Meeting Heather Cariou, the keynote speaker for the first time.

She slipped into the café and was sitting alone. I only knew her from her photograph, but I knew it was Heather. I had read her memoir Sixty Five Roses, and felt that I knew her in some ways at least, as I think we all feel when we are invited into someone’s life through words. And we had played email tag for some time along the way. When I introduced myself, she gave me a big hug!

Once we started talking, we nearly began finishing each other’s sentences. There were so many things in common about teaching, the process of writing a memoir, and the healing that is possible through this amazing process. It was hard to believe at the end that we’d just met! For several days we had extended conversations about how we can help memoir writers, how to develop more creativity in writers, and how to mine the deep stories. She inspired me to develop new ideas and we plan to connect soon to talk about the seedlings we planted.

There was a lot of soul shaking going on at the conference in so many great ways—with many wonderful presentations, techniques, and deep heartful connections made. I made several new friends, and even got some new writing done! Most of all, I experienced the great group energy and that enlivens us and provides us with new possibilities. I’m planting all those little seeds now that began just last week, and I know the garden is going to be beautiful.

Next is the San Francisco Writing conference—where I’m part of the “book doctors” tables. Every five minutes I meet and talk with a write about his or her book, their ideas, plans, outlines, and titles. I love the process! Also my new book The Power of Memoir will be for sale! This is a terrific conference, and if you get a chance to come some year, it will be very much worth it. Besides, you get to see one of the best cities in the world and tramp up high hills, and ride a cable car!

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