It is said that every great journey begins with a single step. Well, it appears I have now spent about twenty years trying to tie my sneakers! There is finally a nice little bow securely tied beneath my ankle and I am ready to head out the door. Come with me, if you dare, as I take that first step on my journey from idea to reality. There is a book within, it is anxious to get out.
I haven’t been dormant these past twenty years. I have been mentally planning, organizing and conjuring up a visual image of my book. I have been examining genre, characters, setting, voice(s) and the evolution of my story. I have, in essence, attempted to channel Stephen King ~ I hear he writes his books in his head, then when they are “done” commits them to paper. Well, I don’t know about you, Stephen, but my memory isn’t what it used to be. I need a new plan of attack. I have been physically researching, trying to find and develop characters participating in writers workshops to practice and receive feedback and reading to expose myself to as many voices as possible to allow me to make informed decisions based on knowing what my possibilities are. Yet not one chapter is on paper. This blog is an attempt to take that first step out of my head and from mental process to literary process.
There are some great minds taking this step with me. One of the greatest gifts I received from my father was the notion that I was worthy of standing beside greatness to observe. My book is about one of those great women ~ Dr. Selma Hortense Burke. I made a promise to her years ago that I would not let the world forget her. It is time to deliver on that promise.
Years ago, I participated in a workshop at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY with Dr. Judith Cornell, author of Drawing the Light from Within. Judith was an artist, and so much more. We began each art session with meditation. We drew only on black paper with white prismacolor pencils. Our goal was to reach deep within to draw the images out of the darkness of our inner spaces and into the light. So it is with words.
Paulus Berenson, dancer, potter, philosopher, author and ecologist supreme was another master I met during a workshop at Omega. He is the author of Finding One’s Way With Clay. His inner light and spiritual presence is so radiant that he could walk into the Omega dining hall amongst hundreds of people and every head would automatically turn in recognition of his presence. Paulus planted the concept of the artists’ work as a means to “sing up the earth” with praise, thanks and gratitude.
It is with these ideas in mind that I begin my journey.