I first read John Reinhart’s poetry in my inbox. It grabbed me immediately, licking off the page like the flames he described in one piece. It was subsequently published in the magazine I had the joy of editing, Open Thought Vortex. In fact, his work was so good, the publisher and I jumped each time his work rolled our way, struggling to stay in-budget as we reviewed each submission. You could say I was an immediate fan. And not just of John’s writing. Every interaction we had was warm with
I believe in the power of words. Throughout history, words have been considered magical–power words, true names, curses. Words carry community, define our abilities, group us in classes, restrain us, free us, transport us to other worlds . . . When it comes to illness or struggle, words can greatly empower, allowing us to understand ourselves or loved ones in ways previously impossible because we did not have the language to grasp individual need. And, just as easily, words can block us and tear us down.
I was the child of a difficult situation. I write most frequently about abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, and survival. However, I take care to infuse everything I write with the glow of hope that I learned from the first person who decided to interrupt the cycle: my mother. It may seem strange that I can write about physical and emotional trials and gratefulness in the same breath, but the truth is I am grateful. My experiences helped create who I am today. I am strong, full of courage and I
Do you know what synesthesia is? It’s when your experiences feed to the wrong senses, such as color to taste or smell to touch. I’m a synesthete. I’ve been told that the positive ways I experience the world are similar to what people search for when they get high. I imagine the negative ways must resemble a bad trip. Usually I don’t share this aspect of myself on the page, but since it affects my writing (and my everyday), I thought I’d try being open and see what happens. It’s
The last few days have been a whirlwind of excitement for me with regards to writing. I have dreamt of growing my career as a writer and teacher for the last ten years. Children and illness paused that growth, but I never let go of the dream. My family recently took a seven state, seven day vacation. My husband prefers to do the driving, which left me free to absorb the visual wonder of this country as we passed through. It is probably good that I drove little. We travelled south.
Update: Online signup is now open. Click here. I’m excited to share my finalized course schedule for April and May. I will be offering a session of Writing through Trauma for women only, as well as two new classes, designed based on interest and request. Please contact me with any questions. And please share! Writing through Trauma for WOMEN ONLY Dates: 6 Mondays from April 13-May 18, 2015 Time: 6:30-8:30 PM Location: Unity of Bloomington Cost: $80 Instructor: Shawna Ayoub Ainslie This class will be a supportive space for adult
My father’s father, “Jido” to me, was a man of integrity and great character. When he is remembered, it is with love and admiration. He lived with my family in the United States for a time. We were in Oklahoma. I was three and four, and my younger sister was just born. Jido along with my father’s mother, Tayta, and my aunt Ghada, were layers in our household. Perhaps it is rare, but I wonder if this is not true for everyone: I had a person in my life who