“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, April 10, 2011

Writing Left

How does one do it, "write left"?  We write about what we care about and stand up for what we believe in, whether it's prison reform, the right to union representation, free speech, or equal rights.  My life has been immersed in liberal, or should I say "progressive," thought since I was a child when my father went off to march on Washington to protest the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement.

Mansfield Frazier (a man for his times) is as much a believer in writing left as I am to just plain writing because you want to, and we've started a salon for writers and thinkers.  Our first gathering will be at Visible Voice books on Saturday, April 30, from 2-5.  Mansfield, who wrote a book of essays on doing time in a Federal prison called From Behind the Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race, will talk about not being afraid of saying what you mean, and I will talk about the best way to say it and get it out there for people to read. If we get some readers and thinkers who want to keep the pens moving and the conversation steady, we'll keep it going.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Retreat Musings

There's something about being in the company of other writers that's almost holy. I have a friend who's a writer and a minister and he told me that what we have in our writing group is God connected.  It's much like the writing process, how when you write and especially when you really get into it, you feel that it's not just you doing the typing. 

Someone asked me this weekend why I started doing the Word Lovers retreats. Giving to others is what looms as the biggest reason--I think we all have a story to tell and we should give it voice. Since writing is a solitary experience, we need to be with others for encouragement. In a way, the Word Lovers retreats are my ministry. I do feel called to do them.

It was an excellent weekend in every way except that the weather should have been warmer for April.  We wrote, talked, walked, ate, drank, and learned.  We escaped for the weekend, but someone at the retreat said the writing life IS her reality and the day-to-day job is not.  I like that thought.

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.