004) and Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life (Cape House Books, 2012). Both are memoirs, a genre she sees as socially important.
“We each were born as a character into a family and cultural story and not always in the roles we would have chosen for ourselves,” she says. “Then fate takes us in unexpected directions. Writing memoir is a way to weave our outer and inner lives to create meaning and trace and direct our evolving identities over time.”
What does all that mean for the culture at large? Nothing helps the human race see and understand itself more than such honest witnessing in every corner of the human experience. There is no taboo territory in autobiographical writing, which the author William Dean Howells once called “the most democratic province in the republic of letters.”
In her workshops and writing retreats Lorraine presents nuts-and-bolts techniques and examples from successful published works to guide new writers in creating their very best work. Participants learn to find their strongest writing voice, structure their stories in compelling ways, and see their lives from surprising and useful new angles. All these goals are achieved in an informal backdrop of serenity and relaxation.
“The ultimate achievement for writers,” Lorraine says, “is to lead themselves, and their readers, to some truth.”
Through her microbusiness, Lorraine Ash Literary Services, she also edits books and coaches authors one-on-one. (Visit the Literary Services page for more information.)
In addition to her books, she has written shorter memoiric works that have appeared in anthologies, including Steeped in the World of Tea, and various journals and webzines such as Cairn, Journeys, Ducts and Recovering the Self: A Journal of Hope and Healing. (See the Other Works page for more.)
Currently, she is working on Missing Mary, a memoir.
But Lorraine doesn’t always have her head in a book or manuscript. A longtime journalist, she also enjoys the challenges of writing stories about other people and the issues and forces that impact their lives. She has been an editor/reporter in her native New Jersey since 1982, the year she earned her master’s degree in Communications from Fordham University.
Presently, she writes for the Daily Voice, a digital media company based in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Prior to that, she worked for the Daily Record and the Ridgewood News. Her articles and special series have gained global, national, state, and regional attention and awards and have appeared in a number of newspapers, including USA Today. She belongs to the Society of Professional Journalists.
Lorraine is active in the evolving world of stillbirth research and legislation. As a peer grief contact, she also works one-on-one with bereaved mothers of infants.
She lives in Allendale, New Jersey, with her husband, Bill, a jazz trumpeter. Her non-literary passions include cooking, qigong, great dramas, and the state of Maine.