Monday, November 16, 2015

A Woman Draws 'Strength and Inspiration' From the Circle

Writing groups attract storytellers. They provide the community that fosters the fortitude to write and read our stories.

This month we celebrate the 6th anniversary of our Women’s Writing Circle. With all that is happening in the world, writing and sharing our stories becomes ever more enriching and powerful. Since I began this blog in 2009, a multitude of posts, written by myself and other writers, speak to the premise that we can make a difference through the legacy of story.

With the permission of Flo Shore, who has been attending the Circle from the start and who contributed to our anthology, Slants of Light: Stories and Poems From the Women’s Writing Circle, I am sharing her special tribute to the Women's Writing Circle. Needless to say, it speaks to all of us and boosts my spirits and, I hope, yours as well. ~ Susan

"Becoming part of the Women’s Writing Circle has been one of the most significant and freeing experiences of my adult life. First and foremost, I’m so incredibly grateful for the camaraderie with such great women who also happen to be great women writers. I am also thankful for having had the experience of self- publishing. Although the editing process was harrowing and at times overwhelming, I learned firsthand how the smallest kernel of an idea can take shape and evolve into a beautiful story.

In my case, it was the story of a young girl befriended by a butterfly. Thanks to this nurturing yet challenging environment that young girl had a little something about the real her immortalized on paper.

Memoir not only keeps our individual stories alive for those who come after us; memoir serves as an adhesive that keeps pieces of social history intact. Like a great montage these essential snippets can also illustrate who we are in relation to the times in which we live.

As waves of ideology sweep across an era, those who view that period at a later date or from a very different vantage point can often fall prey to generalized conclusions. The vehicle of memoir can frequently serve to dispel myths and expose varying perspectives.

Flo on far right with the women of the Circle.
As memoirists, we have the opportunity to drive attitude change.

In my current stage of life I liken myself to a person who comes home one day to find that my home has been demolished by a fire or flood. As I survey all that that once represented a vibrant life and career, I feel as though I am starting from scratch. So, as I pull a few charred photographs and bric-a-brac from the rubble I pray that I can be up to the challenge of a rebuild. Can I reverse engineer the core of my being? Who or what do I actually hope to become? I remind myself that I am not spiritually destitute.

Taking part in the Women’s Writing Circle has provided me with an opportunity to belong to a very special community. Although my work schedule is somewhat unforgiving, I have been able to find time for putting my thoughts on paper here and there. The strength and inspiration I have drawn from this circle provides me with the fortitude to write when I can and to give myself permission to call myself a writer."

Your thoughts, comments and reflections are most welcomed.

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