By Nicole Cowdell
As she sat playing music at the old piano, swaying back and forth and grinning from ear-to-ear, award-winning memoirist Dianne Hardy relived her childhood by reading excerpts from her book, “For Cryin’ Out Loud,” to patrons at the Logan Library on Wednesday night.
Hardy is a firm believer in the healing power of writing and arranged the event to share that idea with others.
“I like sharing my experiences and hope maybe something I say might help them,” Hardy said. “We all learn from each other. That’s one of the best ways to learn.”
“For Cryin’ Out Loud” was published in 2012 and focuses on Hardy’s life as a child. Determined to move past her resentment for her family, Hardy wrote five versions of the book before developing the book’s key sense of humor that has since resonated with many readers.
“When she found her humor, she found her voice,” said Dawn Wilson, a member of the Utah Writers League with Hardy. “That’s true to who she is; it was fabulous.”
The daughter of two school teachers, Hardy followed in a path similar to her parents. She taught piano for close to 50 years and was a music professor at four different universities, including Utah State University. She retired from teaching in 2008 and has since been focusing on her writing, maintaining the idea that writing is therapy and can help heal past grievances.
Starting at 7:30 p.m., Hardy read stories about her life, intermittently performing songs on the piano.
The stories she told centered on her childhood and her relationship with her family. Some were funny, such as watching the recently beheaded chickens run around the backyard. Some were somber, such as the story of Hardy’s attempted suicide going unnoticed by her family. But all were real stories, stories with meaning, stories that left an impact on the audience.
“It was great. It was real and authentic,” said Penny Glaittli, a guest at Hardy’s reading. “So much of what we get today is so fake, just to have it so real is great.”
Originally from Roosevelt, Utah, Hardy has lived in Logan since 1981. She has three children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Hardy hopes that her life experiences can inspire others to resolve their past trials.