“I’ve always felt that my ‘style’—the careful projection onto paper of who I think I am—was my only marketable asset, the only possession that might set me apart from other writers.” ---William Zinsser

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Friday, September 30, 2011

Journaling to Memoir

Leaving a Trace by Alexandra Johnson is “to journal writers what Bird by Bird and The Artist’s Way are to fiction writers.” One reviewer said it “will inspire not just the diarist in us, but the reader, too—to return to works we missed, or those we thought we’d fully grasped . . . Stands proudly beside such classics on creativity as One Writer’s Beginnings by Eudora Welty.” Welty’s book needs to go on my list, as well as several more mentioned by Johnson in her book, diaries by Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield among them. A journal should be just what it is meant to be – private and open—and can be transformed into longer projects or creative work. The book is full of tips and techniques and inspiring stories from famous writers and private journalists.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

All set for Word Lovers! Hang Out in Lakeside

Jump start your memoir with some writing prompts and storytelling ideas on Friday evening during the Word Lovers Retreat at Lakeside the weekend of November 4-6.  After breakfast on Saturday, we'll turn to the task at hand--writing well. The ability to take high quality, well-composed photos is becoming increasingly important for every writer—find out how from National Geographic’s Dewitt Jones, and then try out his techniques taking pictures of Lakeside’s gardens, Victorian homes, and statues. We will learn how to build a career centered on food, wine, and travel with guidance from Writer’s Digest. The last event on Saturday will be John Ettorre's presentation called "12 Principles for Building a Powerful & Sustainable Writing Practice" (no matter where you’re at in your writing journey). After dinner, relax and watch Anne Lamott talk on film about her writing life. On Sunday, participate in a workshop about establishing immediacy through description. With all that writing practice, both alone and in the group, you’ll be ready to show off your weekend writing on Sunday morning. In celebration of the publication of Ohio’s Lake Erie Wineries, by Claudia Taller, optional wine tastings and tours, led by Claudia and Paul Taller will complete your weekend away at Lakeside. For full itinerary and how to sign up, send an e-mail to claudia.taller@yahoo.com




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Relaxing, Creating, Connecting, Retreating . . .

Join me and 20 of my favorite writers for a retreat in Lakeside the first weekend in November.  As usual, I've rented the Idlewyld for the weekend, and now I just need you to show up.  The itinerary includes writing and creative workshops, and some optional food and wine experiences. We'll work on storytelling, photography, writing a non-fiction book, exploring food and wine with words, and travel writing.  The optional events are a wine tasting and tour at Hermes in Sandusky on Saturday afternoon, dinner and a tour at Mon Ami on Saturday evening, and a stop at Firelands Winery on the way home on Sunday.  The weekend, without the winery events, is $110, which includes Friday evening dinner and breakfast both mornings.  Room rates are the Idlewyld's rates.  It's going to be so much fun . . . !

John Ettorre Returns to Word Lovers

I'm pleased to announce that John Ettorre, who originally co-hosted Word Lovers retreats with me, will be joining me again for this year's Word Lovers retreat. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

This Fall, and Next Spring

The idea behind the retreat this Fall is to bring people together and relax in the place I consider my second home, a place where I can share some time with other writers, get some writing done, and work through some programming.  So far, I don't have a writer-in-residence, and I thought I would wait and see on that, and now I've contacted someone who I really hope will be there.  Some are asking about the Spring. While the Fall event is about writing in general and non-fiction, the Spring will be a fiction workshop event all day on Saturday, with several different presenters talking about and working through manuscripts that people bring with them.   

A Winding Road - Writing

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My book, "Ohio's Lake Erie Wineries," an Arcadia production, explores the history of island and lakeshore wineries from the mid-1800s through today. I write travel, memoir, profiles, book reviews, local interest articles, and fiction. My writing is always of discovery--whether it's journaling, book reviewing, letter writing, or sharing an experience of life. I have written two novels and am working on a third novel and a memoir. I am passionate about sharing what life has to offer with others. "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron woke me up to a sense of possibility--life is too short not be enjoyed by living deeply and well. I created Igniting Possibilities, a conduit for creativity workshops and events, in the hope of guiding others to realize their full potential. The Word Lover's Retreats at Lakeside, Ohio's Chautauqua community, help writers find their voice and direction.