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Showing posts from August, 2013

After AROHO and before the Wedding: The Devotion of a Red Tailed Hawk

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Twelve hundred years ago (give or take a few) the Chinese poet Li Po wrote a poem with images of a canyon, a path, a creek and an impossible valley, newborn clouds rising over open rock, and guests coming into wildflowers. "I'm still lingering on," Li Po wrote, "my climb unfinished."  This poem found its way to John and me on Saturday, our wedding day, written inside a Georgia O'Keeffe card.  Our guests, too, wandered up a mountain path where wildflowers bloomed. 

Just days before the wedding, I had spent a week at Georgia O'Keeffe's Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.  The week-long gathering, the 2013 women's writing retreat hosted by A Room of Her Own Foundation (AROHO), was filled with powerful stories, shared by a few dozen of the nearly 100 inspiring women who attended. Janet Fitch, author of Oprah's Book Club novel White Oleander, (featured here holding a watercolor of one of the well-known red bluffs), advised us during her keynote to: &quo…

The Tawny Tracks of Storytelling: Guest Post for Women Writing the West

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“Why,” my editor asked me, calling from New York after she'd read the first complete draft of my first novel several years ago, “do we need the mountain lion?  It’s not like she’s supernatural or mystical or anything.”

True, the lion in Shifting Stars was only being a lion.  But she was linked by the land to a destiny greater than any of us could understand, and it was her destiny that was linked to Turtle Woman’s, and to mine.  No, not supernatural, not greater than nature, yet every bit as mysterious as nature.

How, I wondered, does a writer find her way into the heart of a story without following the tracks of the animals?  How does a woman find her way through life without these animals to guide her?

This month, my story is posted in full on the Women Writing the West website.  Please continue reading by clicking Follow the Tawny Tracks.   Thank you.