“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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Sunday, January 30, 2011


Joan Barris lent me her book of Parallel Sayings that takes Krishna, Buddhism, Christianity, and Tao, and compares them.  They all say the same thing about God being in us and part of us and how we are the conduit of the love of God that's in us and are called upon to seek God and show love to others.  It's important to know that Jesus never said he was the Messiah and that wasn't what people thought he was until almost 200 years later when people wrote the Gospels to tell the story and spread The Word.  The the story became what the 2nd century Christians wanted it to be even though their message that they shared with the world was from God.  Jesus showed us the way but there are many routes to one-ness with God.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Morning Pages

At the beginning of 2010, I was unable to sleep one night.  I've learned that there's no point in staying in bed, so I got up, made my "to do list, and went back to bed.  I intentionally woke Paul who wisely told me I had to deal with sleeplessness on my own.  Back in my retreat room, I wondered where the anxiety came from when my life felt balanced.  I did some deep ugi breathing and meditated to the ocean sound of my own breath.  I watched my thoughts and let them flee freely. When I opened my eyes, they were drawn to Julia Cameron’s book Walking in This World.  Cameron reminded me that morning pages are therapy so I began to write them in earnest again the next morning.  The universe was telling me that.  I recognize it as another form of meditation, letting the thoughts flee into words on the paper is a way of letting them go.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Eat Pray Love, and Connect with Your Authentic Self

Eat Pray Love, a Connecting with the Authentic Self Retreat, will be held on February 19 from noon until 4 at North Olmsted United Methodist Church. Are you seeking beauty, spiritual connection, and love? All these come through God, if you connect with Him and all He has to offer you. So, where's God in your everyday life? Join the journey with Claudia Taller for Eat, Pray, Love, a Connecting with the Authentic Self Retreat. We will explore our experience of God through His expression of beauty, spiritual connection, and love in this scripture-based quest. The event begins with eating lunch and being thankful, proceeds to creation of beauty through our gifts, moves to the spirit and being close to God, and ends with finding where love resides in our lives. The cost is $35 with proceeds being donated to NOUMC. Please RSVP to Claudia at ctallerwrites@wowway.com.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Word Lovers Retreat - April 1-3

Creating Fiction and Publishing Your Work, a Word Lovers Retreat, takes place April 1-3 at the Idlewyld Bed and Breakfast in historic Lakeside, Ohio. Novelist Les Roberts will join us for a weekend of creating good stories, critique work, and trouble-shooting. We'll share our writing with each other, using writing prompts, and write throughout the weekend. We'll laugh and sign songs and traipse all over the Lakeside community as we talk about our lives.  Ample time is built into the weekend's itinerary for writing, which follows: 

12 - 6 Arrive Any Time After Noon for Writing and Wandering Time
6 - 7 Opening and Italian Dinner with Wine
7 - 8:30 Writing Together about Life
8:30 - 9:30 Movie Time or a Traipse Around Lakeside (Movies and Popcorn provided)
8:00 Rise and Shine Yoga and Meditation on the Deck
8:30 Breakfast Served 
9:30 Fiction Workshop with Les Roberts
11:30 Break/Writing Time (Writing Prompts for Fiction, Memoir, Poetry, and Non-Fiction Provided)
2:00 Editing and Writing for Publication
4:00 Roundtable/Critique/Writing Time (Troubleshoot Issues, Get Critiqued, Write Some More)
6:30 Dinner at Mon Ami Winery or Crow's Nest Pub
8:30 Film and Discussion

8:00 Rise and Shine Yoga and Meditation on the Deck
8:30 Breakfast Served
9:30 Roundtable/Critique/Writing Time
11:00 Show-Off Time (3-minute readings)
12:00 Encouraging Words and Closing

We will form several informal and optional critique sessions throughout the weekend for those who would like their work reviewed by others.  Les Roberts will participate in the critique sessions.  The work will be distributed prior to the weekend and must be sent to Igniting Possibilities, 26408 Chapel Hill Drive, North Olmsted, Ohio 44070, by March 15.  Registration for the weekend is made by sending a $50 deposit to the same address.  The cost of the weekend is $110 plus the cost of a room at the Idlewyld.  Those who would like to come on Saturday-only pay $70.

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.