Monday, January 4, 2016

A New Year, New Writing, A New Anthology

With endings come beginnings. As we welcome in 2016, the Women’s Writing Circle is embarking on a new creative journey . . . a collaboration with Just Write, a writing group here in the Philadelphia area. Together we are writing an anthology of memoirs, creative non-fiction, fiction and poems, tentatively titled Life Unexpected.

Could we ever imagine where our lives would lead us? This question offers a framework and synopsis of our book; a contemporary and modern insight into women's lives, women's voices.
We plan. We dream. We imagine and say, ‘what if'. Then one day something - or maybe everything - changes. How did you get where you are now?

What happened that you never saw coming and how did that change your life? This rich anthology explores the "life unexpected". . . its surprises—welcome or unwelcome—unplanned adventures, twists and turns that lead to new discoveries and personal revelations in changing and challenging times.

“The art of life is not controlling what happens to us, but using what happens to us." ~ Gloria Steinem

Our first collaboration, Slants of Light: Stories and Poems From the Women’s Writing Circle, was released in April 2013. Written by 15 women writers, this anthology provided an avenue to share our memoirs, poetry and fiction at signings and talks in the community – and call ourselves published authors. Our voices rang with confidence and clarity.

Yesterday, in the afternoon light of wintertime, several of us charged with crafting the framework of this new book met at the office of Citizen Advocacy, a nonprofit located in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, of which our anthology core committee member, Ginger Murphy, is coordinator.

Patty Kline-Capaldo, who heads up Just Write, which meets weekly in an independent bookstore in Collegeville, enthusiastically engaged in bringing new writers from her group onboard, as well as researching publishing options for our book. Also serving on our core committee are authors, Rae Theodore and Maureen Barry.

Ginger and Patty

Life Unexpected has generated interest among 23 possible contributors, many of them members of the Women's Writing Circle . . . dedicated and talented writers who contributed to Slants of Light. A letter with contract detailing deadlines for submission and editing is coming out soon.

The collaborative aspects we enjoyed yesterday brought back memories of my days at The Philadelphia Inquirer. Reporters and editors worked together as a team to bring news and narratives to the reading public. Each provided individual and unique talents and strengths. I am passionate about this work and love brainstorming with kindred spirits and writers.

We live in a world too often in the shadow of despair, depression and anxiety. Tending and cherishing our creative lives – watering our gardens along the pilgrim’s way – is one of the great gifts life offers. A new year offers new writing, a new you . . .

“It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal.” ~ Helen Keller 
Your comments, questions and thoughts are most welcomed.

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