“Writing Your Next Chapter”: Christine Amoroso Tells Stories From Her Life and How She Writes Them

By: Ethan Johnson

photo by Patricia Pierson

Author of the blog “Bare Naked in Public,” Christine Amoroso hosted a read of her unfinished project at Humanities Gateway on Nov. 12. She showcased her life, writing process and work to UCI students, faculty and a small pool of friends and family.

At the event, Amoroso attributed a major role of her writing process to her strong memory, a tool that has allowed her to develop intricate and detail-enriched memoir when describing people, settings and events with acute delineation. The title and focus of the blog is centered on raw and unapologetic storytelling, which also creates a personal and emotional writing style unique to Amoroso. However, Amoroso faced trouble in finding direction for her current writing project.

Amoroso stressed the importance of having a writer’s group to support her; she said that it was her group who inspired her to write a longer, more cohesive story. She addressed that there were many times she wanted to trash her project, but it was through the help of her group that she kept going.

“I think her point about the importance of finding a community of writers, such as a writers’ group, is her most significant idea. She emphasized several times how helpful it has been to work with a group where she can share her progress and also her concerns. In effect, she has been workshopping the drafts of her memoir with the same group of writers for several years, and they have given her substantial feedback as her book has taken shape,”  humanities professor Patricia Pierson said.

Amoroso also spoke of the turbulence within her career, going through college to become an accountant, a career she reluctantly worked, to a more focused role of an elementary school principal in Irvine. From there, going on leave and moving to Italy to concentrate on her writing, Amoroso’s passion allowed her to convert her gut feeling into action.

“I was just ready… Like one day I thought: ‘you know what? I’m done with this,” I don’t want to be an accountant, I want to be a teacher; then when I was a teacher, I decided I wanted to be a principal. Then I thought I loved being a principal, but I’m super drawn to writing. I want to write, I want to see the world, I’m going to do it,” Amoroso said.

The event finished with a reading from her unfinished book, a passion-project she is determined to finish. Amoroso recited stories of her youth: struggling with young love, pregnancy and a shotgun marriage in Las Vegas at the age of 17.

It was spending the winter in Italy where Amoroso worked prolifically on her book, finding inspiration in the beauty around her. The atmosphere of culturally potent Italy, its aging traditions and architecture acting as an homage to the old world, fueled her desire to capture her starkest memories on print.

Amoroso’s talk served to be inspirational and educational for student Raymond Pecson.

“A part of Amoroso’s talk that stuck with me was her descriptions of settings, like including a locale describing a setting in a story. When someone reads a story, a location described could be embedded in their minds and it can create a connection between the author and the reader.”