Perils and Pleasures of the Creative Life

creativeI received this little book for Christmas called “Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life” by Dani Shapiro. I connected immediately with her experience of the writing life from an early age:
“I have been writing all my life. Growing up, I wrote in soft-covered journals, in spiral-bound notebooks, in diaries with locks and keys. I wrote love letters and lies, stories and missives. When I wasn’t writing, I was reading. And when I wasn’t writing or reading, I was staring out the window, lost in thought. Life was elsewhere–I was sure of it–and writing is what took me there. In my notebooks, I escaped an unhappy and lonely childhood. I tried to make sense of myself. I had no intention of becoming a writer. I didn’t know that becoming a writer was possible. Still, writing was what saved me. It presented me with a window into the infinite. It allowed me to create order out of chaos.”

Doing the memoir exercises in our recent Artist Way group brought me back to how energizing it was years ago when I first attempted writing short stories. I loved following inspiration and letting it run like a hooked fish to the end of the line. I would check collections out of the library, read and dissect them. I loved uncovering a turn of phrase, a description, a character marker, anything in the prose that highlighted what I was beginning to learn in my own writing and enlightened my ignorance. I admired these writers, but I also felt a sense of homecoming. This is where I belonged. This is the portal I entered as a child when I first picked up a book and stepped into an imaginary world and felt their magic igniting my brain, spirit and soul. I sensed even then the power, rightness and wisdom that came with slipping behind the veil. I had a sense of safety, of endless possibilities. I trusted that I was being held, guided, that I would learn things and experience worlds I never knew existed. Writing led me out of a confused childhood. It opened that “window” as Dani says in a stark room. Writing was and is my lifeline into the real world, even if by now it has allowed me live more in the world and less on the page. That’s a good thing. It’s what writing does. It seeps into your bones and lifts you high and carries you until you meet your true authentic self. Writing is the homecoming.

Don’t fear the blank page. Embrace it.




Interview with David Alan Binder

I really enjoyed doing an interview with David Alan Binder this week talking about the writing process and creativity.  He’s a great supporter of writing for writing’s sake, and you’ll find all kinds of great information on his site:

Writers and Writing

I’ve just finished reading “The Hero is You” by Kendra Levin.  She challenges a writer to use the archetypes in Joseph Campbell’s heroic journey not only in plot and character, but also in their life, all the while guiding them through inspiration to completed MS. I was challenged by the questions it forced me to ask.


We’re half-way through the Artist Way E-Circle group with Julia’s Cameron’s new book. It’s wonderful to join with old friends and new, with keen expectations and trembling fear, to re-kindle the creative fire. We may be unique in our artistic histories, hopes and angst, but we’re comfortingly the same beneath the surface.  I am always amazed that it continues to be a journey of discovery for me.

Artist Way Circle 2017

its_never_too_late_cover_480-250x312As the weather turns cooler, I’m feeling the urge to return to the page after being away last year with my essential oil course. To jumpstart the process, I’m organizing the annual Artist Circle to begin November 1st and run for 6 weeks (breaking December 15th), and resuming for the final 6 weeks the first week of January. Julia Cameron has a new book called “It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again.” While geared towards people who have retired, it’s also for “anyone who wishes to expand his or her creativity” or going through a transition in life which may be, as in my case, simply getting back into the writing routine after having been away for a spell.
The Artist Circle is an e-mail group that utilizes the principles of “The Artist Way.” There are 11 spots open, to be filled on a first come, first serve basis. It is not a critique group, but an opportunity to explore strengths and stumbling blocks, and to follow inspiration at your own pace; while sharing discoveries with a supportive group. I have set up the structure, but don’t lead it. Once we get going and everyone is familiar with the weekly routine, I’m simply a participant. For more information you can contact me at:
Hope you’ll join me. Happy Writing!

It’s been a busy year

danceA big thank you to everyone who volunteered to take part in my case studies this year for the Essential Oil Therapy course. I learned tons about the amazing medicinal properties of herbs and passed with flying colors. It was one of the many things on my bucket list of things I’d like to learn more about. I’m an avid gardener with lots of lovely herbs in the garden. Thanks again dear friends for helping me out. Happy to report: Everyone lived!

Of course this means I have put my writing on hold this year, doing this course and working my day job, but I loved the break. Change can be good for the soul. Still, I am looking forward to scribbling again come Fall. I finished the novel “How to be a Psychic” so it will be time to roll up the sleeves and start editing.

Enjoy the summer everyone!

Artist Circle 2015

writ1It’s that time of year again. The holidays are over and I need some prodding to get back to the page.  So I’m organizing the annual Artist Circle to begin February 1st and run for 10 weeks using Julia Cameron’s book “The Right to Write.” It’s an e-mail group that utilizes the principles of “The Artist Way.” There are 10 spots open, to be filled on a first come, first serve basis. It is not a critique group, but an opportunity to explore personal strengths and stumbling blocks, and to put pen to page at your own pace; while sharing discoveries with a supportive group. For more information you can contact me at

Happy Writing!


Reading In Hartland

SAM_1855If you’re in Hartland next Wed, drop by to say hello. I’ll be reading from “Standing in the Whale’s Jaw” at the Dr. Walter Chestnut Public Library October 22nd at 10:30 a.m. Thanks to the book club for reading “Let the Shadows Fall Behind You.” Looking forward to our discussion!  I’m looking forward to the drive up and enjoying the spectacular fall colors.

Answering the Call X: Writers’ Retreat

art40It’s time! Time to tackle the manuscript you’ve been letting gather too much dust. The fall retreat is scheduled:

Answering the Call X: Releasing the Writer Within


WHERE: The Villa Madonna in Renforth, New Brunswick (just outside of Saint John)
WHEN: November 14, 15 and 16, 2014


November 14, 2012:
5 p.m.-6:00 p.m.- Arrive and settle into your room.
6 p.m. Opening Welcome: Answering the Call by Kathy-Diane Leveille
6 to 9 p.m. Meet and Greet, explanation of weekend structure, sharing optional writing exercise, social

November 15, 2012: Full writing day
7-9 p.m. Optional Critique Group

November 16, 2012:
11:00 a.m. Closing and wrap up.
1:00 p.m. Heading home after lunch and out by mid-afternoon.

FEE: $176.00 which includes single room and board.

This is not a leader-guided writing retreat. Rather it an opportunity to give yourself the gift of uninterrupted time to write. Over the years, Kathy-Diane has created a loose structure that provides touchstones within the weekend’s framework for optional opportunities (between writing) to connect with other writers. How those connections happen vary with the individual and the ultimate shaping of each group. There is no predicting. Sometimes works-in-progress are shared, sometimes tentative ideas are given words and take more concrete shape, sometimes the room door is closed tight and the pen flies across the page. We each go willing to drop the hindrances keeping us from our writing and wait and see what unfolds. Rooms are single and private.
E-mail for more information or to hold a spot.
(*NOTE: Cancellations after November 1 subject to a 50% refund/No refunds after November 10).

Hope to see you there! Send me a friend invite on FaceBook….

Happy scribbling,


“Standing in the Whale’s Jaw is a swirling, twisting tale of intrigue. Two bright and daring young women weave through a cast of characters… to solve one great mystery and open their minds to a greater one. A rollicking ride with many surprises along the way.” -Linda Little author of Scotch River

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