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Hunkering Down for the Winter

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Friends in New York City (not to mention those in LA) look at me like I’m crazy when I say I love being in Maine at this time of year. “But it gets dark at 4 PM and it’s freezing cold.”  Yes, I agree, that’s true, but I kind of like that.  My friends shake their heads and walk away thinking I’ve gone round the bend.  But, no, I’m in my right mind.  I do like this turning in. I like the shutting down.  It feels to me as if the Earth is encircling itself with its own arms and settling down for a long winter’s nap.  Well deserved I might add.  After all, the Earth has been going full tilt for six months.

Maybe it’s my Celtic blood that attracts me to this time of year.  In the Celtic year, the months between Samhain (Halloween/All Soul’s Day/The Day of the Dead) to Beltane (May first) are considered the dark months. The Celts believe that, in the turning of the seasons, death always precedes rebirth.  The Celtic day begins at sundown, and the Celtic year begins at the year’s death or Samhain.

Here in Maine, we gather by the fire, or the wood stove, lift a glass and tell stories.  We craft, whether it be stories or curtains or sweaters or wooden loons, or pots, or beer. We sink into the mysteries.

Do we seek visions in the firelight, in the smoke, or in a bowl of water – visions of our true love, visions that inspire hope, or visions that help us to identify our path in life more clearly?

Let’s align ourselves with the Creative Mysteries of life, death and rebirth.  Let’s invoke the Gods for help in our creative projects.  Let’s perform the Sacred Rituals and sing life into being.  Let’s plant the seeds for our rebirth, focus our minds, and reconnect.

If you are interested in reading more about our Celtic ancestors, here’s a link: https://www.circlesanctuary.org/index.php/celebrating-the-seasons/celebrating-samhain 

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An Inspiring Night in Lincolnville

It was a beautiful June evening, the moon promising to be full, when Judi Valentine and I spoke at the Lincolnville Community Library, a beautiful generous space, balanced and inviting. Our talk was titled “From Inspiration to Publication”.

The talk was set for 7 pm and, as is always true in Maine in my experience, people showed up on time. About twenty people, all interested in writing.  Writers, artists, musicians, seekers. I spoke for about 20 minutes about why we write, about Method Writing, and about Judi Valentine who had studied with me and gone on to publish a wonderful YA book called The Crystal Chain

After I assigned a writing exercise called Write Like You Talk, and several people stood up to read at the front of the room, we took a break, answered questions and ate chocolate and strawberries. The sun had moved in the sky and the light was soft and welcoming.

Judi spoke about her journey as a writer, her interest in crystals, science fiction and astrophyshics and space, as well as her desire to have a positive impact on the world. And then she read from her book.

By the time we had cleared the space and put all the pieces together, the moon had risen and we were ready to celebrate.

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Lincolnville Library Talk - June 7

Please join me and Judi Valentine to hear about the Method Writing process that I teach and how Judi put it into action! http://www.freepressonline.com/Content/Articles/Book-Reviews-Literary-Events/Article/Writing-Coaching-at-Lincolnville-Library-June-7-/130/64/52661

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Inaugural Ilgenfritz Scholar Named!

Congratulations to Caneel Cheskin, inaugural recipient of the Elizabeth Ilgenfritz Scholarship to the Longfellow Young Writers' Workshop!
http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/770769/f245a35fe2/…/TEST/

The Maine Writers and Publisher Alliance’s second Ilgenfritz Scholarship—to attend the SLICE Literary Writers’ Conference—is open for submissions until July 1. The scholarship supports one female writer who is 18+ (a high school graduate) who lives in Waldo or Knox counties to attend the 2017 SLICE Literary Writers’ Conference in Brooklyn, New York on September 9 and 10.

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Scholarships Available!

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Two fantastic scholarship opportunities are available through the Maine Writers & Publisher’s Alliance. These scholarships were established in memory of Elizabeth Ilgenfritz; a long-time member of MWPA, dedicated writer and a dear friend. 

Consider applying and please share this email with others who might want to apply, as well. Such a great opportunity for local female writers! http://mainewriters.org/ilgenfritz-scholarships/

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