‘Tis the Season

underwood holidayI strung the twinkle lights up over the windows around my desk, and brought home a bright pot of poinsettias for the table and a couple of those battery-flickering candles that look like the real thing. My Underwood is all decked out, too. These days my writing desk is covered with holiday wrappings, messes of ribbons and bows and cards still waiting to be addressed. I know my notebook is under there somewhere!

I admit it–I love this time of year. I take the long way home so I can drive by holiday light displays in my neighbors’ yards, and go all teary when I hear Bing Crosby sing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” I may not believe in Santa Claus anymore, but I do believe in the spirit of the season.

wintersolsticeThis Sunday is Winter Solstice and I’m celebrating by hosting a Winter Solstice Writing Retreat at Inspirations Gallery from 12:30 – 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. As the longest night of the year approaches, we’ll light our Solstice candles and write our way through the afternoon into sunset and on into the dark. If you’re in the area, I hope you can join us. (Click here for more info & registration)

These days my joyful noise is a loud and resounding thank you for sharing this year with me, writing and otherwise. I have loved hearing your stories, writing with you and gathering around the tables, whether in a classroom, at a workshop, in groups or via the Internet and social media. Let’s do it again next year.

Meantime, all best wishes for a warm and wonderful holiday season.

Wild Women, Wild Voices Mexican-style

La Manzanilla, Mexico, where you’ll find a beautiful beach, a mangrove that features 200 resident American crocodiles and dozens of species of gorgeous birds, warm Pacific waters with a gentle surf, jaw-dropping sunsets, friendly people (Mexican and otherwise), a vendor’s market on Friday, many good restaurants with freshly caught fish, and for a few intense and exciting days last week, a gathering of ten women who’d come for a writing retreat.
sunset la manzanilla Continue reading

Temptation in a Storage Bin

Summer passes into fall. Birthdays come and go. A dear friend is stricken ill and dies all too suddenly. A baby is born. A book is finished.

Some urge pushes you to your storage unit to begin to divest; you swore you would. All those boxes and bins: notebooks, journals, photographs, mementos; nothing of monetary value. All sentimental, emotional, what if’s…. You bring three boxes home to go through, swear you’ll toss or give away or shred. Promise you’ll record all those old CDs onto your computer.

But this box:

Sleepwalking drafts Here is the long-ago novel you put away while you wrote its sequel. You open the box and swear you can smell the muddy water of the fishing camp where the story is set, swear you hear Ruby Diamond’s whiskey voice singing, “Crazy,” and Louise and Lilly arguing on the screened-in porch. You remember how much Anna misses her daddy and Roseann, lost in the woods.

Should you?

What about you? Would you?