A Writer’s Prayer

May I write beautiful, heart-stopping prose today.  And if not, may I write five hundred words. May I leap into the unconscious river of creativity with my mind and heart wide open. May my writing be rich with the strange details of my day – the Grateful Dead sticker on an abandoned wheelchair, the old…

Continue reading

On Retreating to Tuscany

I recently went on a yoga/writing/living retreat called On Being Human, run by the fabulous Jen Pastiloff.   Below is a piece I wrote, reflecting on this wonderful experience.  Photo credit for almost the photos goes to the amazingly talented Barbara Potter, retreat photographer.   On Retreating to Tuscany In Florence, you walk and talk,…

Continue reading

Books across the world, and behind bars.

      When you cross the wide intersection of Broadway, Grant and Columbus Street in the North Beach area of San Francisco, books fly above your head, like birds taking flight. Pale white, strung on wire, one can picture each book carrying its stories to the far ends of the world.  I like to…

Continue reading

My Guest Post on fighting Stigma through Fiction.

Posted on Choices, A blog by Madeline Sharples.     Fiction: another way to erase stigma   Fiction: another way to erase stigma   My guest today, Joanell Serra, explores the idea of reducing the stigma of mental illness by openly describing the mental illnesses fictional characters experience. That is to say, being open and…

Continue reading

The Vines We Planted Book Club.

Last night I had the pleasure of dining with a group of Sonoma friends, and my sister from Sacramento. There were eight of us, and we love each other in the way you do when you’ve been friends for twenty-plus years.  We’ve shared weddings, births, deaths and divorces, birthdays and holidays, earthquakes and wildfires, road…

Continue reading

On Mothering, Between the Headlines.

  Somedays it’s hard to write fiction, when the world is churning, so today I share my thoughts not on writing, but on living, and mothering, with the headlines being what they are. I am the mother of a young man of color, and a day doesn’t go by without something new to warn him…

Continue reading

A Fallen Warrior for Healing.

    Jennifer Golick’s office held small toys, silly comics, stress balls and board games to put her clients at ease. She said things in a straight forward, I’m–not-kidding kind of way. At the same time she made folks feel people so accepted, they could hear the truth without being knocked down by it. She…

Continue reading

Words That Build.

  Thursday, and I’m spending the day at Mt. Zion/UCSF Hospital, for a myriad of appointments (all fine. Diagnosis= aging.)  I’m a well experienced medical appointment attendee: my mother had a chronic illness from the time I was born until she passed when I was thirty, and my daughter also manages (with grace) a difficult…

Continue reading