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“… you need the room. You need the door, and you need the determination to shut the door. You need a concrete goal, as well. The longer you keep to these basics, the easier the act of writing will become. Don’t wait for the muse. … Your job is to make sure the muse knows where you’re going to be every day from nine ‘til noon or seven ‘til three.”  ~Stephen King, On Writing Tell me a story about being a writer that you define as successful. What does that

I was recently asked if we (writers) can change our voice by writing in a different style. I answered by saying, “Your voice is different from your companions’ voices. If you can hear the difference, you can write the difference.” Certainly, you would use a different approach when writing a medical document than a prose poem. It follows that a writer might change voices frequently. I am told my voice is very strong and identifiable across genres, but that I have a “soft” voice, a “teacher”voice, a “mommy” voice and an

I have long thought of poetry as the gateway drug of writing. It is how I began as a writer, telling small stories in rhyme. For some years, I thought I had grown beyond poetry, as though it was a genre of incomplete thoughts. This assertion was passed around as a joke in conversation during the years I pursued my MFA. The barbed retort was that fiction writers were all liars, all of us unable to glorify the truth as the poets did. Most of my early fiction is nonfiction.

I am so excited because I am FINALLY launching an email campaign. The Survive Your Story Holiday Writing Guide is all about freeing yourself from the stress of the holiday season (and the end of 2016, right?) by using some of my favorite prompts and tools to release and recover. Wondering if this is for you? You DO NOT need to have ANY experience writing to take advantage of this course. You engage the prompts on your own terms. If this sounds good to you, you can join the Survive

Join me on January 16, 2016 from 9AM to 5PM in Unity of Bloomington’s beautiful chapel to write your sacred self! During this full day writing retreat, you will enjoy meditative practices coupled with writing prompts to enter a space of deep self reflection. Once there, you will consider what wants to be released and record it on the page. You will have the choice to share your work and will create an action plan for continuing (or ending) the stories you’ve engaged. There will be a one hour break

The lamp lived by her bedside. It lit the dark nights with a lavender glow. It was like jewelry for the eyes, and gave the curious sense of wearing sunglasses in the dark. Or glasses that created sun. It was clean. That’s why she placed it in this space. It was clean and the light was warm, but in daylight it felt stark. Like it was only pretending to be pretty. It was too much like her and she hated it. There was a reason she smashed mirrors with abandon,

Not everyone can come to my classes to write through trauma in a supportive group setting, so I decided when I started teaching that I would provide my core in-class resources on my site. I believe writing is an excellent tool in the self-care kit. I’ve put these posts in an order that you can use as an in-home syllabus. Consider working with one post per week, and complementing it with prompts from the linked page (see below).  While I believe the safest way to start an expressive writing practice for the

If you enjoy understatements, here’s one: healing after trauma is hard work. I often find my lips have glued themselves shut when my therapist zeros in on the traumas most alive in me. I’d be terrible at poker. But here’s the thing–I’m great at putting my head down and getting through. I am strong in multiple ways. When it comes to healing, I don’t give myself a break. We found the tip of the iceberg? Great. Let’s haul that whole sucker out of the water and chip it into slush

I have been drafting my next series of Bloomington, IN writing classes beginning in April. If you are an out-of-towner, keep reading. There is a non-local option. I would love to know what you are interested in! Writing through Trauma  For the original description, click here. I will teach this as a six week course. Unity of Bloomington has again offered to host, and there is some flexibility for scheduling. If you want to take this class and would like me to reserve your space, please DM or email me

I keep a list of writing topics handy for those times when I get stuck. Because I write on difficult themes, I get stuck frequently. Sometimes, my list isn’t enough to burst my thought dam. In that case, I like to mine completed pieces from my writing history for phrases and inspiration. When even that fails to get my creative juices flowing, I trick my writer brain with the following exercise: Time Capsule Find a completed story, poem, essay or journal entry on a topic you haven’t worked with in awhile

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