“I’ve always felt that my ‘style’—the careful projection onto paper of who I think I am—was my only marketable asset, the only possession that might set me apart from other writers.” ---William Zinsser

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ANNOUNCING THE SPRING WORD LOVERS WEEKEND -- CHECK IT OUT

We writers need to set aside time, create space, give ourselves permission, and practice the craft. We just need to write! Word Lovers creator Claudia Taller has created a motivational and supportive writer’s getaway weekend at Lakeside, Ohio’s Chautauqua on Lake Erie. On Friday at 1PM, Claudia will lead early arrivers on a tour of two local wineries. Dinner will be served at 6:30PM followed by a session of exploring your goals through vision boarding 9-11AM Saturday, Liana Laverentz (www.lianalaverentz.com) will present Beginnings, Middles, and Endings. She’ll show you how to open your book with a bang, prop up a sagging middle, and craft endings that leave your readers wanting more. Focus will be on keeping your reader’s attention, getting rid of words that slow a manuscript down, knowing what’s important to the story, and what is not. Bring the first three pages of your work in progress. 1-3PM Saturday, Trudy Brandenburg (www.trudybrandenburg.com) will lead a fun and active two-hour session about Self-Publishing and Marketing. She will lead you through publishing through CreateSpace, and you’ll also walk away with a draft of your book cover and a marketing plan. You’ll also design your business logo and your brand. 3-5PM Saturday, Claudia will remind you of The Elements of Style in a copyediting and word choice session that take you back to Strunk & White and get your manuscript or short pieces into audience-ready shape. 7:30AM Sunday, Claudia will lead yoga by the Lake, and after breakfast, a roundtable critique session. Weekend Fees are $239/weekend for a shared room and $329/weekend for a private room. Commuters pay $169, and a Thursday’s overnight stay is $50. All meals, except Saturday dinner, are included. Send your reservation to Claudia Taller at claudia.taller@yahoo.com. A $50 nonrefundable fee will hold your space until May 15 when the balance is due. Cancellations after May 15 are subject to penalties. Sign up by April 15 and save $30. Payment should be sent to 26408 Chapel Hill Drive, North Olmsted, Ohio 44070.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Storytelling--Red Tent Tales -- Open Your Heart with Storytelling

UNITY SPIRITUAL CENTER SATURDAY, APRIL 26 FROM 12-4PM Years ago, I led an oral storytelling event at Lakeside, and simple questions like, "What is the first thing you remember?" brought people to tears. The women of Biblical times congregated in a red tent each month during menses, and what else was there to do in their seclusion but talk? Maya Angelou wrote that "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” That's what drives writers to write, old people to tell their stories, women to gossip when they’re just trying to find answers. You may tell your stories out loud and repeat the same ones over and over again, and as you find the right moment to say what comes to mind at a dinner table or while walking in the woods, you are letting that untold story out into the world. What is it about human nature that makes us want to tell others what we've learned, what we feel, what we've experienced? Join us on a journey into the ancient tradition of storytelling as a way to express interior conflicts and heal wounds, as a way to re-work what we know and create a vision for the future, and as a way to find beauty and blessings in our lives. Although we will do some writing together, in addition to oral storytelling, the only skill necessary is to write what’s true and absolute and real for you as your journey in this world. The cost is $35 and includes a light lunch. Payment should be made to Claudia Taller, 26408 Chapel Hill Drive, North Olmsted, Ohio 44070 prior to the event. For questions and to register, write Claudia.taller@yahoo.com or call Claudia at 440-554-6406.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Good Start to the New Year!

Nurturing the spirit and living by your Absolutes is increasingly important in a world of distractions. This annual January event seeks to start out the New Year by boosting our energy and setting us in the direction of our dreams. During our time together, we will explore gratitude through meditation and prayer, share a meal during which we’ll connect each other, and open our hearts and envision life’s possibilities through reflective journaling and creativity exercises. We’ll go into the world and the year ahead fortified and ready to make a difference in the lives of others and in the world at large. The cost is $35 and includes a light lunch. For questions and reservations, send an e-mail to claudia.taller@yahoo.com or call 440-554-6406.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2014 Events

I was totally blown away when CBC Magazine asked to interview me for their November/December 2013 issue (http://cbcmagazine.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=756&Itemid=119/). The resulting profile captures every aspect of who I am professionally--a paralegal, a writer, and an event creator. It's such a joy to have reached a stage in life when I am able to be creative yet have a professional career which provides a good livelihood. I imagine that if I had to earn a living from writing and events, those things would start to lose their heart, and what would be the point? Just the shallow money? I've struggled with having to work full-time at a less-than-creative job, but over the years, as I put my authentic self more into the 24/7 legal work, I've been able to bring creativity into the workspace. This "blending" of my worlds is what makes me unique. The events I put together each year also reflect who I am and where I am on this journey through life. As usual, I'm creating a New Year workshop called "Connecting with Your Authentic Self," to be staged at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake, Ohio, on January 25 from 1-4PM. In the spirit of Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love, we'll begin with a meal. What are the things that matter most in your life? Do you even know? My life often feels like I'm meandering along a river and wander into dead-end tributaries, all the while bringing up muck from the river's bottom. During our three hours together, we'll embrace our spiritual and creative gifts and come up with a list of absolutes, our roadmap for authentic living. The cost is $35. I love what Susie Clemmer and her husband have created at Riverside in Dundee, Michigan. Artist's Way participants will return to Riverside on Saturday and Sunday, March 8-9, 2014, to explore the ancient wisdom of the women in The Red Tent (if you haven't read Anita Diamant's book, you want to), what Tibetan monks know about living in the moment, what Catholic nuns all over the world share in their humility, and what native cultures can tell us about art and spirit and life. I'm looking for a few spiritually-connected women to help me with segments of this retreat--if interested, send me an e-mail at Claudia.taller@yahoo.com. Coming up in April, I'm hosting another mini-retreat at Unity Spiritual Center, called "Open Up Your Heart With Storytelling." From 1-4PM on Saturday, April 26, we'll tell our stories in the oral tradition and then move on to telling our tales through poetry and memoir. Again, a light meal will be served and is included in the $35 fee. Finally, my touchstone event--Word Lovers. We'll convene at the Idlewyld Bed and Breakfast in Lakeside during the weekend of May 30 to June 1. Weekend speakers and writers-in-residence are mystery writer Trudy Brandenburg and novelist and editor Liana Laverentz. The two of them have put their books out into the world and have much to share with fellow writers about their journeys. Our theme is taken from Toni Morrison, who said “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” Our Word Lovers "Just Write" weekend promises to be an opening-up experience. The cost for the weekend, which includes all meals and a room of your own, is $250. Questions? Send me an e-mail: Claudia.taller@yahoo.com. All events must be prepaid by sending a check to Claudia Taller, 26408 Chapel Hill Drive, North Olmsted, Ohio 44070.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Upcoming Events

Connect with your authentic self at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake from 1-4PM on January 25. Fill yourself with ancient wisdom at Riverside in Dundee, Michigan on March 8 and 9.

Finding Religion at River's Edge

The vegetarian kebabs, wild rice, salad, and angel food cake paled against our Friday evening dinner conversation about lost loves, peak experiences, life-changing lows, our lack of religion, and how journaling adds layers of meaning to our lives. Some of us spent time in restorative yoga, getting centered, while others became grounded with a good walk before we holed up in the cozy Victorian parlors to explore voice and its connection with storytelling. We wrote as many images of things that move as we could think of, described an object that we encounter often, and wrote two memories of deception to learn something about ourselves and tell the reader something they didn't know or help them see what we found out in a different way. That element of surprise was our goal as we wrote poetry, thought about what brings out the muse, and talked about writing spaces. We spotted a hawk in the Rocky River Valley and walked flat footed in the therapeutic pool. We shared our writing and inspired each other to continue to pursue writing goals. It was hard to leave each other and go back to the real world, but we are already connecting on Word Lovers Facebook Page where Trudy's already posting and sharing. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with some of my favorite writers at Lakeside during the weekend of May 30-June 1.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Word Lovers at River's Edge

I'm always trying to find places to escape and retreat from the world. 

One of them is River's Edge above the Rocky River in Cleveland.  Word Lovers will be there the weekend of November 22-24.  We will write deeply about difficult subjects and try to touch the pain and joy within.  We will share stories, write memoir, play with poetry, hike, swim, critique our writing, and listen to the wise words of great writers. 

Join us at 3430 Rocky River Drive, Cleveland, for a weekend of escape with other writers.

A Winding Road - Writing

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My book, "Ohio's Lake Erie Wineries," an Arcadia production, explores the history of island and lakeshore wineries from the mid-1800s through today. I write travel, memoir, profiles, book reviews, local interest articles, and fiction. My writing is always of discovery--whether it's journaling, book reviewing, letter writing, or sharing an experience of life. I have written two novels and am working on a third novel and a memoir. I am passionate about sharing what life has to offer with others. "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron woke me up to a sense of possibility--life is too short not be enjoyed by living deeply and well. I created Igniting Possibilities, a conduit for creativity workshops and events, in the hope of guiding others to realize their full potential. The Word Lover's Retreats at Lakeside, Ohio's Chautauqua community, help writers find their voice and direction.