For those of you I don’t run into regularly, online or in person, I have news: after nearly 16 years in Colorado, and nearly 30 years away from California, I’m returning to my home state. It will still be a new home for me, because this time I won’t be living in Los Angeles but in the oceanside community of Ventura. I’ll tell you more about that when I’ve stopped packing and unpacking, selling my house and buying a new one…but that’s not what I wanted to talk about now. I just wanted you to understand why I’ve written the following farewell tribute to Lighthouse Writers Workshop, an organization I have treasured during my time in Denver, and one of the big reasons I almost decided not to leave:
My husband and I are selling our house, while I’m also wrapping up my novel. Today at The Blood-Red Pencil, I compare staging our home to show to buyers with revising my manuscript to submit to agents. Both are bigger jobs than I expected. Please check out my post, Stage a House, Revise a Novel: here.
Pangyrus, a Boston-based literary journal, has published my flash nonfiction piece Tiny Destroyer of Worlds. It’s the story of a nine-year-old pyromaniac (that would be me) who discovers the thrilling power to destroy. I’m dedicating it posthumously to my friend and fellow writer, Christy Bailey, a firecracker in her own right, who inspired me to write this essay for her 2014 event, The Denver Heat. If you’re up for a reminder of what it was like to be young and reckless – and to realize you might never change – please stop by Pangyrus for a peek.
Today, you have an opportunity to contribute to a great educational program and win a signed copy of my memoir, They Only Eat Their Husbands. The Guest Author Program at Jefferson County Open School invites working authors from the Colorado community to teach teenagers about writing. According to Benjamin Dancer, the teacher who runs this innovative program, the opportunity to share their writing and ideas with a working author has a powerful inspirational, motivational, and educational impact on students. The kids have decided to run a crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo to raise money for next year’s program. It’s not a very expensive program, and just a few dollars can go a long way to helping these kids. Please consider donating here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/guest-author-program.
You don’t have to travel far to discover other worlds within our world. I met former librarian Karen Levi-Lausa when she coordinated my book party at Denver’s Bookbar, and we got to talking about her program that brings books to prisoners, Words Beyond Bars. Karen invited me to read a couple of the books the prisoners are reading with her, and last week I joined her for a drive to Colorado’s Sterling Correctional Facility for their book discussion. This week, she posted my essay on that visit at her Words Beyond Bars blog: Literature in a Razor -Wired Country. Please take a quick look and help me spread the word about this invaluable program!
Whether or not you’re a writer, I hope you’ll find some useful insights in my guest post today over at The Blood-Red Pencil. Today I share a few favorite tips about giving fellow writers Feedback with Compassionate Detachment. We all give and receive feedback at one point or another, and some of the challenges that creates are universal.
Please stop by the Writing for Peace blog today for a look at my guest post, Games of Greece, which features an excerpt from my adventure memoir, They Only Eat Their Husbands. After you read that, please check out Writing for Peace, and organization with a mission that is much as its title suggests: “Through education and creative writing, Writing for Peace seeks to cultivate the empathy that allows minds to open to new cultural views, to value the differences as well as the hopes and dreams that unite all of humanity, to develop a spirit of leadership and peaceful activism.” What a worthy endeavor in a world that grows increasingly complex and paradoxically smaller every day.