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What's New

The process of revamping my website took longer than I thought it might, but looking back, it is like tackling any story. It all takes time, edits, and creativity to simplify and tell the story well. Lauren Whaley listened to my vision, massaged it based on what had been there, and we came up with this new creation.

I love that it defines my work. As a writer, I get lost in the weeds of the work and forget that people may be scratching their heads and wondering when that book will be published.

Coaching clients continues to be a source of fulfillment for me. In fact, I have a few openings should you want help on story development. Contact me for more information.

While workshops have been on pause due to my husband's health, the second half of the year will see a return (hopefully) to memoir writing, journaling, and other forms of workshops to offer. I'm also continuing discussions with Women Writing for (a) Change to offer more craft-oriented teachings.

I can't thank Lauren enough for her good work on my refreshed website. It's simple, paired down so you can navigate easily. The colors, illustrations, and font speak to my goal to show you something of the real me.

Please do me a favor and check it out. I'd love feedback from you.

Client Focus

Lately, I've been thinking about the therapeutic aspect of writing. I'm very conscious of the benefits to individuals. When I begin working with clients I make a clear distinction that I am not a therapist, although, I've been trained as such. I then assure the people I work with that it is important that I do no harm. A lesson that is good for any memoirist, to write from your own experience and allow for other perspectives.

As a strong proponent of mental health, I recommend seeking help when it is warranted. That is not to say that everyone needs it, but sometimes, the objective third party can help an individual gain a perspective, let go of their issues and come to new thoughts.

The process of developmental editing can be like therapy. But unlike therapy, we focus on the story, characters, and plots. Sometimes new thought is uncovered in the writing that creates anxiety in a client. Or it may stir something long buried.

The tool of writing is important to the work my clients are doing with me as well as with the therapist. I'm so grateful to see the growth that comes from the symbiotic nature of work with a trained professional therapist as well as in our book coaching sessions.

The Bookshelf

On my bookshelf, with dog eared pages, is a book I first heard about on Anderson Cooper's podcast: All There Is. Cooper is unpacking the great losses of his life, his father's death when he was 10, his brother's death by suicide at a young age, and his mother's most recent death. I feel an affinity to Anderson because I am the last of my family of origin. So when he had Francis Weller on his show to discuss his book: The Wild Edge of Sorrow, I was drawn in immediately.

Weller proposes that we don't honor the rituals of grief and therefore think it is something to "get through." In essence, this isn't the truth. There is no magic pill for grief. In fact, I learned the true nature of grief by watching my mother throughout my life. Like the story of Lessons in Chemistry, the grief of a woman who is pregnant and loses her partner carries through the growth of the child. Having been a child of this sort, I know that my mother's grief was never ritualized beyond a funeral, a burial, and a message to "get on with it." If she had been given the opportunity to grieve and do so within a community she might have been able to allow her sorrow to live next to joy.

100 Word Stories

Introducing a new segment. This box is outside my house waiting for stories to be deposited for a couple of years. Recently, there have been a few and I'll post one with each newsletter.

Here's the first by Arthur Ingles:

In a quiet village nestled amidst rolling hills, there lived a solitary painter named Amelia. She filled her canvases with vibrant strokes, weaving tales of nature's splendor. One day, a young boy named Ethan stumbled upon her cottage. Enchanted by Amelia's art, he returned daily, sharing stories of his adventures. Their friendship blossomed, and Amelia's paintings mirrored their bond, radiating joy and wonder. News of their magical collaboration spread, drawing visitors from afar. The village flourished as people embraced the beauty created by Amelia and Ethan's hearts. In their art, they found connection, reminding the world that love and creativity could heal any divide.

Thank you, Arthur!

The advent of finding stories in the box has spurred me to write a few of my own 100 word stories. I'll be slipping them into the box and here.

Writing Circles

Gugel Alley Writers had a Read Out In January. We gathered at Roebling Books & Coffee in Dayton, Ky on a cold night. Our writers, many of them new to reading out loud. But they did so well, and gave so much to the night. To hear their words was pure magic.

If you live in the Greater Cincinnati area and you want to ignite your writing life, join us on Wednesday mornings at 9:00 a.m. at Roebling Books & Coffee in Newport, Ky. People filter in and out and we love the mix on any given Wednesday.

Published Work: Awfully Hilarious and Gugel Alley Successes

A few months back, I submitted a piece for this anthology. After learning it was accepted, I soon found out how rich the writing was from other writers. Period Pieces is a funny anthology based in women's struggles with menstruation, menopause, other women's issues. Please consider pre-ordering it, and doing so through Your patronage means so much.

Our group has some successes with published works. Evelyn E. Fallone has written a beautiful piece about her work at the Kenton County Library as the used book collection director. The essay explores the things that one can find in donated books: You are What You Read. Others have articles working for Edible Ohio, City Beat, as well as other publications. It's an exciting time to be a part of such a creative group.

And speaking of published, I'm working on a project for a magazine that is affording me the opportunity to get in touch with some generational memory. I'm talking horses with horse people. I also had the opportunity to go into a darkroom.

Pilgrimage News

Our team will be returning to Italy in late September. The information and link to the brochure is listed here. Due to personal issues, I won't be on the team this year, but will be returning in years to come.

Don't Forget!

If you don't mind, could you please take a moment and look through my site. Let me know what you think. Is it navigable? Pleasing to look at? Easy to find the things offered like coaching and workshops? I'd really love to know your thoughts so if there are things to improve upon I can do that.

Until next time...


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