Written Expressions


Whether you’re currently into journaling, or have wanted to try it out, there is a new journaling workshop starting in a few days you should check out: Written Expressions: A 21 Day Creative Journaling Workshop, hosted by the wonderfully talented Luisa Tanno.

Using exercises and writing prompts , you’ll play with different ways to get you started (or unstuck), fire up your creativity, and tap into your inner self. This workshop is online and all that is required is your willingness to participate, a pen and a notebook.

Further details and sign up information in the link above.

Don’t miss out! This online workshop begins Monday, June 11th!


Fun Fridays – A Secret Garden

This past Friday was another “Fun Friday” day with my friend Luisa. As I mentioned in an earlier post – Luisa and I get together once a month, usually on a Friday, to visit a place to inspire our senses. A museum, an art gallery, a house tour, or in this case a garden. The Hollister House Garden in Washington, CT to be exact.

Friday was a beautiful day for a car ride, so we headed upstate, stopping first for a yummy lunch at Hidden Valley Eatery. I should have taken a picture – but I didn’t, however I can attest their Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken was delish! After lunch, we popped into The Hickory Stick Bookstore which was right down the road. The Hickory Stick is a lovely, independent book (and gift) store. If you’re nearby, I highly suggest you stop in. The store is light and airy and well organized. Sections are clearly marked, displays are inviting, and the aisles are nice and wide which makes browsing easy. There is a wonderful (and quite large) children’s area too. The odds are good you will walk out with something to read – for yourself or for someone you love.

But, on to the garden…

If you didn’t know it was there, you’d never find it. Tucked away on a beautiful country road you will find a small sign announcing its existence. An automatic gate magically opens when you arrive. (For a moment I felt a bit like a movie star!) Just inside the gate you’ll find a smallish parking area, and a lean-to where a donation box awaits your requested $5.00 donation. (Be sure to bring exact change.) It is there you will also find a volunteer who will cheerfully hand you a map of the garden and answer any questions.

Walk through the entry gate a few steps away, and you are transported back in time. My immediate wish was to be a child again; as this is the perfect place to play hide and seek with friends.

Brick walls, small buildings, numerous plantings of all shapes and sizes, and a reflecting pool are some of the sights you’ll see as you meander about the grounds. You’ll get the feeling this is the type of place Frances Hodgson Burnett had in mind when she wrote The Secret Garden.

I was a bit sad to leave this lovely place behind; but a raspberry shortbread cookie from a nearby French bakery called Ovens of France made me feel better. I also purchased some croissants to take home with me that were light, flaky, buttery, and oh so delicious! (Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like they have a web site, but they do have a Facebook page.)

Writing Prompt – Did you have a favorite place to hide out as a child? For me it was under the weeping willow trees near my grandparent’s house. Write about that favorite place from your childhood. What made it so special? What memories does it bring back for you?

Journal Prompt – Father’s Day

father.childJune. This month brings to mind many things – last day of school/start of summer vacation; fresh fruit & veggies; and fathers to name a few. We celebrate Father’s Day in June. This “holiday” can bring up happy, loving thoughts for some; terrible angst and unresolved issues for others.

Either way, writing about your relationship (or lack of one) with your father is a great journaling prompt. It’s a wonderful way to record happy memories of a great dad; or a chance to work out on paper, feelings you may have because your father is/was not so great. Or, in some cases truly horrible.

I had a not so great father, and that’s what I’ll be writing about.

Pen to Paper – an 8 Days Creative Writing Workshop



The newest 8 Days Workshop is Pen to Paper.

The workshop begins Monday, June 20, 2016. Once again I will be hosting this workshop at www.LuisaTanno.com.

This workshop is all about getting your creative writing mojo flowing. Once again we will be using our journals and brand new exercises to make you think, write & explore! We’ll be spending 8 days trying out 8 different types of writing (one per day) – poetry, essay, memoir and more. Join us!

SPECIAL OFFER – Register between now and June 5th and bring a friend for FREE.

Click the link below for further details and to sign up:

Pen to Paper – an 8 Days Creative Writing Workshop

Fun Fridays – Stop & Smell the Peonies


Several months ago my dear friend Luisa & I decided to plan a monthly Fun Friday. What is a Fun Friday you ask? Once a month, usually on a Friday (sometimes on a Wednesday if we can’t get together on a Friday; but those are called Wonderful Wednesdays), where we adventure to a place we normally would not go. A place that inspires our senses. We’ve visited museums, art galleries, toured gardens & more. We top it off with a delicious lunch. This month we visited Cricket Hill Garden in Thomaston, CT.

Neither Luisa not I are gardeners, (though I’ve often dreamed of being one), so that was not why we went. We went because a friend of Luisa’s recommended it, the weather was beautiful, and being out in nature is a surefire way to get inspired.

Should you find yourself stuck with a pen hovering over your notebook or your fingers perched over your keyboard, unsure of what to write, may I suggest trying one of the following prompts:

  1. What is your favorite flower? Why? What memories does it conjure up for you?
  2. What does being out in nature do for you? Do you love it? Hate it? Why?

I’ll be blogging about past and future Fun Fridays & Wonderful Wednesdays here on 8daysworkshop.com.