Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lucky Serendipity: Patricia Lee Gauch...

Hi, folks! I'm continuing my series for the month of March. In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, I'm calling this series: Lucky Serendipity. I have tripped across many moments in life that really direct the whole of my writing future. I call these moments: lucky serendipity. So here is the story of one of those moments.

Some years ago I had cancer. I went from a furiously busy life with four kids to run after, a huge volunteer gig, and a busy writing life, to a life that came to an absolute standstill. Into the hospital I went, weeks of bed rest to follow, and then a much slower life after that. I felt like a miserable fly caught in a spider's webbing.

Each day while recovering, I cheered myself up by doing something I hadn't had the chance to do when I was so busy. Some things were simple like enjoying the sunrise or doodling for several hours straight. One of those things was to apply for a scholarship to the Chautauqua Writers' Workshop put on by the Highlights Foundation.

I received the scholarship! A few months later I was heading to Chautauqua to meet my mentor of the week, Patricia Lee Gauch. (She still offers workshops, but they are often hard to get in.)

Those few hours chatting  and then a flurry  of emails with Patti transformed me as a writer. They taught me to trust my writerly bones, to trust what they are telling me, to trust my energy and passion.  A book is a terrifying leap. For me not every book I've attempted has worked out.  You may simply fall, dust yourself off, and leap again.

Patti validated my writing faith -- that if I keep showing up at the page somehow a viable book will appear. Patti's mentoring sent me on a journey of paring down what my character really wants and sticking like glue to as many pages as I need to tell the story. 

I've covered the some in my blog before. Here is the link back to my travels back in 2005.  Here is a link to a class I took later from Patti Gauch when she visited Western Washington.

I hope that you consider liking my upcoming book on Goodreads, PLUMB CRAZY from Swoon Romance.  My pretty cover is in the sidebar.  I'll be back next week with the last of this Luck Serendipity series.

The doodle. Look, you found a four leaf clover! How lucky!

Finally a qutoe for your pocket. 
Poets know the power in the concrete object, but I say the prose writer, knowing these elements and using them, brings a resonant power and authenticity to narratives of all kinds. Patricia Lee Gauch


Vijaya said...

Isn't it strange how something difficult can turn into a blessing? Patti is amazing ... I went to both her workshops at Chautauqua and there was a certain part of me that was set free.

MollyMom103 said...

I find the difficulties and the blessings walk hand in hand. I totally agree about the freeing part, Patti has a gift for setting creative folk free.

Trudi Trueit said...

Molly, you're such an inspiration to me! Thanks for the reminder that showing up is half the battle, and trusting yourself is the other half. Congrats on Plumb Crazy. I am so excited for you!

MollyMom103 said...

Hi Trudi! There is an elegance in the simplicity of the work. I'm glad reminding you of that has helped you on your journey. Thank you the congratulations. I am glad to see my book find its way.