Detroit, Rosemary's Boyfriend at Turpentine Creek, Eureka Springs, Arkansas


Rosemary's Boyfriend at Turpentine Creek
Eureka Springs, Arkansas

To the Zona Rosans and Our Friends Everywhere


Rosemary and Maggie - Maggie's 90th Birthday in Ireland1. WHERE I AM NOW IN MY WRITING & LIFE

(or my own response to the exorcise we do at our special workshops and retreats, a.k.a. “Pajama Parties for Grown-up Girls with Smarts”)
     Whew!  I just re-read my first and second Letters to you since SECRETS OF THE ZONA ROSA: HOW WRITING (AND SISTERHOOD) CAN CHANGE WOMEN’S LIVES came to life in the bookstores and on our web page in 2006, and I see why life has seemed to go by in a delicious, if dizzying, blur! 
     Indeed, two years later, I’m still on roller skates, to use a term coined by my friend and novelist Jackie Miles, almost two and a half years after the book’s birthday, traveling around the country and elsewhere, spreading the word about SECRETS and Zona Rosa. I also see that because of all this race-skating, I missed the date for yet another six month account.

During this time, I’ve also gotten back to work on my own writing. As the cliché goes, it’s essential that I walk the walk even as I talk the talk.

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*My Second Letter

Zona Rosa - The Musical1. IN MY FIRST LETTER TO YOU I described my bias against blogging.  I told you that, despite how much I adore the freshness of a writer’s first thoughts, I believe that it’s a better for us to use our creativity to explore ourselves and our ideas in journals, not to mention making poems, stories and books, or even starting businesses (as you know, Zona Rosa is now an LLC, so that we can sell our own books and Zona Rosa-related products).        
       I didn’t know how much fun it would be to break my own rules for creative writing, such as remembering, as Patricia O’Conner wrote in WOE IS I, that an exclamation point is the equivalent of “an eek!”  Or to set aside my bias against excess modifying, as in our acronym, DEA as in “Death to Adverbs.”  Instead, I slathered praise on the Zona Rosans as though it were Crème de la Mer (the most expensive face cream in the world), believing, as humorist Jill Conner Browne says of chocolate, that you can’t have too much of a good thing – or say too much good stuff about great people.
        When I wrote that first message to you, SECRETS OF THE ZONA ROSA:  HOW WRITING (AND SISTERHOOD) CAN CHANGE WOMEN’S LIVES (Henry Holt and Company, 2006) was six months old, and as my friend, the novelist Jackie, or J.L., Miles, says of such times, I’ve “been on roller skates” ever since.  Not long along, Zona Rosan Margie told us about women’s speed-skating teams, with names like “The Femme Fatales” – obviously, women after our own hearts! – and I felt like I’ve been one of them, speed-skating along beside them with barely a break.
        Life has been a whirl of beautiful letters from readers and writers all over the country, as well as Canada, Puerto Rico, Finland, and Australia; news of new Sub Rosa groups across the country; writers conferences all over the place; and as always, and my greatest pleasure, our regular Zona Rosa workshops and retreats – and even getting a little writing of my own done (more about this later).
        And it’s been fun almost every second of the race.  Fortunately, I love the twists and turns, the constant travel and excitement.  After all, I am the woman who, at a therapist’s request, drew my ideal self more than 35 years ago as wearing travel clothes and carrying a suitcase!  And who created another similar image of myself years later when doing a collage – or what Zona Rosan and life coach Deborah calls a “Dream Board,” of myself on a plane with a briefcase – though I didn’t know then that it would be crammed with manuscripts by the Zona Rosans!

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*My First Letter


Zona Rosa - The MusicalFirst, I admit my bias against blogging – while I adore the freshness of a writer’s first thoughts, I also believe that we should keep our best stuff for the works we hope will make the bookstores, or otherwise be preserved for posterity.  On the other hand, I’ve recently noticed – with the proliferation of writers writing blogs – that some of us are, yes, able to write both of the moment, just as we would write a letter to a friend, and keep other material for what we hope will be timeless.  And while you may find this message as long as a chapter in SECRETS, please feel free to read from first one part, then another.
The months since the publication of SECRETS OF THE ZONA ROSA:  HOW WRITING (AND SISTERHOOD) CAN CHANGE WOMEN’S LIVES have been so much fun, so full of excitement – with good times made even better by the presence of my Zona Rosa sisters – as often as not wearing our pink trademark Zona Rosa T-shirts Zona Rosan Pamella created especially for the Book Tour.  They’re fitted and sexy, with baby-doll cap sleeves, and while some protested that they were too small before they put them on, everyone I’ve seen wearing them to date looks both adorable and also bathed in a warm flattering pink glow – or is that just the radiance we share at every Zona Rosa event?

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