Happy New Year 2017!

I hope that the holidays brought you comfort, time for politics to recede, space to escape into stories and poems that inspire, and to write. Since the election, many of you have confided your struggles to get to the page; that your story or novel feels unnecessary or unimportant given the uncertainty of the future. Others speak of the weight that the past election places on their creative energy, the space it occupies in their brain. And many women have experienced a revisiting of fear or anxiety about sexual harassment or abuse they thought was buried in their past. Know that you are not alone.

Everyone is reeling a bit. As writers, we have our pens to help us zero back in. Please, do not let the ugly discourse of social media, the airwaves and editorials  deter you from telling your own story. Remember that only you can tell it, that it comes from deep inside of you, that is essential. If ever the world needed beauty and truth, it is now.
Sometimes a rant is just the right medicine. There is no better time than now to exercise the power of your pen. Get it all down, down hesitate, let it rip, allow your words to surprise you. Remember, whether it's in your journal, in letters to editors or your elected representatives, there is power in your pen! Use it.
I am currently enrolling a six-week winter session, shorter than usual as I'll be travelling a lot this winter—including the Women's March in DC on January 21st, AWP in February--Let me know if you'll be there!--and I'll be at Hedgebrook again in March where I'll be teaching for one week, then in residence to focus on my own work.
I am delighted to host author Mary Volmer to lead a novel writing master class on January 28th. Mary is the author of "Crown of Dust" and "Reliance, Illinois", two powerful novels featuring strong female characters challenging the limitations society placed upon them because of their gender. If you've never worked with her or read her work, you're in for a treat.

Be well dear writer, have faith, and keep the pen moving! Wishing inspiration and joy in the new year.