“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, 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.

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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.