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a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Sunday, June 21, 2015

CELEBRATE 6.21.15



Every year I walk away from the All-Write Summer Institute with my brain on fire, filled with new ideas and new paths of thinking.  Though that is most certainly cause for celebration and fodder for writing, today’s celebration is about another benefit of attending All-Write—connecting face to face with women I have grown to admire through reading their words.

These women push me to achieve feats I think are well beyond me.  They reassure me when I doubt myself.  Their casual conversation swirls around and wraps me in comfort, reminding me who I am and who I want to be.  Their thoughtfulness, wisdom, and insight push me to grow.  What a precious gift it is to call these women friends.

Here are a few moments that will surely live in my heart far beyond this weekend:

1 | When Kylene Beers and Bob Probst were unable to make it to the conference due to weather and flooding, presenters were needed to cover their sessions.  Ruth and Becca believed in me so much that they convinced me I would be capable of taking one of the spots.  Their unwavering faith in me reminded me of the power simply believing in someone can have.  It was their support, combined with the support of the rest of this crew, that lifted me up and allowed me to pull off a presentation with less than 24 hours to prepare.  Ruth even introduced me!  The only downside was missing out on Mary Helen's presentations.


2 | At dinner one night elsie claimed that she is not a real writer because she doesn’t keep a writer’s notebook.  A moment later, she pulled this notebook out of her purse and referred to some beautiful lines of writing she had captured.  Kim and I were tickled to catch her contradicting herself because we just can’t get enough of teasing elsie (whose no-nonsense demeanor inspired us to give her the title: She Who Must Be Obeyed).  I was able to snap this photo as proof (because we know she would never trust us without hard evidence) that she is indeed a REAL writer.


3 | I got a glimpse of Linda’s playful side, too.  She convinced Ramona to wait outside the bathroom when they caught me making a mad dash immediately before I presented.  They stood there like paparazzi and took these ridiculous photos.  There was such ease in the teasing and laughter.  As much as I grumbled, I have to admit their attention helped calm my nerves right when I needed it most. 



4 | We were invited to dinner at Ruth’s house.  I am not sure I can put into words what a special treat it was to be literally welcomed into Ruth’s home, to sit amongst her family, after having been allowed to be part of her world for so long through her words.  It was an incredible manifestation of how genuine and giving Ruth and Andy are. 

8 comments:

  1. All-Write is truly a joy because of the friendships that have grown and developed over the years. The knowledge gained is great but it's the people who bring me back every time. Our few days together are a highlight of the year.

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  2. "Their casual conversation swirls around and wraps me in comfort, reminding me who I am and who I want to be." Words like these remind me of the joy it is to be associated with this lovely group of friends. I love the fun you captured in this post and that you can laugh about our photos taken outside the restroom.

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  3. Sitting on elsie's patio as we both write on our ipads I get to experience this in person camaraderie for a couple more days! I nod my head in agreement reading every word and holding wonder in my heart at the MORE we are so fortunate to bring into each others lives!

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  4. Every year you go to All-Write, I look so forward to the Christy that returns: refreshed, brain whirring and heart singing with all the possibilities and ideas, lighter in spirit, resolve strengthened, an inspiration to her friends and colleagues. It is truly a pleasure to see you sharing yourself and your practice with those that inspire you as well! Congratulations on presenting!

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  5. You captured the excitement, joy, and depthness of stories shared. I am smiling at the memory, knowing that our friendship is cherished and hearts are refreshed, encouraged. What a beautiful celebration!

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  6. What an outstanding affirmation of who you are, Christy. You look GOOD on that stage!

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  7. Amazing experiences- the presentation and the meeting of these inspirational women. I am so happy for you!

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  8. How awesome that you were able to fill in! Loved those photos!

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