Saturday, November 28, 2009

Redemption Writing

Two weeks ago, I made a conscious decision to slow down, take a breather, and stop straining to fit everything into my schedule--hence the reason you haven't heard from me in a bit. Although I feel I thrive most when I am ambitious and fill my life with ALL the things I love, there comes a point when too much is too much, and either a) not a lot is getting accomplished anymore or b) things that shouldn't be on the back burner are there-- simmering.

How nice it has been to relax and not get down on myself for not being able to do it all, 100%, because really, I can't. However, my life continues in its fullness, but not in vain, instead, quite the opposite.

Last Saturday, I attended a memoir writing workshop at a little place called Writers' Dojo, in Portland, Or. It is a cozy open place to meet with other writers, and where writers come to share their ideas on the craft. There is also another building where writers can rent a space to use as a writing office. It makes for a nice little community.

I signed up for the workshop, because after having attended Wordstock, I realized that workshops are invaluable. There is nothing like attending a workshop to re-fuel the fire. I was especially interested in this workshop's writer, Kerry Cohen, a Portland based writer, and author of the memoir, Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity, and two other young adult novels.

Maybe I haven't quite relayed what I've been up to yet, but I am in the beginning stages of writing a memoir book proposal that I hope to have finished and into the hands of an agent before the Spring. When I found this workshop and saw that Cohen would be teaching, she struck me as a valuable teacher, as her work is geared toward the audience that I, too, have in mind while I write. And like her memoir, mine takes place during the same teenage years, and rings a similar tune of unraveling much too young. I know, I'm being vague?

Anyway, the workshop went well. It began with each of us writing a secret that we've never shared. Then she had us read them aloud! "This is what writing a memoir is like," she said. Initially, as I shared, I was shaking in my hands and in my voice, but by the end of the three hour workshop, I was steady and confident.

Memoir writing is therapeutic, and is a large part of why I am writing what I write. The other part of why I am writing such intimate recollections is that while I was young and as life happened, I didn't understand any of it, so I write with hopes that I can lend some direction and experience to those who are enduring a similar experience, and sadly, there are many.

At the end of the workshop, I spoke with Kerry for a moment to thank her for the class and asked if I could email her in the future. She told me that she was interested in my story and offered to be a mentor to me during my writing process. "Yes! Yes!" I said. "I would love and appreciate that!"

I left the workshop ecstatic that I'd been offered a mentorship, and with a woman who very much knows and relates with stories like mine. I knew that I couldn't pass up her class, and now I know more why. I have a feeling that she just might be an integral part in me bringing my raw truth to the page, and finding redemption in an experience that has held me captive over the years.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Does Anyone Know Where November's Gone?

I've just been minding my business, writing my tail off, chasing kids, keeping house, darting to studies, reading relentlessly, trying new recipes, and mostly enjoying life and all that it wants to throw my way. But, really? Is that any reason for it to already be mid-November? And I have sneaking suspicion that another winter of snow drifts and shut-down shops is on its way. Seems here in the NW we haven't grasped the reality that we, too, can get snow more than every few years, and we should know how to manage. But enough snow-talk, I can't even begin to think about Thanksgiving. Too much on my plate already, and it's not food.

Blessings to you from the rainy NW!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A fierce unrest

seethes at the core…

it was the

eager wish to soar.

-Don Marquis

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Rainy & Lovely Weekend Ahead!

Good Morning!

What are you up to this weekend?

I'll start mine this morning with a trip to the gym to get my cycle on. I also have plans for a long run tomorrow--that is if I am not washed away by the rain!

Other fun weekend events & tid-bits:

My friends Hayden & Jenni are getting married today! I am so excited for them! I am also excited to see an old best friend from junior high/high school who I haven't seen since. Her and I share many memories, and in fact, I've been thinking of her a lot as I've been writing lately. What I am currently working on has a lot to do with our friendship. I may divulge more on this later...

Tomorrow, I plan to get canning. I've got a big bowl full of apples from my in-law's tree and I can't delay!

Also, I plan to get cozy on my over sized papazan and continue reading The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver, AND drop a few articles in the mail to the others who are participating in Candace's 30 Days of Mail Swap. Can't wait to check my mail box today! Isn't it so fun to receive mail??


Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I am stoked Rhianna's new album is coming out this month! Her last album Good Girl Gone Bad used to accompany my every workout and still does when I need an immediate pump-up. I don't listen to any R&B other than this album--I left the majority of that taste in music in junior high school, but can't turn away when I hear this girl sing.

Laurie Sandell, Glamour magazine writer and a teacher that I had at Wordstock last month, just revealed on her blog that her secret interview last month was actually with Rhianna! Check out the article here. It's great to see how far Rhianna's come.

I have to admit that after her incident with Chris Brown last February, I felt her album was tainted. I was feeling sad and guilty that I felt that way, especially about an artist that I love so much. I had such feelings especially when I'd listen to tracks like Take a Bow, that had me wondering how something could happen to such a strong, bold woman. The harsh reality, though, is that it happens to women strong and bold. Although, image is everything in the media, Rhianna's situation is an important reminder that even hollywood can't escape the unfortunate challenges that many face, and there is no excuse for violence. Now, Rhianna speaks for so many--who haven't yet spoken.

Because her music ROCKS,

and because she's as STRONG as her music sounds,

here's to RHIANNA and her new album and my new work-out tracks!

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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