Today we are launching a campaign to help us “plant a writing garden” for military women in Jacksonville, for veterans, military spouses and partners, and caregivers. We’ve launched a GoFundMe Campaign to gather the seed money we need to conduct research on the specific needs of this community. Please consider helping by going to our funding site, GoFundMe/MilitaryWomen, where you can find more information about our program.
But don’t take my word for it. Please, listen to this excellent podcast from the storytelling group called The MOTH, in which 97-year-old woman Dawn Seymour tells her story, about how she, too, a veteran of World War II, planted a garden that has finally blossomed. Dawn’s Story.
I was intrigued when I saw a robin on my front lawn this morning. I’d seen a flock of them on New Year’s Day, gliding skillfully across a crisp blue sky. But when one showed up practically at my front door today, I thought it might have a special message for me. So I looked up the symbolism for robins in my animal totem book.
Yep. Important message! Here’s what it said: “This wonderful bird is a traditional herald of spring.” Perfect! That aligns with the theme for our Spring Series: “Cultivating Your Inner Garden.”
It looks like a robin will be our guide!
The book went on to say, “When a robin comes into your life, you can expect new growth to occur in every area of your life. Its cheery song reflects a need to sing your own song … if you wish to experience that growth.” Wow! Sounds like developing your writer’s voice to me.
Finally, it said that the powder-blue color of the robin’s egg is associated with the throat, and the power of using your voice creatively. It reflects “the innate ability of those with this totem to create new growth in their life.” In other words, each of us has the power to transform ourselves, and the robin will show you the way. (Just like the robin that guided Mary’s transformation in The Secret Garden!)
So, all you Women Writers out there, I do hope that I will see you in the circle this spring as we continue on our personal writing journeys. I cordially invite you to come and enjoy our curriculum, which will include creative writing craft and plenty of inspiration and structure to strengthen your writing practice in 2015. (BTW, guys are invited to attend our Hike + Write event at UNF on March 7!)
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
The robin also reminds me that the early bird gets the worm, right? Some folks have already signed up for our Spring Series, which starts on January 21. That’s great! Please sign up today to save a spot for yourself!
Enjoy art and writing? You can also register for our Art + Soul Series, on alternate Saturdays from 10-12 for six weeks, starting January 31. This wonderful course will also focus on cultivating our inner garden, and promises to be a rich and fruitful series. What the heck, sign up for both! 🙂
Not sure yet, and want to know more? Come to our Spring Sampler on January 14! You’ll get to see why a Women Writing for (a) Change writing circle is a magical place to both develop and challenge your writing practice.
To register, please just click HERE for the Spring Series and HERE for the Art + Soul Series. Or, sign up for the Sampler right HERE. I’m sticking with 12 spots in each class, so please register as soon as you can to hold your spot. And do encourage your friends and fellow writers to attend as well!
A Wonder-filled First Year!
What an exciting first year for Women Writing for (a) Change, Jacksonville! I cannot tell you how grateful I am to everyone who has a part of it. Working in this community this past year has changed my life in remarkable ways. I especially appreciate our writers and their stories, courage, and transformation. I am also grateful for the support of the Jacksonville community, and the larger national circle of Women Writing for (a) Change, from my mentors to my fellow facilitators. They have each given generously to help me launch Women Writing for (a) Change, Jacksonville, in 2014. For a photo retrospective, check out the photo collection on our FB page. (And “Like” us if you haven’t already!)
Our Public ReadAround in December on the beautiful grounds of the UU Church of Jacksonville was very successful, with women writers well-represented in words and collage art and even song. We also supported Rethreaded with brisk sales of their products, and raised $390 toward our outreach efforts this coming year. Thank you to everyone who helped, from our donors to our attendees and supporters to, of course, our women writers.
Big Plans for 2014
I’m looking forward to what 2015 has in store for us! Just a few of the activities in the works are:
- A January presentation to the American Legion to help raise funds for our Pilot Project for Women Veterans (email me if you’d like to donate or get involved);
- Communications and volunteer support for the Generation Works program on February 7 with Donna Orender (email me if you’d like to help)
- Our first “Write Around the Corner” event at UNF for a “Write + Hike” (register HERE now if you’d like to attend! Spots are filling fast!) This is a joint venture with the Sierra Club; men are welcome.
- A joint venture with the Downtown Library during Artwalk in March to showcase women writers (email me if you’d like to participate);
- More outreach programs with the DBW Policy Center for Girls, incarcerated women at the Community Transition Center, and Bosom Buddies at the Women’s Center;
- A possible joint venture with the UNF Women’s Center and the UNF Writing Center to bring our writing practices to UNF.
- Much, much more! (OK, not too much more, just the unplanned stuff that I’m staying open to.)
I hope to see you in one of our writing circles in 2015, and I look forward to growth and transformation as our robin guide shows us the way!