It Didn't Start Out That Way

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Product Details
$19.95  $18.55
Hidden Timber Books
Publish Date
5.0 X 8.0 X 0.74 inches | 0.6 pounds
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About the Author
Judy Bridges was years into a career writing speeches and marketing programs when she realized she really loves to teach and founded Redbird Studio. She spent the next 25 years helping people find the words they want to say. The first lines of many books and shorter works were written and polished in workshops she led in the studio, on woodland trails, in cemeteries, on trains and city bus-es. When an elementary school principal asked her to work with his students, she said, "I don't do kids." That turned into school year and summer programs for youth of all ages and backgrounds. When teaching, Judy looks in each person for the thing they love, the thing they can build on. No writing is insignificant. The obituary is as important as the novel. When she wrote Shut Up & Write! readers said it was as much about life as about writing.

"Like the best memoirists, Judy Bridges writes with such candor, humor and clarity that I felt like I was going through life with her instead of reading about it."

-Christina Clancy, author of The Snowbirds, Shoulder Season, and The Second Home

"Beautifully wrought and richly detailed, [a] story of love, loss, and resilience .... From idyllic summers spent Up North with her grandmother to the unsettling impact of her parents' divorce on her childhood to surviving an abusive first husband and mustering the strength to move on, this is memoir at its finest."

-Jeannée Sacken, award-winning author of the Annie Hawkins series: Behind the Lens, Double Exposure, The Rule of Thirds

"Sometimes poignant, always illuminating, her insights will resonate with those who endeavor to live an examined life ...."

-Shauna Singh Baldwin, author of The Selector of Souls, The Tiger Claw, What the Body Remembers

"Judy Bridges has been responsible for pointing a remarkable number of writers onto the path of creating excellent writing, and her new memoir is her moment to show the world that she's a master of prose in her own right. Anyone who has ever sat down to write a sentence will appreciate the magic Judy conjures in stringing together captivating tales using language and images that are imminently accessible and feel real and authentic to the life of the writer. Judy Bridges has done in this memoir what every writer hopes they can do-write what they know and succeed in keeping the reader wanting more." -Jonathan West, Writer, Actor, Consultant, and Author of Milwaukee's Live Theater

"Judy Bridges' students have been waiting for this book. It is everything we knew it would be, and more than imagined. These stories are told with candor, heart, and humor when appropriate; quiet rage when deserved. This memoir is layered. On the one hand, it is a recollection and reflection of a life. Bridges makes you see people you have never met, yet feel you have. On the other hand, and even more magically, it shows how a writer transforms a life into art. On my bookshelf is Judy's Shut Up And Write, an instructional book on the craft of writing. Next to it is a space for It Didn't Start Out That Way, the master's example." -Sharon Nesbit-Davis, Author of Intended: A Marriage in Black & White, Writing Coach, Facilitator for Creative Recharge Workshops.

"Who writes like this? 'The paper was yellowed and crackly, coming apart at the creases where it's been open and folded, again and again, each time breaking my mother's heart.' Judy Bridges does. On every page. I "luff" Judy, and I know you will, too." -Sara Rattan, Winner of Short Story Contests in The Wisconsin Academy Review and Glimmer Train.