Writing backwards: insights of intergenerational trauma

“The people we love and those who raised us live inside us; we experience their emotional pain, we dream their memories, we know what was not explicitly conveyed to us, and these things shape our lives in ways that we don’t always understand.”  ― Galit Atlas, Emotional Inheritance: A Therapist, Her Patients, and the Legacy of Trauma […]

Living libraries: women’s bodies, women’s stories

“I have been afraid of trees. I have felt the Earth as my enemy. I did not live in the forests. I lived in the concrete city where I could not see the sky or sunset or stars. I moved at the pace of engines and it was faster than my own breath. I became […]

Claiming our writing voices: moving from external to internal validation

Emily Dickinson famously defined a poem as such when she felt “as if the top of my head were taken off.” Notice that one of history’s most popular Caucasian American women poets did not reference others’ reactions in her definition. Instead, she actually referenced her own somatic experience! This was the 1800s, women! In a […]

Mama bears: protecting ourselves and our writing cubs!

It requires a wonderfully attuned system to channel creative works, and writers are highly sensitive people. That same precociousness also enables us to pick up on what others are feeling, and it can present as a porousness when it comes to other people’s responses to our work. Because the writing process often includes the sharing of our work, some mindfulness about how we […]

Healing through fun: the alchemical power of writing

Six years ago, I had the worst break-up of my life. I’ll spare you the grizzly details, but will share that it left me ill, in financial distress, and that even though I planned it carefully for October to avoid the horror of a Christmas parting, the finale did not happen until Christmas Eve.  One […]

Reclaiming the power of the yin

Women, it’s time to reclaim the power of the Yin! In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Yin falls under the auspices of the feminine archetype. Yin denotes darkness, the void, quiet, stillness and silence, among other concepts. Yin is gestation period. Yin is the so-called fallow time in which we writers do not appear to be […]

Writing through grief

I did not write a word during my seven-week stay in Toronto in my parents’ home, just prior to and following my mother’s death. The experiencewas utterly overwhelming for me and left me with no capacity for written expression. On the airplane on the way back to Vancouver, my first poem about my mother’s death […]

The revolutionary act of falling in love with our writing

Before anyone introduced to us the terrible idea that art could be good or bad, we loved our art. We were little girls who drew and painted, wrote and performed our own plays with our friends. We were inherently happy with our creations because they were ours, like a mother with her new babe. We […]

Healing at our fingertips: Writing into our wounds

I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of writing to transmute our suffering. I recently went through a rough period where finding energy to write felt like a miracle. When I did write, I found myself creating absurdist comedy.  The activity was indisputably healing for me. I could be having a gruelling day, open […]

Conjoined twins: art, emotion and the process of creation

Twelve years ago when I was having chronic issues with my knee and back, I visited an orthopaedic specialist. At the start of the the session, he bewildered me by asking which of the two areas I’d like to focus on. After months of waiting for the appointment, I was taken aback. Isn’t the knee […]