Susan Weidener: A Christmas Wish for Every Writer

"My Christmas wish for every writer: Give each other the gift of one nod or word of encouragement . . .  find someone who believes  . . . even if that person is you."   Susan G. Weidener Former Philadelphia Inquirer journalist Susan G. Weidener runs the Women's Writing Circle. She is the author of … Continue reading Susan Weidener: A Christmas Wish for Every Writer

Maya Angelou on Being Aware of Being Aware

  "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  Maya Angelou Maya Angelou passed away on May 28th. A teacher, writer, poet, activist, and dancer she is best known for her series of autobiographical works detailing what life … Continue reading Maya Angelou on Being Aware of Being Aware

Caroline Lee Hentz on a Child’s Yearning

Caroline Lee Hentz (1800-1856), one of America's most popular writers in the 1850s, sold over 93,000 copies of her more than fifteen novels and a multitude of short stories and poems. The Boston Library named her one of the top three writers of her day. Born in Massachusetts, she married a dashing French artist, writer, … Continue reading Caroline Lee Hentz on a Child’s Yearning

Annie Dillard on the Written Word

"[If] you want to live, you have to die;"  Annie Dillard American author Annie Dillard has been called a mystic, a visionary, a naturalist and a modern Thoreau.  Her writing is  characterized as literary collage of the lyrical, the metaphoric and the richly descriptive. She has written over eleven books including poetry, novels, essays, memoirs, and books on … Continue reading Annie Dillard on the Written Word

Katherine Mansfield on Having Her Moment

Risk, risk, everything. Katherine Mansfield Katherine Mansfield is best known for her short fiction. Born in 1888 in New Zealand, she died young at age 34. During her short life she wrote several volumes of short stories and critical literary essays. A free-spirited Bohemian, her personality as well as her writing, influenced the major writers … Continue reading Katherine Mansfield on Having Her Moment

Julia Cameron on the Language of Art

If you do anything in the arts, then you most probably have heard of Julia Cameron and The Artist's Way. Written in 1992, her book about inspiring personal creativity and empowering the artist within has become a mainstay of artists, writers, and others engaged in artistic pursuits as it continues to grow in popularity. The Artist's … Continue reading Julia Cameron on the Language of Art

Isabel Allende on the End of Childhood

Did you once believe in Santa Claus? When you were a child were fairies and dragons and ghosts real? There is something special about the world of young children and their ability to simply believe. In the following excerpt from The House of Spirits, Chilean author Isabel Allende takes us into that magical time. Clara's … Continue reading Isabel Allende on the End of Childhood

Brenda Ueland on why women should write

"Think of telling a story, not writing it." Brenda Ueland (1891-1986) is best known as a journalist and teacher of writing. She wrote radio scripts, covered the trial of Vidkun Quisling in Norway, and wrote several memoirs. The Norwegian Arctic explorer and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 67 year-old Fridjtof Nansen fell deeply in love with the 37 … Continue reading Brenda Ueland on why women should write

Eleanor Munroe on My Mother, Amply Pregnant

On this Mother's Day I ask us to think about our mothers, both real and fictive, and their role in our creative lives. Eleanor Munroe is best known for her in depth studies of the relationship between artists and their art. In 1979 she wrote Originals: American Women Artists in which she brought a new perspective … Continue reading Eleanor Munroe on My Mother, Amply Pregnant

Flannery O’Connor on Too Much Interpretation

Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964) is best known for her short stories set in the South. Often about religious theme ,her stories are often humorous, but with a disturbing quality underneath that leaves the reader faintly puzzled and uneasy. As a child she grew up in Savanna, Georgia, went to Catholic school, drew cartoons, and wrote stories. Later when she had … Continue reading Flannery O’Connor on Too Much Interpretation

Toni Morrison on Ritual and Writing

Nobel and Pulitzer prize-winning author Toni Morrison is known for her novels which explore the good, the evil, and the love in human souls. She has written numerous novels including The Bluest Eye (1970), Song of Solomon (1977), Beloved (1987), and most recently Home (2010). She has also written children's books The Big Box and … Continue reading Toni Morrison on Ritual and Writing

Helen J. Langer on Mindlessness

Helen J. Langer was the first woman to attain tenure in the psychology department at Harvard University. Langer is known for her edgy experiments into the power of the mind over the body and is considered a progenitor of the positive psychology movement. Langer's experiments involve studying how people's thinking and choices can physically change them. In … Continue reading Helen J. Langer on Mindlessness

Jane Piirto on Creativity

Jane Piirto is an educator, author of poetry and novels, and a photographer. She has made creativity the focus of her research studies and her life's work. Much of her research has been with talented young people where she has sought to find out what exactly sparks some people to great heights of achievement and innovation. … Continue reading Jane Piirto on Creativity

Ellen Dissanayake On The Art of Making Special

Ellen Dissanayake is a self-taught scholar in a field she invented who takes an anthropological, evolutionary approach to defining art. Her work in India, Sri Lanka, Africa and New Guinea made her realize that Western definitions of what is art were culturally confined. Instead she proposes that art is a universal, biological imperative that all human beings … Continue reading Ellen Dissanayake On The Art of Making Special

Margaret Atwood on the Need to Scratch

Award-winning Canadian author Margaret Atwood was born in 1939.  She has written upwards of twenty books, numerous short stories, and poems. Her writing has consistently crossed genres and poked at sacred cows. Atwood characterizes her writing as social science fiction. In the historical novel Alias Grace, Atwood tells the tale of Grace Marks, a young … Continue reading Margaret Atwood on the Need to Scratch