Would I, Could I, Should I Write a Memoir?

Course begins Monday August 1st 2022

Register today, via this LINK to my partnering organization, Story Circle Network. 
This online class begins Monday evening, August 1st 2022

We meet four consecutive Monday evenings
7-8:30 pm EST:

  • August 1
  • August 8
  • August 15
  • August 22

Been thinking about writing a memoir? Maybe you already started but stalled along the way. Don’t lose heart. Bring your questions to this class. We are gathering to explore the entire process, from start to finish. Learn from those of us who did it the hard way. I’ll share lessons from my fellow memoirists, who wish we’d known these things before we started out. Find out how to tailor your story to the memoir genre.

This is the first of a two part series, covering 8 weeks of content. Each part is four weeks long.
Part One focuses on what it takes to write the manuscript.
Part Two covers what happens after your book is written: the publishing, distribution and selling side. This course is informational and does not require much writing. We may form an ongoing group, for those committing to continue.

We will meet live via Zoom. Attendance is limited to ten people, so reserve your spot today. 
More than 80% of Americans believe they ought to write a book but few manage to achieve this goal. We zero in on what made the difference, between those who finished writing, editing and publishing a book and those who did not. It requires:

  • A belief in your self and your story
  • A systematic approach
  • Ongoing support
  • A mentor who knows the hurdles
  • Encouragement, discipline and commitment

Instructor: Cynthia F. Davidson, IPPY award winning author of The Importance of ParisTuition/Fees:  SCN Member: $128.00  |  Non-Member: $160.00

Author & Mystic

Cynthia F. Davidson began offering memoir workshops in person and online after her 2019 book, The Importance of Paris, won an independent publishing IPPY award. 

A former CBS News journalist, long time expatriate, and global management development pioneer, she now writes and teaches full time. 

On the board and faculty of Story Circle Network, she runs their most comprehensive, memoir overview course, via Zoom. These eight weeks of classes cover everything from initial concept right through publishing options and distribution.

In 2021 she won a Life Writing award and is currently working on four more books.

Active in local Rhode Island writing groups, she also does content editing and coaching.


Loves, Lies and Resolutions

a memoir

“A richly told memoir that’s steeped in history.– Kirkus Review

‘Davidson’s belief that historical knowledge is the key to understanding contemporary problems results in a well-told, jet-setting memoir that spans decades and continents. The book is rather lengthy, but its seamless digressions will keep readers’ interest as Davidson recalls important years in her journey toward psychological and spiritual well-being. A vibrant parade of people moved in and out of her life, and her stories range in tone from joyful to harrowing. She also offers considerable cultural and political insight, and a little bit of romance, along the way, as well as an intriguing take on Paris as a place of refuge and healing. – Kirkus Review

eBook  |  Print  |  Audio


Paris has a soul and she’ll test yours.
Will you sell out or stay true?

Seekers of transformation have been flocking to the City of Light for centuries: artists, mystics, writers, revolutionaries, royals, and refugees. And twenty-seven million tourists a year were making Paris the most visited place in the world when I went there for a ten day vacation in January 1984. A month later, I put my affairs in order and returned, to become one of the two million who call Paris home.

My home had once been in another Paris, the “Paris of the Middle East” Beirut, Lebanon. Having come of age in that former Levantine colony of France, I believed I belonged there. But shortly after I turned twenty-one, Lebanon devolved into a gaping, bleeding war zone. Those of us who witnessed its demise can hardly believe the Beirut we knew is gone. The promise of its heydays lives on in our memories.

During the two decades of my most formative years, my family made our home in the Middle East, although we had all been born in the US. My American expatriate parents might have stayed in their Beirut apartment if Lebanon had not become another casualty of man’s inhumanity.

The Lebanese Civil War almost finished us: my sister was shot in Beirut, my father kidnapped, our apartment looted, and friends disappeared. Some were tortured and killed. Worse yet, some became torturers, killers, and black market profiteers. While others have the luxury of ignoring what went wrong in Lebanon, we who lost everything familiar there crave a decent explanation for its disappearance.

The nightmare of that faux Paris still had me in its thrall when I moved to France at age twenty-nine, determined to discover what had gone wrong in Lebanon. The ongoing fighting made it too dangerous to return to Beirut for answers. After the invasions of the Syrian and Israeli armies, my parents finally gave up and returned to America in the summer of 1982, after twenty-one years in the Arab world. Each member of my family struggled to readjust to life in the US after being abroad for so long. In addition to what was lost in the fighting, we had also lost our foothold in the world at large, and this wreaked havoc on my sense of belonging and identity.

Thoughts of Lebanon’s ruination preoccupied me. As the war raged on during my twenties, I dreaded having turned my back on a place and a people when they needed their friends the most. I didn’t know my grieving process had a label, and a form of treatment, until years afterward when the term “post-traumatic stress disorder” came into vogue. Desperate to draw conclusions and be done with the torment, I decided the best way to come to terms with the war was to find out what had caused it.

That meant finding someone with deep knowledge of the how and why. Only survivors had any credibility with me. Who else could be trusted to explain the reasons behind such devastating violence? Furthermore, it had to be a Lebanese national who had been there, not some foreign analyst, or a pundit with an agenda. Sure a local person was better qualified to tell the world what had gone wrong in Lebanon. If my country, the US, had fallen apart in a civil war, I would want a fellow citizen to explain the lived truths of our story.

Apart from nationality, I wanted to hear it from another woman. And I chose Georgina Rizk. Not because she had once been Miss Universe, but because the multiple tragedies she had endured since wearing that crown had left her fatefully suited to the task. Her involvement with people from opposing sides of the conflict had transformed her into a cipher, with insights from more than one perspective. So I put my faith in this search for the truth, via another person, without fully realizing the risks of such a plan. Nor did I comprehend the limits of logical, factual quests, which rarely repair our hearts or restore trust, in others or ourselves. My psyche steered me towards a female survivor, and a French city, each with their own experiences of wars and healings. Living in Paris put me through a process as peculiar as it was unexpected. And although my three-year cure in France came close to killing me, this memoir is a testament to how Paris managed my transformation. Vive la difference.

Beautiful, insightful memoir set against a backdrop of Lebanon and Paris

“This is a gorgeously written memoir that features a young American woman who comes to better understand herself and the world, while living and then working abroad. In her desire to write an account of Lebanon, which includes the Arab world’s first and only Miss Universe, the author comes to makes sense of how attachment to people and place can determine the course of our lives. Davidson’s writing beautifully illustrates her own struggle to better understand how history creates and shapes us, and how ultimately—and sometimes bravely—we can shape our own. Plus, it’s set in Paris…”

 ― Irene S

You cannot contribute anything to the ideal condition of mind and heart
however much you preach, posture or agree, unless you live it.

Faith Baldwin, born Oct. 1, 1893-1978, American author of 85 books, including Self-Made Woman (1939)