The Writing Life



Valentine’s Day – not just for lovers

Posted by on Feb 13, 2018 in Writing | 0 comments

“Cupid, draw back your bow and let your arrow go…straight to my lover’s heart for me.” (Sam Cooke 1961, for those of you who didn’t grow up in the ‘60s).

The Alaskan Inuits have 52 words for snow… it’s that important. I think we need something like that for love.

When I went through a particularly angst-ridden period in the ’80s I played this song over and over, and over––“I Want to Know What Love Is.” Years have gone by and I’ve gotten a few ideas. (Thank you therapists, books, personal experiences.) Love is letting go of fear. Love is that your happiness is essential to mine. Love is devotion. Love is getting outside of self. Love is an emotion and an action.

FEBRUARY 14- THE BIG LOVE DAY. Hold on there, you don’t have to have a sweetheart to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

If, as I have read, a love relationship is a state of being connected and caring, there are dozens of ways this can happen, with varying levels of devotion, like, and love. Kinship, blood, marriage, work, colleague, boss, sibling, friendship, activity, cause, parent/child, sexual, love, romance.

My idea of love and celebrating Valentine’s Day is an inclusionary concept. I want to sweep in all the people, places, and things I’ve said I love. That ranges from loving sweet potatoes, to Gone with the Wind (both book and movie), reading (what a delightful escape), the beach, mountains, other beautiful places in nature, my dancing, hiking, writing and storytelling friends, my friends of history, loving memories of people who have died, my family, my life partner. I’m connected to all of them in some way, with varying degrees of emotions. You can love a lot of different ways.

A PICTORIAL ESSAY ON LOVE

Everybody loves something, even if it’s just tortillas. ~ Trungpa Rinpoche

Ya gotta learn to laugh. It’s the way to true love. ~ John Travolta in Michael

If lots more of us loved each other, we’d solve lots more problems. And then the world would be a gasser. ~ Louis Armstrong

I love you not only for what you are but for what I am when I am with you…

I love you for the part of me that you bring out… I love you for ignoring the possibilities of the fool and weakling in me, and for laying firm hold of the possibilities of good in me… You have done it all by being yourself. ~ Ray Croft

It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it. ~ Tom Hanks, Sleepless In Seattle

 

 

 

 

Zing went the strings of my heart. ~ James Hanley. 1934 song

 

 

 

Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future. ~ Gail Lumet Buckley

 

 

 

Love is an excess of friendship. ~ Aristotle

 

 

 

 

 

Too much of a good thing is wonderful. ~ Mae West

 

HAPPY  VALENTINE’S DAY!

What I Know- and don’t know

Posted by on Jan 2, 2018 in Writing | 3 comments

New Year. 2018. This is the first year in a long time that I don’t have a detailed list, or lists, of goals. Usually I have professional, then personal goals, sub-headed with writing, reading, speaking; relationships, home, travel, family, friends, hobbies. I’ve even attempted to have my husband, aka National Treasure, join me in the glee (yes. really) of making those lists. He declined.

This year it all just seemed too daunting. 2017 went far too fast, even though it was packed with:

Travel – Kauai, Virginia and DC, Illinois, California

Literary accomplishments – acceptance in two new anthologies:

Happiness – two great-nieces’ graduations and beginning college, an engagement, new babies, new friends.

Sadness – my dear brother-in-law taken from us by cancer, and far too many friends battling this horrible disease.

Professional endeavors – sharing my experiences in editing, public speaking, and stories.

Expanding my horizons – Improvisation classes, Odyssey Storytelling, Tellers of Tales.

Maybe that’s what made it go so fast. There was always something to do, people to meet and enjoy.

So this year, 2018, I’m revising an activity from my teaching plan book, “What I Know- and Don’t Know.”

WHAT I KNOW: I will continue creative writing, blogging, and submitting my work for publication, and sharing what I know. I will make self-care a priority. I will take time to spend time with people I care about. I will try things I’ve never done before. I will start tap dancing again. I will travel to Europe, California, Chicago, and the East Coast- from VA to MA. (Fair warning to all my contacts in VA, DC, PA, NJ, NY (that means LI, NYC, and upstate), MA. I’ll even make a stop on Staten Island to visit my alma mater Wagner College. After all these years, I want to walk on the Oval again and marvel in person at the changes I’ve seen online.

WHAT I DON’T KNOW: Exactly how all this will unfold. What else might be gifted to me.

WHAT I’M WILLING TO TRUST IN: The best is yet to come.

What do you know about 2018?

Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships.

Pile of Books #3- Recommended Reading for AZ Landscaping

Posted by on Dec 30, 2017 in Writing | 0 comments

December arrived. Outside landscaping? Trim the cacti and put Santa hats on ’em. Now Pile of Books #3 calls.

Pile #3 is like the Overview for my current and future projects–traveling, and the never-ending home landscaping. Since we returned from Kauai Hawaii, I’ve become a Hawaiiophile. I’m enthralled with the history, cultures, and especially music and dance of Hawaii.

On our drive to the airport to come home from Kauai we stopped at the Kauai Museum in the Albert Spencer Wilcox Building. With lots (I mean LOTS) of time before our flight, we took a leisurely self-guided tour through the museum. It’s a small museum compared to NYC or LA museums, but it’s chock full of artifacts from Polynesian finds, detailed texts accompanying weaving and clothing designs, statutes, photos of sugar plantations, paintings of Hawaiian royalty, and newspaper articles and posters from World War II. I’m most interested in the early history and inculcation of native cultures with western influx. This museum is great without being overwhelming. The books in Pile #3 augment the adventures of this trip.

Maui Revealed 3rd edition is a loan from our neighbor Glenn who seems to have a pretty full library of Hawaiian books, maps, and music. When we decided Maui would be our next return to Hawaii, Glenn had the book.

The Illustrated Atlas of Hawaii by Island Heritage United is an informal read of history, detailing cultural assimilation and cultural pride. This is my second time reading this; the first was prior to our trip when all the information was new. Now I’m looking at the gorgeous illustrations of plants, birds, and flowers and mentally recalling where I actually saw them. I don’t know about you but the combination of reading about something and then experiencing it for real is pretty exciting. Sort of like seeing any movie with a scene in NYC and knowing I walked there, lived there, ate there!

The last two in the pile are what I call “nudge” books. Front and center on the table near the TV as visual reminders to be easily picked up as a follow through to “Yeah, we’ve got to do something about the front yard.” I’ve marked pages, made some sketches of areas I want it to address as Ms. Alexander suggests and so beautifully shows in her book The Essential Garden Design Workbook.

Next step, choose what fits seasonally and for the climate here in Tucson, Which leads to Landscape Plants for Dry Regions by Manzano. This is still an alien subject for me. I automatically think of East Coast plants, flowers and care. And of course, the desert is different. November 19th, Lowe’s still had plants on sale that could be successfully planted right in my front yard. Time for more reading to learn what I can do in January.

Pile of Books #2- Recommended Reads

Posted by on Dec 26, 2017 in Writing | 2 comments

Book Confession: It’s now a day after Christmas. As noble as my #2 book pile was, Christmas trumped everything. It was time to get out those boxes of decorations and get ready for the holiday festivities. Now I’m putting up my feet and settling in to read.

The Hunger Games Books 1, 2, and 3 by Suzanne Collins. Now I can see why folks got into this series. It’s a lot of writing work to send the message of the futility of violence, but Ms. Collins’s writing plunked me into the daily ordeal of the very impoverished lives of Katniss and Peeta, the two main characters who exhibit characteristics of teenagers I know, layered over with the trials of the dystopian society in which they live.

Escape reading it is. I’m rooting for the main characters and that’s key for me to like a book. I’m only on Book 1 and the other two are waiting. Gotta go.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. I confess I avoided this book when it was published in 2000 because I didn’t want to read about people dying from cancer. Then in 2016 my stepdaughter died, in the next two years too many friends were battling, defeating, warding off pancreatic, ovarian, lung, skin and breast cancer. And I was almost perversely drawn to reading about Dave Eggers and his siblings’ life after their parents – both of them- die from cancer.

His memoir chronicles his years from when he is in his early twenties raising his eight-year-old brother. The resilience of the main character so obviously shines for me through the more than unorthodox ways they live. My brother-in-law died of cancer this year just before Christmas and I put the book down.

But I am grateful for writers who share their stories in whatever their style is because the book is still here in my house. Now I take it up again to learn how I deal with this latest death- to cry, be outrageously angry and eventually laugh again as Dave and Toph do.

Travels with Maggie by Pat Bean. I met the author two years ago at the Story Circle Network Conference in Austin Texas (which, by the way, is a great organization if you’re looking for support for your writing work). My colleague Penelope Starr and I happened to be sitting next to Pat and got to talking. She was working on this book about traveling in the US with her dog. Oh, ok. Then, the more I talked to her and enjoyed being pulled into her smiling personality, I thought, “If she writes the way she talks and acts, this could be a good book to get.” The bonus in talking with her was to find out she also lives in Tucson!

We kept in touch a bit, meeting at Writers Lunch here in Tucson, reading her blogs with accompanying stunning images, and having a talk about publishing possibilities.

And now her book is a reality. Of course I had to get it. Reading Travels… is akin to being in the RV with her. A double bonus is reliving my own travels in New England along with her. Beautiful writing, detailed maps, and her delightful narration.

Social Media to Social Meeting

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in Writing | 4 comments

Can you really make personal connections with social media? The Internet and emerging technology have brought an international flavor into my life and I more than like it. I know what happened in my hometown across the continent and to friends in Germany in an instant.

Anxiety about the subway bombing in NYC was lessened somewhat when I saw my friend’s facebook post–she’s safe. The flip side of this news coin is the happiness I felt when I saw a picture of my New Jersey extended family great-nephew two hours after he was born.

I’ve posted, texted, connected, friended, liked, and tweeted. Not all at once. But I’m there for a period of time every day.

BENEFITS OF CONNECTIONS

Those connections are treats for a people person like me. For a writer it expands my connection with other writers, especially memoirists. Social media offers online and international groups to join (She Writes, Story Circle Network, The International Women’s Writing Guild to name just a few) as well as a heads-up on local events in Tucson (Odyssey Storytelling, Tellers of Tales, FST, Writers Read, Unscrewed Theatre, POWER). LinkedIn has allowed me to “meet” writers and paved the way to actually meet writing colleagues.

Two of my current editing clients are thousands of miles from me in Oregon and Massachusetts, but I value the personal connection that has grown out of frequent emails with each of them along with editing exchanges. Massachusetts and I met in person during a summer vacation to New England.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS

An example of a social media treat becoming more than just a snack treat, all because I accepted a LinkedIn request from Mary Havens, a writer in Alaska. We checked in periodically. We tried to meet when she was in Tucson in the summer. It didn’t work. Mary’s book was published; she persevered in keeping in touch and planned to come to Tucson for a few months leading up to the Festival of Books in March. Could we meet? Stick with me here. I invited her to our weekly Eastside Writing Room hosted at fellow writer Bee Bloeser’s home. Small world–Mary and Bee had met at a Writers Meet Up in Tucson.

As a result, we met, in person, which felt like a huge treat for me. This one was fueled by connection, persistence, and for me, a sense of accomplishment. Hey, we did it.

Next up for me–how to connect more than email and online with those guys in Oregon and Massachusetts.

If you’re not posting or liking regularly (at least every other day – better every day), set aside a half hour daily to see who’s out there. I’m at my laptop either first thing while I’m still in my pj’s or later at night. The challenge is to stay on task–read, post. Do not leave the writer’s trail even if one of those “Share if you remember this” posts catches your eye. If you don’t have time to post, an alternative is to speed read and “like,” or post a quick comment.

I’m here. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.

Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships.

54 Hugs in One Day

Posted by on Dec 5, 2017 in Writing | 5 comments

When was the last time you got hugged more than 54 times in a day? I’m a hugger and was completely in my element when we recently visited a local school in Kauai. Let me start at the beginning.

KIDS

Kids are amazing! Whether they’re pre-schoolers, wiggly giggly elementary age, highly energetic middle school, or inquisitive almost adult high school students, they capture my attention and heart.

Even though I officially retired from teaching twenty years ago, if I have a choice to spend time with, entertain, or be entertained by kids, I’m there. So it was a no-brainer when my friend Glenn mentioned his nephew and wife ran a charter school in Kauai, I immediately started figuring a way we could visit.

First of all, the Kula Aupuni Niihau A Kahelelani Aloha (KANAKASchool is organized, busy, and welcoming. The school embraces an educational curriculum with respect for culture and people. The vision statement impressed me and impressed me even more during our visit.

VISION STATEMENT OF KANAKA: 

The vision of KANAKA includes: the preservation and promulgation of the Niihau dialect of Hawaiian, and Hawaiian culture and ideologies; for our students to live functional lives in a western dominated society with their culture and language as the foundation for learning; to provide authentic life lessons, and meaningful learning experiences.

http://www.chartercommission.hawaii.gov/kula-aupuni-niihau-a-kahelelani-aloha-

A HAWAIIAN WELCOME

More impressive was our welcome. Hedy and Steve Sullivan, the director and her husband, greeted us and guided us outside for our introduction to the students. Students and staff led us through an official ceremony with Hawaiian chants to ask permission to visit and chants of acceptance. Three of the younger students made what was probably a long walk for them across the yard to present each of us with a lei and hug. This was followed by the entire school population, students and staff greeting us with “Aloha” and a hug. The feeling? Acceptance, affection, and wondering how I can get a grant to teach there.

INTERACTING WITH CHILDREN

With a small population, the classes are shared levels so my husband, friend, and I visited the mixed high school class during science and another class during Hawaiian instruction. We were enveloped with laughter and smiles from middle school age kids vying for camera shots, and then totally enchanted with sixteen K-2 students. Their teacher, Heather Neumen, graciously allowed me to do one of my favorite things–sing and do some interactive reciting with the kids. Like most little kids, it was a mix of outgoing, curious, loners and shy ones. And like most kids they were quick to laugh, sing, and hug. What a treat!

Most impressive, being around beautiful kids who were open and curious reminded me how precious all children are. I think it was Herbert Hoover who said, “Children are our greatest natural resource.”

And Mary Jean LeTendre who said, “America’s future walks through the doors of our schools each day.” The future sure is getting ready at that small charter school in Kekaha Kauai.

Mahalo for including us in your day.

Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships.

Pile of Books #1

Posted by on Nov 26, 2017 in Writing | 0 comments

I love my office bookshelves. They’re on either side of my desk and the overflow is in leather baskets on the floor–on either side of my desk. This means writing breaks, musing times, and research starts at my desk going online, then extends to taking a book and sitting in my oversized chair in the afternoon, and accumulating piles of books bedside, fireplace side, and on the family room table.

Here’s the chair pile:

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. About 500 pages exploring human decision-making based on what the author calls System 1- automatic, often based on “book cover judgment” and System 2- analytical, slower thinking. It’s filled with new (to me) information to the point of only allowing me to read bits at a time, but it’s entertaining and of the kind of self-help value to which I am addicted. So I keep reading and using my husband as a test study with “What do you think influenced you to decide that? Spur of the moment?” ” Or more musing and weighing information?”

If Ignorance is Bliss, Why Aren’t There More Happy People? by John Lloyd. Nuggets of quotes, their origins and tidbits both serious and humorous about the author. Described on Facebook.

Personal Intelligence by John D. Mayer. As I started reading, this was reminiscent of Emotional Intelligence but with more thoughts and practical tips on using that intelligence to build rapport with people. I like that.

Speak Smart: The Art of Public Speaking The Princeton Review. Always. Always. Always can learn and be reminded of knowing my limits, knowing my audience, and knowing that there’s tons I don’t know.

You Can’t Make this Stuff Up by Lee Gutkind. Loving what I’m learning about creative non-fiction. It seems to blend my ongoing passion for writing memoir with the desire to dive into issues that resonate, like addressing tolerance for others even as they affect my personal narrative like being willing to feel compassion for those who are more than a tad dislikeable.

You Can Negotiate Anything by Herb Cohen. The best for last. My brother-in-law gave me this book over forty years ago after the death of my first husband. He said it would help me in decision-making and being independent, at least that’s the takeaway I got. It is a gem and a continued gem through different eras and phases of my life. I’ve used it in bargaining in markets, returning defective items and “sticking to my guns,” buying cars, condos, and buying time when I was not sure of how to negotiate. I have recommended it to friends, clients, peers, younger entrepreneurs just starting out, older women starting over. Who knows what edition it’s at now, but my well-read copy is still a bestseller with me.

Have you read any of these? What do you think?

Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships.

Some Writing Advice That Was Easy To Take

Posted by on Nov 24, 2017 in Writing | 0 comments

Most writing advice that I’ve put to good use has had to be of the kind that made me say, “Yeah I can see myself doing that.”

One such piece of writing advice that was delightful for me: Make a list of five writers that you enjoy reading. Read their books again. What is it about their writing style that appeals? Pluck those concepts from their writing. See if and where it fits in your writing.

Yeah, I can do that.

WRITING STYLES THAT RESONATE:

I’ve always loved to read. Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, David Sedaris’s Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Bailey White’s Momma Makes Up Her Mind, and Haven Kimmel’s A Girl Named Zippy.

And if I reached back far enough, I remember meeting James Thurber during a year of at home reading when I had a severe case of mononucleosis and read just about every book on my family bookshelves. His writing was funny, but serious, and always about people interacting or not interacting with each other. He was funny without being mean. He was observant and clever.

Finally there was Erma Bombeck. Not earth shattering stories, but whimsy from a world I grew up in and one that has morphed into what I think is a pretty with it older middle age, and still true stuff. Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel belongs to no one? Never lend your car to someone to whom you have given birth.

HOW TO LEARN FROM WRITING STYLES:

So, I want to write everyday stories with gems like Erma Bombeck’s, which have readers nodding their heads in recognition, or smiling, or getting teary-eyed or laughing out loud because of the truth of it. I read my favorite authors highlighting with my fine neon yellow marker how they develop characters, how they deliver the “message” without preaching, how they use words succinctly to get to the point.

Not for me the angst of the suffering writer. If I’m not enjoying my writing, sooner or later I won’t be writing. And I love to write. So when my writing gets a bit stale, I sit down with of my favorite writers and read.

 

Ethel Lee-Miller is an original member of The Write Group of Montclair, now transplanted to Tucson AZ. She likes to think she’s approached the feel that her favorite authors deliver in her own stories like “Craggy,” Leave-taking” and “Earl’s Stroke” in Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. https://etheleemiller.com

 

 

Be a Writing Detective

Posted by on Nov 8, 2017 in Writing | 0 comments

Sometimes, not very often, I want to just sit down and write. There’s no deadline, no story to polish, no workshop script to write. I just want to doodle along and see what comes.

Being Creative in Writing

Other creative writing comes from my Snippets pad that has quick notes, often quite cryptic, of ideas. I have found some excellent ideas come while I’m in the car. I don’t text and only use handsfree in times of absolute need (thank you, mic app on my phone). So I’ve got lists of ideas from previous brainstorms. I canmove into the inertia of being “stuck.”

Being a Writing Detective

What works every time for me and is thoroughly enjoyable is being a writing detective.  I allow myself to be curious, inquisitive, maybe downright nosy. I watch people in everyday activities—at CVS, in the doctor’s office, at the mall, restaurants, at a party. Listening to the tone, pace and inflection in conversation, I can envision a mood of a writing scene. Strident, soft, menacing? What facial expressions go with the tone? Scowls- eyebrows drawn together, lips pressed tight, Laughter- head back, eyes wide open or scrunched shut? Hands covering a mouth or slapping knees each show the mood of a character.

 

Visual Clues for Creative Characters

Watching mannerisms helps create clues about characters. Men with beards tend to stroke or tug at them. Why is that? Self- comfort? Realizing they forgot to trim?

Young women with longer than shoulder length hair tend to do this little swing thing so their tresses lift and slide around to their back. But then they dip their head so it falls forward again. Why is that? Can it become a character’s signature habit when nervous? A variation on this is the finger lift of the side-parted hair and fling back.

Young children jiggle and bounce on toes and can sit in a gentle collapse to the floor AND ( more fascinating to me ) spring up without any assistance.

Jumpstart Your Brain

I think this writing detective activity provides a creative jumpstart for brain action too. When I’m not really looking for anything that’s when the aha’s come. I carry my Snippets notepad and write down words, phrases, or conversations that attract my attention. It’s like putting money in a bank account ( or whatever is the best investment these days). It will be there to draw on when allowing inspiration to come.

Try it. Don’t worry, strangers won’t know you’re watching them and your friends will get used to it. They may even start to tell you quirky or funny things they heard.

What might these scenes inspire you to write?

Halloween and a Harvest of Writing Events

Posted by on Oct 30, 2017 in Writing | 1 comment

Let the holidays begin!

The spirit’s in the air. It starts with opening the garage cabinets labeled Holidays–the Halloween box safeguards our treasures. Three resin pumpkins, a black-ribboned wreath, a modestly glittered witch and warlock, and a miniature red wagon bearing a skeleton.

The first Halloween in our new home here in Tucson, I purchased two robust live pumpkins and artfully decorated them – Smiley and Creepy. They gave off the message that yes, someone lives in this house that had been on the market.

Two days later, they were gone. Vanished. My New York City attitude kicked in. “Oh man, somebody took our pumpkins.”

“Ah probably not,” a new neighbor advised with a bit of a twinkle in his eye. “Javalinas love pumpkins”

“What?”

“Or could have been a bobcat or coyote,” he added as he sauntered off up the street. “…And they were here first.”

Now our Halloween decorations include three pumpkins, courtesy of Michaels.

Our community has very few children as I found out that first Halloween. I had stocked up on candy, planning ahead by buying my favorites to munch on during the trick or treat wait, and for post-Halloween. Mini-Mounds for me and Reese’s Pieces for my sweetheart. November 1 we had mounds of Mounds left over, which I enjoyed until I couldn’t even think of chocolate without pain, and found a local dentist who takes leftovers for 1¢ a pound. What do they do with all that sugar? Give to their clients in a forced economic plot? Send to third-world countries perpetuating the myth of helpful aid?

Now I buy one small bag of mini-bars, knowing I have more of a chance of seeing costumes at Safeway (see my stand of costuming in “Halloween Takeover”) or over at my sister’s house (scene of “Be a Kid Again”).

Halloween is the kickoff of the holiday season for me. Now I can wear my Halloween jewels, then don the colors of the season and wish everyone a merry, happy, whatever the holiday may be.

For those of you who like to have some exact dates: Halloween (10/31).

Then November comes: National Novel Writing Month NaNoWriMo (I know, I know, you can really knock out some great stuff but I just can’t get into this), Peanut Butter Lovers Month (which I can get into), Dia de los Muertos (11/3-5) Tucson’s 28th Annual All Souls Procession & Finale Ceremony (11/5 4:00 PM), Thanksgiving (23), Election Day (7), Veteran’s Day (11), Take a Hike Day (17), French Toast Day (28), Stay at Home Because You are Well Day (30)

And in the 2017 home stretch–December: World Aids Awareness Day (1), Letter Writing Day (7), Winter Solstice (21), Chanukah begins (12), Ice Cream Day (13), National Chocolate Day (24), Christmas (25), Kwanza begins (26), National Fruitcake Day (27), New Years Eve (31).

Source for National Days http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/november.htm

It matters not that I do not seriously celebrate each of these special days. They’re special for some folks and make them happy. More ways to greet people. Seems like a few more friendly greetings to each other might just be a good idea. Even the Grinches, non-believers, and Scrooges seem slightly friendlier whether indulging my fierceness of spirit, or maybe the spirit really does catch on.

All this celebrating sure is fertile ground for harvesting anecdotes, vignettes and stories. Check my posts on Halloween.

And there’s a host of great events being harvested in Southern Arizona.

If you’re in the Tucson area, here’s a sample of the November harvest:

Every Tuesday: The Eastside Writing Room: Our very special weekly meeting. Indulge your creative spirit every Tuesday in a quiet supportive environment on Tucson’s eastside with other talented writers. Contact Ethel.

November 2Odyssey Storytelling. Stories about “Chemistry” 7:00 pm. YWCA of Southern AZ. Tucson AZ 85745. So will this collection of true stories bring about the perfect recipe or the perfect storm? Curated by Jen Nowicki Clark. Storytellers include: Jon Wirtis, Ana Gaskin, Sharon Schneiderman, Terry Gallegos, Adam Hostetter, John Barnes

November 4: Tellers of Tales monthly meeting 9:30 am – Unscrewed Theater, 3244 E Speedway. Storyteller Jack Lasseter -“Historic Storytelling.” Contact: http://tellersoftalestucson.com

Nov. 11-12 Jeff Harris and Christy Snow lead a multi-faceted workshop “Our Stories of the Day” We all have a story and that story has impact on our lives and the lives of others. Stories might be spiritual, moral, true (?), humorous, uplifting, outrageous, long or short. There’s no need to be a writer or artist. Workshop, art, meditation, lunch and light refreshments. At the DesArt Studio in the Picture Rocks area of Tucson. Sounds pretty good to me. Contact (520) 682-8488 or send an email to de­sartstudio2@gmail.com.

November 14: I’ll be sharing a new “Seedlings” story at Tellers of Tales’ WOW Story Circle. For members only.

See the ELM events page here for full event descriptions.

Enjoy your own special harvest of writing, celebrating and sharing your gifts. Let me know how you’ll be celebrating.

When you’re ready for more, ELM Events 2018 will be up in December.   (S.P.E.A.K.; MEMOIR and SOCIAL MEDIA (really); my colleague Mary Havens at TFOB, and Penelope Starr storytelling in HAWAII ! )