Join The Noise

There is a community of the spirit. Join it, and feel the delight of walking in the noisy street, and being the noise. –Rumi, A Community of The Spirit Each year at Write-By-The-Lake I work with 15 other writers to help them bring their world into word. I understand my main role is to help them translate their meaningful experiences into captivating stories that become meaningful to their readers. Fortunately, there are many points of success for us writers (or we would give up too soon). Success comes in getting our ideas and stories down in our journals. Success comes … Continue reading

The Initiated Writer

Dear Writers!  I have been offering this on-line class, THE INITIATED WRITER, for the past 5 years. I would like to offer it to you at a (ridiculously) reduced fee of $65.00 for all the lessons, which includes me reading some of your work (regular fee is $250.00). I will send you all the lessons at once, and you can go through them at your own pace. However, you will have till September 15th to send me any pages related to the lessons! Consider it a summer course. Here is the description and invite to this initiatory experience: The Initiated Writer: An online … Continue reading

The Two Wells

How Everything Has A Place I take my blind dog out under the white and pink blossomed apple tree to brush her. She groans as hair falls from her old body into soft golden piles in the greening spring grass. Just moments before how I worried about where I would be a season from now. Where might I live and who will share my days? She rolls around, such a happy dog Her golden hair remains behind an invitation to the birds now collecting in the trees take me use me to build your nest. I don’t enjoy worrying or obsessing about what … Continue reading

The In-between Places

A friend recently commented that she envied me: “You’re at such a spiritually rich time.” She was referring to this “in-between place” I am in. I have had other times in my life that I consider spiritually fertile, where uncertainty was abundant.  In truth, I’m glad to be on the other side of those spiritually rich and uncertain times. Like putting down a good book. I enjoyed the suspense and time while reading, then, felt satisfied when done. I will be happy to be on the other side of this time of uncertainty and spiritual fertility as well. But she has a point. The suspense of uncertainty … Continue reading

During Such Times, What Matters?

Many of my writerly friends and students have contacted me recently discouraged and confused. What does any of “this” matter?, they ask. “Who cares what I write about?” Besides, they claim, “my story is not unique.” Let me respond first with a personal story. I found myself looking in the mirror lately with dismay. I see an old woman.  At the core of me I know a truth: that I am aging, and that I am doing a fine job of it. With the awareness that all judgment involves projection I looked around me. What do I see when I look at others? Do … 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

Give Your Words a Place To Go

On my morning walks I commit to a certain destination out to a broken tree, which is about 2 miles from my home. This way, since I hold my destination at 2 miles out, I am sure to have a 4 mile walk. In some ways I trick myself into commiting to walking 4 miles, having to walk the two miles back. In my upcoming Write-By-The-Lake retreat and workshop through the UW, Madison, we focus on giving our words a place to go on the page, and then, our pages a place to go once written. Through developing a Rainbow Theme Arc with our chosen … Continue reading

Words from Your Writing Sherpa

My life is full of writers. I am called to help writers, write. I was called to climb this mountain myself first, and back in 1989 published my first book with Doubleday. Over the past 20 years I have written and published 10 books, wrote columns for magazines and local papers, been actively writing a blog; while I continue to fill up pocket notebooks and journals.  I presently work independently as a writing sherpa and through the UW-Madison, Continuing Studies as a writing instructor. I am also finishing my “final” draft to a novel, along with a couple other writing projects. I love … Continue reading

What To Remember When Writing

  What to Remember When Waking by David Whyte   In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake, coming back to this life from the other more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world where everything began, there is a small opening into the new day which closes the moment you begin your plans.   What you can plan is too small for you to live. What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough for the vitality hidden in your sleep.   To be human is to become visible while carrying what is hidden as a gift to … Continue reading

Still Writing

I began writing into journals at the age of sixteen. I still write in journals, pocket notebooks, note cards, sticky notes, and, sooner or later, into my computer. Writing is a way of life for me. It is how I hold conversations with the Great Unknown. I give myself permission to write about whatever calls to me. I write out whatever spiritual paradox, creative idea, or, relationship challenge presents itself to me. As I write I story my life. Instead of letting the world, or my past, or even circumstances I am in dictate my story, I write. I reframe. I re-story. I add new characters, … Continue reading