Light grows dim near 5:00pm these days, a reminder that we come to the closure of another year. On the buffet, the sweets wait for the onslaught of visitors. Orders are in for Christmas Eve dinner treats. Gifts anticipate wrapping paper and the reflections from the bubble lights I purchased remind me of my childhood.
This year is not so cataclysmic as the last few, still chaotic, but like my recipe for Christmas morning cinnamon braid, hints of joy turn us back to feeling somewhat normal again.
I've been sitting with the idea of belonging whether it be to a family, a community or the world and what that looks like, how I serve others and how I serve myself. The idea of home seems to be just beyond the horizon most times. And yet, I'm faced now with that natural progression toward finding home within myself.
When I think of those I can help, those I have hurt, and those who have gone before me, I have just one lesson to share. I can't cure any difficulties that others are experiencing. I can't change the past. And, I certainly can't control anyone else.
So here's a little newsletter to share some good news. I'll make it quick. Just some things that are coming up, a bit of pride for one of my clients and a gallery of images from Italy in November.
Back together again!
Annette Wick and I have partnered on a number of workshops. We're excited to bring this latest one to our favorite bookstore in Newport, Kentucky: https://roeblingpointbooksandcoffee.com/ and partnered with one of our favorite writing organizations in Cincinnati: https://www.womenwriting.org/home/programs/craft_of_writing_classes/rewrite_revise_repeat_a_three-part_revision_workshop_for_writers-in-person_12 . Check it out! Space is limited so please sign up today.
This is Marvel Ferguson on the left and C.J. (Jeanette) Jackson. Earlier this fall they made a dream come true when their collaborative work was published: Hunting Wildflowers. Several years ago, I met Jeanette in a workshop I facilitated at https://www.womenwriting.org/ . She had letters from a time period crucial to American History, the Great Depression. These letters, written between two people in the Goshen/Loveland area of Greater Cincinnati, exposed the hard facts of rural life in that time. Jeanette and her great aunt, Marvel Ferguson, set to work creating a story that brings that time period to life while focusing as well on modern day struggles of a younger woman, and the wisdom of the aging aunt.
Marvel is just that, a marvel. As I worked with her and Jeanette, I could not believe the clarity of mind and passion of heart in this centenarian. During the writing of the project, we worried that the book wouldn't come to fruition in Marvel's lifetime. But I spoke with her yesterday. She is 103 years old, and full of good stuff. I am so proud to be a part of this project and to know these women.
Upcoming events where you can catch Jeanette are as follows:
Sat., Dec. 10, 1-3 p.m. The Bookmatters 6 Main Street, Milford, Ohio Meet Loveland’s own C.J. Jackson. She and her great-aunt Marvel have penned a tale taking place in Loveland, Ohio. Hunting Wildflowers is a historical fiction with alternating storylines following a series of love letters from the Great Depression to modern day life. The team began writing the novel when Marvel was 98 years young, and publication arrived just after her 103rd birthday. They’ve created a poignant narrative of small-town life that demonstrates why community roots still matter. Hunting Wildflowers is now available on Amazon and at select local venues.
Sun., Dec. 11, 4-5 p.m. The Craft Lab 1334 OH 131, Milford, Ohio Meet the author, reading and book signing. Marvel Rich Ferguson is the current oldest living Goshen Alumni. She collaborated with her grandniece, Jeanette Jackson, creating a novel entitled Hunting Wildflowers. It was published last month weeks after her 103rd birthday. It unpacks a rich historically accurate description of our community honoring a way of life during the Great Depression. Together they weave a passage through time uncovering love, lust, greed and jealousy to pave the way.
I've just returned from two weeks in this beloved country, leading people through the paths of Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. I am renewed and ready to go again. After three long years and a little thing called the pandemic, we experienced a place changed and yet the same. Here is a gallery of most memorable sites.
Until next time,