Violin Lessons for the Writer

I am taking violin lessons because (well, I confess I don’t know all my reasons). Someone recently asked me why I have a few strands of red hair. A story comes to mind: the gist of this story is that we must seek enlightenment like a woman with her hair on fire seeks the pond. But as I got my hair cut a month ago I simply felt like getting a strand of red added. Call it a nudge. Same with violin lessons really: I felt this internal nudge. I trusted these nudges enough to explore them. So here I am taking lessons from … Continue reading

What The Tree Taught Me by guest blogger Kerstin Kuentzel

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  – Neale Donald Walsch I chose the above line as personal mantra and reminder for this year. Little did I know that the ink of my pen would have barely time to dry before a series of unexpected happenings would test my stamina and perseverance. Over and over again, I only had to look outside into my backyard where my old friend, a river birch has taught me free survival lessons for eighteen years. When my husband planted the young tree, our neighbors were skeptical about whether it would make it on the chosen … Continue reading

Our Bridges to the World: The Art of Being & Writing

“You can perish in the famine of your own making.”  John O Donohue, Anam Cara Great scenes are like our souls––both depend heavily on the emotions and senses to reveal their true story. What is going on in a scene within our life or on the page needs an awareness and expression of our emotions. To write and live authentically means to be listening to the soul and “the body makes the senses thresholds of the soul.” (John O Donohue, Anam Cara) “A renewal, indeed a complete transfiguration of your life, can come through attention to you senses. Your senses are … Continue reading

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

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

When Writing Becomes a Train Wreck and How To Get Back on Track by guest writer, Patrice Peltier

(This blog is written by journalist and gardener, Patrice Peltier): Sometimes my brain is like a train barreling towards its destination. When I get to where I think I’m going, I realize somewhere along the line I switched to another track. Just recently, this runaway train of a brain derailed my writing process. About three years ago, when I planted a new garden I began keeping notes. At first, my entries were brief. “Watered today.” “Added leaf mulch.” “Planted three ‘Cajun Fire’ heuchera purchased on sale.” It was record-keeping more than anything. A way to refresh my memory if I decided … Continue reading