Elizabeth Berg, a man named Andre, and writing true

Thank you, Dani, for this post – a reminder of where we were a year ago – meeting favorite author, Elizabeth Berg. What a pivotal weekend! xoxo


On August 16, 2013, I kissed my husband curbside and anxiously entered the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Chicago. I was wearing my favorite jeans, a polka-dot blouse and my black pumps, the ones with the large leather bow near the toe. But the space felt wrong, like the cafeteria on the first day of school: a virtual minefield of social suicide and no map to guide.

I looked around, knowing full well I would find no familiar faces, but hoping I could spot aspiring writers, that perhaps our hearts would seem familiar to one another. And after a few trips up and down the stairs, I spotted them. Comrades in pen. Soldiers of prose.

We were all nervous. Sizing up the space and each other, then scanning the large area for a face we’d seen only briefly, if at all: that of Ms. Elizabeth Berg.

I had met Elizabeth…

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My sacred place

My sacred place.

My beautiful friend, Dani, whom I met at an Elizabeth Berg writing workshop last August, has created a lovely writing nook for herself. One of these days perhaps I’ll get my own decluttered enough to post a photo, too! In the meantime, I’m enjoying writing personal things for myself and working on finishing my manuscript – hence the infrequent blogging. If you’re a writer and don’t have your spot, this post will inspire you to create one!

Thanks, Dani! Cheers!


Eight Weeks

Prompt Writing: 15 minutes: “Eight Weeks”

Eight Weeks

In eight weeks, I will have breast surgery behind me. For good. I hope. Know, I believe. (Ha – I meant “No, I believe,” but how much better is “Know, I believe!”) For GOOD, I tell you! Knock cancer cells on their butt! Excise them out and banish them from my life forever.

In eight weeks I will be packing for my dream trip — a writing workshop with Elizabeth Berg in Chicago! She is my all time favorite author and I devour her books as soon as they are published. She writes so cleanly, simply, yet touches my heart, my soul, my mind — silky strips of pastel fabrics flowing over my body, feeling so poignant, so delicious I want to savor every word, reread every paragraph, every book. And I get to meet her! In person! In a smallish group of women writers! It’s only money (and you can’t take that with you!).

Berg Books

My awesome husband agreed the moment I asked him about spending such a large sum on myself, taking off and leaving him with Roosevelt, who whines whenever I’m away. He knows how much I love Elizabeth Berg. From the first book of hers I read, tears leaking from my eyes as I tried to explain to him why Pull of the Moon grabbed me so, poolside where he was attending a dental conference — us not married yet and in that getting-to-know-each other phase, me still grieving the loss of my first marriage. Not yet 50, but well into identification with Nan’s feelings of confusion, needing solitude and adventure all at once. Yes. In eight weeks I will have just that.

Thoughts on Writing from author Elizabeth Berg

Thoughts on Writing from author Elizabeth Berg
For my writer friends – I LOVE this – a facebook post from one of my favorite authors of all time – Elizabeth Berg. Thanks, Elizabeth – I feel the same way about writing!
“Thanks so much to all of you who answered the question about what you’d want to know about writing. Many of the questions you had are directly addressed in the book I did about writing called ESCAPING INTO THE OPEN, available in bookstores and libraries. But just in general, I would say that the most important thing for me to keep in mind is that I write because I need to, and the most important (and lasting) satisfaction comes from getting something I feel onto the page in a way that helps me understand it better. I write to find out, is a way of saying it more succinctly. My best advice is to write because you love it, not because you want to sell it.
So many people ask questions about “process,” as though there’s a formula. There isn’t. One writes the way one falls in love, or decides what to have for breakfast. It’s changeable, intuitive, dependent on the state of the heart, mind and soul at the moment. For me, it works best to take a free fall into trust: my best writing always comes when I don’t plan it, when I don’t know what’s going to happen.
One of the reasons I’ve begun teaching workshops is that I recognize what a strong desire it is to write. In these instances, I serve as a catalyst to inspire women to bring what’s in there, out. I believe writers are born, not made. If it’s in you to be a writer, you can find a way to make it happen.”
                                                                         – Elizabeth Berg (Facebook post)
Happy writing!
       Ginny 🙂