2016 is behind us, with all its violence and turbulence. We hold on to hope for a more peaceful 2017. Now in my eighth decade I am more than ever aware that every small act of kindness radiates around us, so let's fill each day with them.
My two new books, "Side by Side, Writing Your Love Story" and "Footsteps, In Love with a Frenchman", both celebrate my lasting love affair with Pierre. I've added a new photo of the two of us at the recent Geneva Writers Conference.
I've also added a drawing by Alice Baudat, friend, artist, author, that illustrates our 55 years together. Her drawings have blossomed on the fb page for Side by Side
My passion for writing, for all that it uncovers, has not wavered. I am finishing another manuscript, "Writing Toward Wholeness, Lessons Inspired by C.G. Jung," that brings together many of the workshops I have been teaching at different Jung Centers in the US and in Europe.
At the same time I continue to love teaching creative writing. I will be back in the States for my annual spring tour of workshops, dates and places are noted to the left, and again in July for the Summer Conference of the International Women's Writing Guild, www.iwwg.org, that will be held in Muhlenberg, PA. Would love to welcome you!
I am replacing the personal essays that I have been publishing as blogs with a Newsletter from Geneva, that I hope to write every three or four months.
To close this homepage, I return to a page from the introduction to One Year to a Writing Life. After the Chinese edition three years ago, this summer the book was published in Korean. I am attaching a photo of the cover to the left.
"One Year to a Writing Life presents twelve workshops, drawn from over fifteen years of teaching. The lessons dovetail inspiration and instruction. The first component, inspiration, comes from my trust in writing as a way of life. A trust nourished by practice. It is a habit. A person who writes has the habit of writing. The word habit refers to a routine, but also to a stole, to a costume befitting a calling. In the same way that a monk puts on a traditional habit, so the writer puts on a traditional habit. As writers we find where we are comfortable. We put a stole over our shoulders and write.
A writing life springs from the one creative source that is within each of us. It is the same source in all spiritual traditions. For me, the source is God. For others it is Allah, the Tao, the Spirit. When we tap into this source, we become co-creators with our Creator. If the well is blocked, the water does not rise. But if we clear away the clutter, our creativity overflows and touches those around us. Inspiration is breathing. We breathe in, we dip into the well for water. We breathe out, we carry the water with us. We do this with words. We find our stories in the dark and share them in the light.
The second component, instruction, comes from my trust in writing as a process. I appreciate a well-turned sentence that gives life to an image, a dialogue that shares its secrets, a page of prose that lingers in the mind and sinks into the heart. In examining how this is done, we sharpen our writing skills, clarify our thinking, and we deepen our awareness—of ourselves and of the world around us. We work as artists.
It is this combination of inspiration and instruction that underpins One Year to a Writing Life. Included in each chapter are examples of writing from over the centuries, mostly contemporary, to show how different authors craft their words and send their voices into the world. You will learn from Plato, St Augustine, Montaigne, Virginia Woolf, Brenda Ueland, Eduardo Galeano, Annie Dillard, Paul Auster, Terry Tempest William, Orhan Pamuk and many others. Also included are exercises to guide you to fresh spurts of writing, with practice to heighten craft and to develop your own voice.
One Year to a Writing Life opens its pages to your own rhythm and pleasure...
In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, C.G. Jung describes a dream he had in his early years: “It was night in some unknown place and I was making slow headway against a mighty wind. Dense fog was flying everywhere. I had my hands cupped around a tiny light which threatened to go out at any moment. Everything depended on my keeping this little light alive.” This is the light that is within each of us, this is the light that we bring into the world.
With your words, you become light bearers in the world. One Year to a Writing Life leads you to this little light. "