Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Thoughts from a Writers Conference

Last weekend I attended the Sleeping Giant Writers Festival. Besides meeting some really great people, I learned a lot and had a very creative day. I took in a workshop on journaling and one on memoir writing. I'm already looking forward to next year's festival. Here are some highlights from my notes:

Great Quote:

"If a piece of writing is going to be any good, it has to brush up against the mysteries or undefinables of who we are"
Charles Wilkins

I Remember (A Journaling Exercise)

I remember partridge hunting down bush roads with my Dad. It is late September or early October. Warm enough for a heavy sweater, yet the air is crisp and full of promise. I love the bush smell - wet, fallen leaves and pine. We walk the gravelly road together surrounded by a symphony of bird son and somewhere up ahead the rhythmic drumming of partridge wings. I don't remember how many partridge we got that day. I don't remember what we talked about or even how many times we went out hunting together. I don't remember the age when I became too old to want to go with him or when exactly I crossed that threshold from tom-boy to teenage girl and he started going hunting with only the dog as companion. Yet I can close my eyes and still feel the texture of plaid flannel hunting jackets. What I really want to say is I'm afraid of losing those memories before I even lose my father. * o

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Update on the Common Book

Yesterday, I completed the last page of the little notebook I had started recording "common" stuff in back in June.

Why is this a big deal? It represents the most consistent amount of journaling I have done in my life. I wrote almost daily - sometimes every second day.

Some days the entries are pretty short, obviously jotted down in a hurry. Others are more detailed. Some are downright boring and some have little glimmers of insight.

I'm pleased that even on days when I accomplished no other writing tasks at all, there is something jotted down in my common book. So I can pat myself on the back and say "at least you wrote a bit today".

This morning I cracked the cover of a fresh new notebook - full of possibilities of common entries of my everyday life.

Obviously, the common book system works for me as a journaling tool. * o

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Pink Jasper - Gems from the Journey


Heliographica Press announced today the pending release of a remarkable book written by six women writers. "Pink Jasper:Gems From The Journey" is a collection of poetry, essays, and short stories chronicaling their personal life journeys of Jacqueline Brooks, Carolyn Horton, Pamela June Kimmell, Eveline Maedel, Georgia Richardson, and Dana Smith-Mansell. The work projects a wide variety of emotion from intense grief to boundless joy as these women share their stories and feelings as they walk their separate paths. There is spiritual awareness, divine celebration and challenge, all celebrated in the pages of this extraordinary book. Each piece is superbly written and as the reader moves from one piece to the next it becomes clear that we all share common stories and experiences. This book's messages will remain with the reader long after the reading is done.

The book will be available shortly from Heliographica Press at http://www.heliographica.com, and other online stores including such as Amazon, and will be available to bookstores and libraries through Ingram and Baker & Taylor. ISBN 1933037059.
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So there it is - the official announcement! This book has been a "labor of love" project for myself and my "Pink Jasper Sisters" - Jackie, Carolyn, Pam, Georgia and Dana. We met online, we formed an immediate bond and for the past couple of years we have been working on "Pink Jasper". The book will be available for purchase on the Heliographica website soon and I can't wait to get my copies of it either and finally see it in actual book form. I still have to pinch myself periodically to believe it's true!!! * o