Sunday, January 15, 2012

Generosity of Women's Stories

A universal message resonates when we dig deep, clear the cobwebs and take a memory out of darkness. The writer's mission is to disturb, to bring to light what is unsaid. To reveal.

The generosity of women writing from the heart is courage and connection in an impersonal world. This was apparent  at our Women's Writing Circle yesterday.  The writing included stories of  religious dogma and its impact on a child's life; a mother's disorder and a daughter's insight into her own journey; a wife's plea to a husband.

In the Circle we discover the safety and energy, the renewal that comes with expressing ourselves in a community of kindred spirits. There are no apologies that what we write might upset.  Instead, we are empowered.

Yesterday we held our first read-around of the Women's Writing Circle for the new year. We are a small group meeting in a rather idyllic corner of the Philadelphia suburbs.  There is so much wealth and prosperity here, it sometimes feels like living in a bubble in recession-plagued America.

Still, there is poverty and then there is poverty. On a frigid January morning we mined the poverty of discontent and sadness, the joy of lessons learned, the journey of the feminine.  This is a journey that cuts across all socio-economic groups.  Those willing to take it find wealth of the spirit.

I encourage anyone reading this to start a women's writing group in your community.  You'll find the need is out there for a place to gather. You'll find inspiration for your writing, and renewed creative energy.  You'll find connection and strength in the generosity of women's stories.


Velya Jancz-Urban said...

So glad I came across this blog because I am looking for women's stories...

What do you call a group of women friends? Some might snicker and respond: Trouble, Dolls, Babes, Ladies, Gals? Think about it. In the English language, there is no flattering word that describes a group of female friends. The name Chica Peeps fills that void and it is my intention that it become the household expression for groups of women that support and nurture each other. You've seen them walking together, or in the local coffee shop. You've heard their shrieks of laughter, raucously celebrating an event in a restaurant. Women who belonged to Amish quilting circles of the 1800's and Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha of "Sex and the City" fame all share Chica Peep bonds.

Female friends shape who we are and who we are yet to be. Our relationships with men and family are not enough. "Who Are YOUR Chica Peeps?" is an anthology of essays by women, about women, in which they share the bonds formed with groups of female friends who nourish, guide and anchor them, often through humor.

I have morphed through several career changes including high school English teacher, elementary Gifted teacher and most recently, a hoodwinked and betrayed Brazilian dairy farm owner. The Chica Peeps movement ignited within me after I was put back together again with the help of a group of female teacher friends. If I have Chica Peeps, then so do other women, and this book, like the “Story Corps” project, is an opportunity for them to honor and celebrate these friendships by preserving and sharing their stories.

visit www.chicapeeps for details

Susan G. Weidener said...


Thank you for visiting our Women's Writing Circle. Chica Peeps sounds like a fun group and the book of essays about women and friendship a wonderful idea. I'll be sure to mention it to our writers to see if they are interested in submitting a story. There is nothing quite as rewarding as sharing our journey as women through writing. Best of luck to you.