From Not Writing to Writing

“It was as if she had an appointment to meet the rest of herself, sometime, somewhere. It was moving to meet her, and she was moving to meet it.”— Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark

The Song of the Lark, Jules Breton, 1884

Is it really almost three months since I’ve written here?

Rest assured that all is well. During the past several months I have been busy co-chairing the SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted) annual conference, which was held July 13-14 in Brookfield, Wisconsin, an experience that was both intensely rewarding and, at times, all-consuming, in part because event planning is not something that comes naturally to me. I was fortunate, however, to work with an amazing, creative, and talented team of volunteers and staff who put together a conference to remember: over 300 attendees from several countries, a children’s program featuring trips to Milwaukee’s Discovery World and a Lake Michigan boat ride, and keynote and workshop sessions that, true to SENG’s motto, changed lives and changed futures.

No sooner had the SENG conference wrapped up than I traveled to the 10th International Dabrowski Congress in Denver, Colorado. Kazimierz Dabrowski was a Polish psychiatrist and psychologist whose Theory of Positive Disintegration also changes lives and futures with its emphasis on conscious personality development.

“Dabrowski believed that the most important aspect of human development is the emotional one, since only in the area of emotional growth, transformation of behavior and character is possible.” ~ Elizabeth Mika

The Dabrowski Congress was my “mental spa” time. I had the most amazing conversations, made new friends, and came away ready to resume my writing life. I was also fortunate to present a session on Willa Cather (hence the quotation above) titled “Unreasonable States of Excitement: Women Writing Their Way Through Positive Disintegration,” a topic I plan to explore further.

All of this is to say that writers who are not writing are often refueling their lives so as to have something to write about. We often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to write every day, no matter what. But writing can take many forms, and sometimes the words are etched in our hearts rather than on the page.

To everyone whose email and blogs and comments I have neglected in recent weeks, please accept my sincere apologies. August will be my catch-up (or re-boot) month.

Misc. News

Earlier this summer I signed a contract to revise Creative Homeschooling, first published ten years ago (!). The new edition will feature both new content and updated resources. In the coming weeks, I will be asking for your ideas for the best homeschooling suggestions for creative, intense learners, so please start thinking of your favorite books, programs, learning games, online classes, and other resources.

I’m very much looking forward to attending the South Dakota Festival of the Books, September 28-30, in Sioux Falls, where I’ll be presenting two sessions: “From Fact to Fiction: Writing Historical Fiction for Children” and “Planting Words with Oscar Micheaux: From Fact to Historical Fiction.” Maybe I will see some of you there!

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