Journaling Workshops for Parents

In Lucy Rector Filppu’s journaling classes for parents, men and women gather together to write, cry, laugh, listen, discover, and to learn about themselves and support one another. They arrive in class hoping to find themselves as parents — but they leave with much more. In the last two years, Lucy has inspired over 200 … Continue reading

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Whit Press Founder Claudia Mauro Empowers Community Through the Literary Arts

Last year, poet Susan Rich, a Writing It Real in Port Townsend Writers’ Conference faculty member, told conference goers that she was asked to become a Board member for Whit Press in Seattle. She was pleased about helping a press specifically dedicated to benefiting community groups through the publication of books. This winter, Susan suggested … Continue reading

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An Interview with Kate Kelsall

Although trained as a clinical social worker and as a Certified Public Accountant, Kate Kelsall is currently writing and speaking and inspiring many with her twice weekly blog. Kate has Parkinson’s disease (PD) and through her efforts, many others with the disease are finding support and activities and coming to understand how much they can … Continue reading

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An Interview with John Nemerovski

In this week’s article, we interview John Nemerovski, who writes about technological subjects for a non-technical audience. His online articles, and now podcasts, are filled with personal anecdotes, quirky observations and bits of his own life including activities with friends, family and his much-loved dog Butzie. John’s articles and reviews almost always take on aspects … Continue reading

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LiveJournal Blogging

My daughter Emily is a Computational Linguistics Professor. One thing this means is that she spends a lot of time on the computer. She has found a way to keep a diary about her two little boys and the life of her young family using blogging software available free on the Internet. She’s given her … Continue reading

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The Pocket Poetry Parenting Guide

Last March, I attended the annual National Association of Poetry Therapists conference in Boston. Browsing the vendor tables, I discovered Jennifer Bosveld’s offering, The Pocket Poetry Parenting Guide. It presents a short but impressive collection of poetry for use in helping parents with the most important and perhaps hardest job of their lives. The collection’s … Continue reading

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Excerpt from On Austrian Soil: Teaching Those I Was Taught to Hate

The following is excerpted with Sondra Perl’s permission from Chapter 2, “History Becomes Real”, of her memoir, On Austrian Soil: Teaching Those I Was Taught to Hate, published in 2005 by State University of New York Press, Albany, NY. Writing It Real reviewed Sondra’s first book about writing, Felt Sense: Writing With The Body, December … Continue reading

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Writing, Reading, and Revising: Soul Work

Before I started studying poetry writing, I littered my work with the word soul. What was poetry but the soul making itself known?  How else to talk when making an exploration of emotions but to use the word?  John Donne, who I had studied in college, did: Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though … Continue reading

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Grace Jackson Creates a Community of Voices

In 2002, Grace Jackson wanted to start a community-based literary magazine filled with the voices of her women neighbors on Bainbridge Island, WA. To find her contributors, she distributed a flier at coffee houses, bookstores and libraries near her home. The flier asked women to: Tell me where you are in the world right now. … Continue reading

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Niche Dating Essay Yields Results

Last Valentine’s Day, I read an essay in The Seattle Weekly by Marilyn Meyer, a friend of mine who had raised a family in Seattle the same years I had and who, having survived remarriage and divorce a time more than I, was single again.  Dating was getting harder as she got older, and at … Continue reading

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A Fortunate Meeting with Helen Mitchell and her book, Helen’s Garden

On a sunny day in mid-July, I visited a lavender farm in Sequim, WA with my friend Judy from Northern California.  She was beginning to grow lavender herself, and as a merchant at her local farmers’ market, she was eager to add lavender products to her offerings. At the small organic farm, we met Helen … Continue reading

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Notes on chixLIT: the Literary Zine for Chicks Ages 7 to 17

When I was a girl of 10 and already a writer in my own mind, I was frustrated that no one took my writing seriously. I nevertheless decided that I would be a Rhodes Scholar and a winner of a Pulitzer and a Nobel by the time I was 30, at which point I would … Continue reading

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Interview with Joni Cole, an Editor of the This Day: Diaries from American Women Project

At the May 2003 Book Expo America in Los Angeles, Joni Cole handed out advance copies of an exciting book, eventually released this September. Joni is a freelance writer with a Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College with a focus on fiction.  It is second nature for her to imagine and create … Continue reading

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What I Learned at the Halfway House

When my daughter told me to read a personal essay in her school’s alumni magazine, I did.  I enjoy finding the many places personal essays inhabit and I appreciate their great value.  In this case, Stanford sophomore Sheena Chestnut wrote a narrative about using a personal story to help others learn a sophisticated use of … Continue reading

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Migael Scherer’s Writing Made a Difference to Journalists

When writing moves us to struggle against a taboo, especially one that demands silence, we can expect powerful resistance.  It is natural to feel alone, even besieged.  The resistance to our words comes both from ourselves and from others.  If we respect the struggle of our readers to understand with us, so also may come … Continue reading

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