A Map of Creative Expressions

Remember when you were five years old and didn’t know you “couldn’t” sing? (I write this for me, the girl who dreamed of growing up to be a singer, the one who couldn’t carry a tune even if she had a peach basket.) Remember when you were given paints and a piece of paper and you just sat right down and made a picture? And you liked it. You liked the doing of it, and you liked the picture you created as well. You gave it away as a gift and felt good doing that, too.

Here’s another writing exploration from my book, Wild Women, Wild Voices–Writing from Your Authentic Wildness

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Place as Memory — Writing the Geography of Our Lives

“Memories are rooted in place: a lifetime of kitchens, backyards, porches, and patios. Our bedroom and our best friend’s bedroom, the street where we played until dark and our parents called us inside, the park where we picnicked, the swimming pool with its aquamarine water smelling of chlorine or the pond on the farm with its muddy banks. If you want to enter a memory, enter a room in your grandmother’s house. Remember an incident, and the place where it happened will figure prominently in the story. Everything happens somewhere, and if you want to bring the memory alive, be in the place where it occurred.
garden cottage

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Why Travel is Good for a Writer

Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. — Miriam Beard

My father was born under the sign of Sagittarius, the wanderer of the zodiac. . . . And though in astrology-speak, I have Sagittarius rising, I blame my wayfaring ways on my father. He’s the one who sat me down on the sofa with the invitation to “come have a look.” He spread the big green pre-World War II atlas across both our laps and took me on a tour of the world, page by page, map by map, finally coming to the solar system, the pictures of the planets bright against a deep, black sky. I tell him Venus is my favorite and that one day I want to go there. “I’ll be a Venusian,” I say.

The Universe,” Daddy says, tracing a finger over the inky expanse. “Nobody can say how it came to be or how big it is or where it begins or ends.” He and I fell quiet then, on that scratchy brown sofa, dreaming dreams of natural-born travelers.*

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