Monday, April 29, 2013
I will be facilitating three workshops this spring/summer on writing.
Write to Create will be held in Raleigh, NC at the Comfort Inn near
Crabtree Mall on June 15 and is for all writers who want to learn the nuts and bolts of not just the craft, but of the industry. We will be spending time talking about writing query letters that sell and proposals for non-fiction books as well as how to obtain an agent. If you are interested in self-publishing a book, we will learn the steps needed to take to do that. Read more here.
Writing to a Healthier You! will be held at the Hampton Inn in Norcross, GA on June 22. Fellow bereaved mom, author and counselor, Mary Jane Cronin, will be teaching this workshop on grief-writing with me. We'll share how effective writing can be and exercises to make your writing time beneficial. Register here.
Journey through Life's Losses will be on July 27 at the Hampton Inn in Raleigh, NC and will focus on writing through many of life's losses. We'll dive into the emotions that expand from grief and talk about how instrumental writing is for health, hope and healing as we create many works of prose and poetry.
Sign up today.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Is there sorrow in your life? Grief due to loss? There is much heartache in life. Discover how writing helps to heal and even brings health.
The next five-week online writing course, Writing the Heartache, starts April 15th. Hope you can join us for a time of writing for healing, hope and health. Register by going to the link here.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
"People wait for inspiration to hit them. Don't wait for it; sit down and absorb it by doing. Write! Create! Act now! Writing produces more writing. Soon you are Living Inspiration!"
Friday, March 8, 2013
Fellow writers, today my guest is Dianna Benson. Read her post and feel free to leave a comment below.
For me, heartache has been something of a thread throughout my life; I learned at a young age to turn it into good by bettering my soul. I grew-up with a mentally ill mother; life with her was uncertain, violent, and chaotic. When I was a junior in high school, my dad was killed in a bicycle accident (he was a tri-athlete). Starting when I was four-years-old, he showed me a life of adventure in skiing, climbing, scuba diving, etc. I called him Big Guy; he called me Middle-Sized Guy. We were buddies.
That June day, he was cycling in the mountains when his bicycle malfunctioned and he was thrown over the handle bars. The mountain hospital was unable to treat his trauma wounds, especially his open head trauma. As he was flown in a flight-for-life helicopter to a metropolitan hospital, he was brain dead but the medical crew still performed heart massage on the fit man who was only forty-nine-years old. When my mother and I received the call about his accident, I had to drive us to the hospital since she was too distraught. I hadn’t had my driver’s license long and had never been to the hospital across town, so during the drive I turned to God for the first time and depended on Him to carry me through, which He did, and His arms are still wrapped around me today. I still remember the exact location on that highway where this occurred; it was a beautiful thing, and somehow I found myself driving right to the hospital as if I knew the way.
Only a few days after my dad’s funeral, my mother and I visited the people in the mountains who tried to save his life—firefighters, EMS, physicians, etc. It was a long day filled with details better left unknown to a teenager, so I focused on how amazing EMTs are; I thought: “Wow, I would love to do that job when I grow up.”
I didn’t have much of a chance to mourn my dad’s death since I was too occupied with taking care of my mother who struggled to take care of herself. Only six weeks after my dad died, my mother took off to escape her overwhelming grief. I was on my own until I married my amazing husband. We’ve been married twenty-three years.
All of the above prepared me for the medical nightmare my family endured starting when I was thirty-nine, my husband was forty-one, and we had three young children. In 2009, my husband was diagnosed with head and neck cancer. He endured two surgeries and radiation treatments. I told our kids how my dad survived cancer when I was eight-years-old. They said, “Yeah, but then he died a few years later.” I reminded them the bicycle accident had nothing to do with cancer. As my husband fought cancer, our son suffered a severe concussion from trauma in a hockey game, then battled Lyme disease (first thought to be cancer), and our oldest daughter endured scoliosis surgery (thirteen-inch spinal incision). All during this time, I couldn’t write fiction; the writing just wouldn’t come. But, I wrote from my heart, spilled my thoughts and feelings on the page, just like I had as a child; it was therapeutic and kept me strong.
My attitude during the medical war my family recently fought, was calling the five of us: “As the Benson’s Turn.” The five of us leaned on laughter, our faith and each other. Smooth sailing in life doesn’t develop a compassionate, strong, resilient, etc. soul; plus, the bad in life makes the good even better. In The Hidden Son (and in all my books), I want readers to be inspired by how my characters don’t try the impossible: “Get over” the difficult stuff in life and move on; instead, they accept the pain difficult events in their lives cause, and they move forward with a renewed sense of understanding in themselves, in life, and in God.
My God bless you with a life filled with both joys and trials!
Dianna T. Benson is a 2011 Genesis Winner, a 2011 Genesis double Semi-Finalist, a 2010 Daphne de Maurier Finalist, and a 2007 Golden Palm Finalist. In 2012, she signed a nine-book contract with Ellechor Publishing House. Her first book, The Hidden Son, released in print world-wide March 1, 2013.
After majoring in communications and a ten-year career as a travel agent, Dianna left the travel industry to earn her EMS degree. An EMT and a Haz-Mat and FEMA Operative since 2005, she loves the adrenaline rush of responding to medical emergencies and helping people in need. Her suspense novels about adventurous characters thrown into tremendous circumstances provide readers with a similar kind of rush.
Dianna lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three athletic children.
Read more at her website.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Do you want to experience the beauty of writing for healing, health and hope? Do you long to see how valuable putting your heart onto paper is for you on your journey? Would you benefit from a free writing course?
Read on . . .
I teach Writing the Heartache online workshops and the next one starts April 15th. Why not join us?
Here's what you can do to get this $43 course for free!
Purchase a copy of my new devotional, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning , between March 5 and 8 and get the gift of this free online writing course!
"Taking your Writing the Heartache Workshop was
one of the best decisions I ever made." ~ Kit T.
What you need to do:
1) Order Getting Out of Bed in the Morning (digital or print)
2) Send a copy of the receipt to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
3) I'll sign you up for the next Writing the Heartache Workshop that starts April 15 and runs for five weeks online
Read more about the course here.
"This book is beautifully written, hitting all the points of working through grief in a way that is not overly sentimental but focused on the God who daily bears our burdens. I love her reflections and prayer walking ideas. I would definitely recommend this for any one who needs to gain perspective when the journey of life seems hopeless. This woman has been through the Valley and has come through it with a depth of relationship with God that is mature and beautiful. She will mentor many through this book." ~ Carol on Amazon
Looking forward to having you in the workshop on April 15th!
Monday, February 11, 2013
Who's afraid to join us on March 9th? Don't belief the myths. Discover instead, what writing through heartache can open for you!
Recently many have told me, "I always thought I hated to write, but after participating in this writing exercise of yours, Alice, well, I like it now!" Some have even confessed that they want to incorporate writing into their daily routines.
That's what I like to hear!
At my all-day workshops, here's some of what we do:
* Share our stories
* Eat chocolate
* Put pen to paper
* Meet interesting people like us
* Recognize the value in what writing does for us as people with heartache
* Energize our writing as we learn new tips and techniques
* Write from prompts
* Eat lunch
* Shed some tears
* Leave with new inspirations
Sign up for the all-day Journey Through Life's Losses Workshop on March 9th by heading over to this link now.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
A devotional of ‘comfort in heartache’
Alice Wisler hopes to help others deal with loss with ‘Getting Out of Bed in the Morning’
BY DAWN BAUMGARTNER VAUGHAN; email@example.com; 919-419-6563
In the wake of the death of her 4-year-old son Daniel in 1997, Alice Wisler formed a grief organization to help other parents. Also an author of several fiction books, Wisler’s latest is a devotional. “Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache” (Leafwood Publishers, softcover, $13.99) is a collection of 40 devotionals for those dealing with various kinds of losses in their lives.
The idea for the devotional was formed as Wisler, who lives in Durham, went on walks, and each devotional includes ideas for contemplation while on a walk. It also includes a prayer, Bible verses and Wisler’s own personal stories of life and loss.
Daniel, who died after eight months of cancer treatments, would have been 21 now. The anniversary of his death is Feb. 2. What Wisler’s book shows, and what she experiences, is that “there is a God that sustains us through misery.”
What’s helped her be sustained is being around other believers who encourage and support her, Wisler said. A member of Blacknall Presbyterian Church, which she joined in 2002, Wisler has found that other members are willing to learn about Daniel and acknowledge his death.
“Bereaved parents want acknowledgement,” she said. They’re still grieving their child and still missing their child, always. Parents don’t want a pity party, Wisler said, just the acknowledgement that attending something like a celebratory event is hard.
Through donations, 106 copies of “Getting Out of Bed in the Morning” were sent this week to Newtown United Methodist Church in Connecticut, the community where 20 children and six adults were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December. Victims included church members.
Writing has been a form of solace, great peace and hope after her son’s death, Wisler said. She hopes people will find encouragement from her book, with a message to point to God. It helps to see what God has to say about bereavement, grief and fear, she said, and “how we can live in spite of the suffering.”
Below is an excerpt from “Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache” by Alice J. Wisler:
(Pages 44-47, devotion Seven)
. . . my eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, O Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you. — Psalm 88:9
Observing a temper tantrum in a child is no easy feat. We watch a child asking for a cookie, and then when denied she continues to beg, and then the begging leads to wailing. Nine times out of ten, kicking and screaming follow. Sometimes the only way to stop the escalating behavior is to pick the child up and hold her until she, at last, is exhausted and settles in her parent’s arms.
As adults, often we’re still like a child. We vacillate between wanting to pull away, storm out, go our own way, and wanting to be rescued from ourselves. Somebody hold me, help me take my eyes off of me and my dilemma and focus on something else.
At times, like a child, we get to a place where we are totally out of sorts, unable to even see or think clearly anymore. Life seems to have swallowed us whole. We are in dire need of help. Open your eyes and look to the One who is standing beside you, His arms outstretched. He wants to pick you up and hold you until your tears and frustration cease.
When a mother came back home from a Mary Kay party with more makeup on than she usually wore, her four-year-old daughter stood at a distance for a moment before running into her arms. Then smiling into her face, the child said, “I know it’s you, Mommy! I know you’re in there.” While you might put on a new façade in the form of a different hairstyle or article of clothing, you can’t fool those who are closest to you. They still recognize you. How much more acquainted with you is God! He knows you better than you know yourself. He loves you more than anyone ever can or will.
Reflections to Ponder
Close your eyes and spread out your hands. Lift them up over your head. Stretch them out in front of you, palms up. Imagine God reaching out for you. Spend a few moments in silence. Listen for God’s stirrings in your heart. Close and then open your hands as though you are giving your concerns over to God. Read aloud Psalm 88:9: “. . . my eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, O Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you.” In response to this verse, read also Psalm 18:19: “He [the Lord] brought me into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
If you feel overwhelmed by what you feel your life is lacking or what you think is not right, jot down your concerns. Sometimes releasing your pent-up discontent helps because you are getting it out of your mind and letting the paper hold the weight of it. What troubles you? Can you put your fears on paper? Do you believe that the Lord will counsel you as you seek Him (Ps. 16:7)?
Save me for I am drowning.
Save me for I worry.
Save me for I fear.
Save me for I am consumed with despair.
Save me, O God.
You have rescued me
from drowning, from worry,
from fear, and from despair.
Thank you, O God.
When You Walk:
Find a park to walk to and a place to sit. On a note pad, list what you know about God to be true. How will you implement these truths in your daily life?
[Excerpt courtesy of author and Leafwood Publishers]
WHAT: Author reading, “Getting Out of Bed in the Morning: Reflections of Comfort in Heartache” by Alice J. Wisler. There will also be soup and cornbread.
WHEN: 10 a.m. to noon, Feb. 9
WHERE: Blacknall Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall
1902 Perry St., Durham
Printed in the Durham Herald-Sun in the Faith and More section / January 31, 2013
To read reviews and order Getting Out Of Bed in the Morning, click here.