How to Begin Again. . . and Again by guest blogger Rebekah Young

After seven months away from writing my novel, I re-joined Julie’s monthly writing circle ready to begin again. I’d finally finished the first draft on Christmas Eve, 2015. The next step was clear: spend the next year writing the second draft. Julie uses the analogy of climbing a mountain to frame our approach to our writing and writing circle. We were at the base camp, about to begin our climb. What’s our intentions as we begin this journey? What keeps us going? What do we need to complete the climb? I laced up my hiking boots and charted my course, excited and … Continue reading

Love after Love

The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life. –Derek Walcott, … Continue reading

The Survival of Art and The Tailor from Aleppo by guest blogger Caroline Oldershaw

Despite the fact that a current candidate for President of the United States asked “what’s Aleppo?” when asked about his Middle East policies – I will assume that most of us know – if nothing else – that Syrian people are leaving their homeland to escape violence, destruction, privation, and death. According to the Migration Policy Centre, “an estimated 11 million Syrians have fled their homes since the outbreak of the civil war in March 2011. Now, in the sixth year of war, 13.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance within the country. Among those escaping the conflict, the … Continue reading

When The Soul Calls

“In This Moment” In this moment One foot in front of the other I hear chickadee I see spaciousness of blue above me In this moment One foot in front of the other The road meets my feet, while Above a flock of blue birds migrate In this moment One foot in front of the other I make my daily walk To the broken tree In this moment One foot in front of the other I host the longings in my heart As the friends they are In this moment One foot in front of the other one foot then … Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl by guest blogger, Kerstin Kuentzel

  Soft conversation seeps through walls. Subtle chirps in front of the open window, sotto voce as if my feathered friends were afraid to scare this new day off with too much noise. Snake-like, a sliver of dim light has escaped the folds of the curtain and creeps along the floor. Time to get up, sleepy head! One more stretch in slow motion, embracing every inch of my reach. I swing both feet out of bed. Bare soles are caressed by carpet loops. I sit there for some seconds. My mind is already creating the daily checklist.   Watch out, … Continue reading

The Magic of Morning Pages by Susan Eaton Mendenhall

First thing in the morning. Three pages in long hand. Everyday. These are the basic guidelines of a writing practice called Morning Pages developed by Julia Cameron. Years ago I discovered Julia through her book, The Artist’s Way. I felt stuck in my life and her process of writing to break through creative blocks renewed me with hope. Perhaps this practice could give me direction. Morning Pages are not about being brilliant or artful or even making sense. It’s just putting words on paper as they come into consciousness. Julia Cameron makes a case that writing in long hand slows … Continue reading

Fire Ceremony

It’s time for a fire ceremony! Do you feel it too? Do you have something to release into the fire to help make room of what’s next in your life? On FRIDAY OCTOBER 7th I am offering my final (free) WRITERS’ RETREAT at my home and retreat center for this year. Click here for more information: As our wrap up on Friday’s retreat at 3:00, we will have a FIRE CEREMONY. Before coming to the fire circle, create an offering out of burnable materials, typically a small stick. This “spirit arrow” can represent an issue or something that needs to be honored in order … Continue reading

Our Secret Lives

“After all, conventional wisdom recommends the divided life as the safe and sane way to go: ‘Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve.’ ‘Don’t make a federal case out of it.’ ‘Don’t show them the whites of your eyes.’ These are all clichéd ways we tell each other to keep personal truth apart from public life, lest we make ourselves vulnerable in the rough-and-tumble realm.” –Parker J Palmer, Let Your Life Speak Writing is a true vocation for me. A benefit of being a writer is that I find clues to my own true nature’s voice in my writing. My … Continue reading

Go With It

Rarely is the muse a fairy-princess or a prince charming. Or if so, they show up a few decades late just to stir things up for you. Spirits great messengers come to wake us up. They come ready to shake things up enough so that we sit our butts down and write. They are here to help us continue or return to the spiritual path we once committed to. They come to answer prayers. Sometimes we carry these prayers secretly in our hearts, others, we mention every day.  These messengers intend to get our attention, move us beyond our self absorption and self-criticism. They don’t like pity or … Continue reading

A Risky Thing

How do we choose what to write and then what to share? What do we want to put out for public consumption? Once we have put ourselves out there in print we have moved through a doorway. From a writer’s perspective, sending our thoughts and stories out to be read can be a life changer. At the very least it represents a turning point, dramatic or not. Readers may or may not be altered by what the writer has shared. But the writer will be, for what we share becomes more alive, more real and tangible. We have committed ourselves … Continue reading