Winter Beginnings

December 21st marks the first day of winter. For those of you who live in colder climates, chances are you have already gotten into your winter mindset. For those of us in warmer climates, we too feel the change of seasons, albeit much less intense.

For me, this is a sad day because it marks the loss of my beloved father who passed seventeen years ago. It was ironic that he died on the first day of winter, because he truly hated cold weather.

In years past, I have spent this day sulking his departure, but since I’ve been reading a great deal of Zen philosophy lately, I have decided to turn a negative into a positive, and devote the day to my passion for writing. Today I will focus on my good memories. For all of us, this is the perfect time of year to reminisce and get nostalgic. Many emotions surface this time of year and the notebook is a great tool to get those emotions on the page for safe-keeping. Here are some exercises to kick start the process:

  • Write a letter to someone who has passed away.
  • Write about a poignant childhood memory.
  • Describe your favorite grandparent, aunt or uncle who played an important part in your childhood.
  • Describe your childhood home.


The list can go on an on. Just use your imagination. If while writing, your words wander to a different place, then so be it. The important thing is that you practice the art of writing.


My dear friends, this is my last blog entry for the year so I want to take the opportunity to wish you all a Happy and Healthy Holiday and all the best for your New Year!

Warm wishes,



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Quote of the Week

"A writer uses a journal to try out the new step in front of the mirror."

~Mary Gordon

About Me

I am a memoirist, essayist, poet and teacher whose passion is keeping a notebook. My notebook is my muse and my alter ego. It contains personal snippets of my life and observations from the world around me. Diarist Anaïs Nin has been a great source of inspiration for me. My hobbies include writing, writing and more writing, but when I have extra time, I enjoy reading, walking, hiking, yoga, working out, cooking and hanging out with my family and Maltese Poodle, Spunky. In order not to become ensconced by the glare of my computer screen, I also teach in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and in various conferences and festivals around the country. My pleasure comes from sharing my joy of journaling with professional writers and anyone interested in writing.

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