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Creative Writing Blog

Coming to Embrace Our Stories

I was at a party recently where I met a woman who told me that she had always wanted to write her story. I could feel her enthusiasm and excitement. But then suddenly her energy quieted and she said, "But who am I to tell my story? It doesn't matter." I've had...

My Poetry Book is Coming out in Fall of 2019!

My Poetry Book is Coming out in Fall of 2019!

I’m VERY excited to announce that my full length poetry book, The High Shelf, will be published this fall! Publishing a book—and this book in particular—has definitely been on my bucket list, and I’m delighted that it was accepted for publication by the wonderful...

Questions of Travel…

Questions of Travel…

Hello from Nepal!   I’ve been having a wonderful time here; it’s especially wonderful to be traveling with my two kids!   And Nepal is a special place—the people have been very kind, friendly and gentle.   Traveling so far away makes me feel both how large our world...

You Must Ask for What You Really Want… 8 Questions to Help.

You Must Ask for What You Really Want… 8 Questions to Help.

The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you Don't go back to sleep!You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep!People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch, The door is round and open Don't go back to sleep!--Rumi I...

Remembering Mary Oliver

Remembering Mary Oliver

Last week Mary Oliver died. Oliver was a huge model and influence for me, as for so many.  I plan to write more about her in the upcoming weeks, but for today I want to share one of her poems with gratitude for her work and for her spirit:   The Swan Did you too see...

Make 2019 the year you embrace your full story

Make 2019 the year you embrace your full story

Whether you're new to writing or a veteran, published writer, it's likely that some of your writing habits may be unhealthy. And it's likely that some of your expectations for your writing don't always serve your own best interests. We can all get stuck in unhelpful...

Happy Solstice!

Happy Solstice!

    Today is solstice, the shortest, darkest day of the year. We're as far as the sun as we're going to get. And tomorrow we come get just a bit closer to the sun again. In this cold, dark time of year, it can sometimes feel that the outer darkness reflects...

Make of Yourself A Light

Make of Yourself A Light

Today is the first day of Hanukkah, a celebration of the miracle of light. In the Hanukkah story, when it seemed that there was no more light left, the light kept burning until a new reserve of oil was ready.Even in dark times, we have access to more light than we sometimes know. At this dark and busy time of year, it’s important to remember the miracle of not only the external lights, but also the internal.To honor the light that is within each of us, I want to share a poem by Mary […]

In honor of the earth, the harvest, and the sacred

In honor of the earth, the harvest, and the sacred

​I want to share with you two poems for the holiday season, both by Native American women.These poems are in the spirit of what I think is best about Thanksgiving–our celebration of the earth’s harvest and our connection with the earth, with one another and with ourselves.  The first is a poem by Linda Hogan, The Way In Sometimes the way to milk and honey is through the body.Sometimes the way in is a song.But there are three ways in the world: dangerous, woundin […]

Ten Important Things to Look For in a Writing Class

Ten Important Things to Look For in a Writing Class

Sometimes people ask me what to look for in a creative writing class, so I thought make a list of some of the most important qualities to look for and why.1) attention to process/emotional support and attention to product/ craft2) supportive community3) good readers,...

Breaking Silences

Breaking Silences

Over the past weeks, I’ve been writing about the importance of speaking and writing the truth. We might see this historic moment as a struggle between the truth and lies: is climate change real and worthy of our attention or is it a hoax? Does it matter if supreme court justices lie under oath? do we listen to the voices of women who are speaking the truth about abuse they suffered? is it programs like social security and medicare that bankrupt a country’s purse and moral […]

Five Questions to Help You Take Action

Five Questions to Help You Take Action

Why we need to take action (photo credit: By Cameron Strandberg from Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada) I’ve been angry these past weeks. And under that anger is also fear and sadness. But instead of letting that stop me, I’m trying to let those feelings fuel me. In the Kavanaugh confirmation, we saw a blatant disrespect women’s voices and bodies and for truth itself. This week, a very alarming new report also came out about the state of our climate&mda […]

Taking Meaningful Action

Taking Meaningful Action

I want to write a slightly different post today.I talk a lot about the power of our voices and the ways in which, when we are centered, we can take more meaningful action.One of the questions I often wonder about and find myself in conversation about is how our voice can be used to effect change. I believe that everything we say—and do—matters and has an impact. I believe that smiling at a child makes a difference, that writing a poem makes a difference.But today I want to wri […]

How Writing Makes You Healthier

How Writing Makes You Healthier

Most of us remember daily diaries from when we were kids. If we were girls, our diaries may have had pretty pictures on the front and a little locket. But what was outside wasn’t really important. It was what was inside that mattered. Little did many of us know that our journals actually helped keep us healthy–not only emotionally and psychologically but also physically. James Pennebaker, a social scientist and researcher at the University of Texas, has done groundbreaking work […]

A Free Writing Resource For You

A Free Writing Resource For You

Many years ago, when I was writing my dissertation and struggling with the section I was working on, a friend reminded me that Thomas Mann once said, a writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than for other people. This quote helped me: it reminded me that writing doesn’t always flow naturally for writers; that if I was having a hard time, it didn’t mean that I wasn’t meant to be writing or wasn’t a “real writer.” When w […]

Tell Your Story in the Terms You Want

Tell Your Story in the Terms You Want

Many years ago, my therapist asked me, “do you see the glass half full or half empty?” I generally liked and respected and was helped by this therapist, but her question really bothered me.I went home and wrote a poem about that question—I imagined a mountain pass where two different girls walked. One girl walked over the pass unscathed, and the other girl stepped on a landmine. Would the correct question to ask those two girls be, do you see the world half full or half […]

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