As a journalist, I loved picking up the phone. You never knew who it could be — an anonymous news tip or someone complaining about her kid making the arrest report. I dreamed (oh how I dreamed) it would be an anonymous tip for a big story. It rarely was a big tip. I answered the phone anyway.
I take a similar approached to blogs. Links from one can take me down a rabbit hole or a link might help me find the one big quote I need to hear or the one resource I can't live without — even though I just stumbled upon it.
Today, I wanted to share a writer I met via a random blog post. Last September, I wrote a Thankful Thursday post about Author Jordyn Redwood's Redwood's Medical Edge — Medical Fact for Your Fiction blog. Later, I read this post on Redwood's site: One Brave Cookie: Alice J. Wisler.
Alice shared the story of her son Daniel, who at the age of 4, died of cancer. It's a tough topic to read and at the end I spotted her bio. She's authored four novels. The line that struck me: "In memory of her son, she teaches online grief-writing courses and at conferences across the country."
I wondered, if it could help me write my memoir about my late husband? I visited her website, but was too late for a class under way. A link to her Writing the Heartache Workshop floated around in my email inbox from October to December when I signed up for the course.
It began late January and ended last week. If anything, my efforts to write the vomit draft of the memoir, hindered my full participation in the class. Some days, I felt too drained to think about my assignment.
I completed my homework each week and have three short essays, a letter and one poem. One assignment will show up in my A to Z Challenge posts in April. Another I submitted to The Day, a writing opportunity, shared at Kathy Temean's Writing and Illustrating blog.
The class is low key (you don't read or critique anyone else's work). You read lessons emailed to you. Alice sends feedback about the work you submit — not a critique. The cost is $35. You don't have to be a writer to participate in her class.
This is from Alice's website on the class:
I started this workshop in 2001 for those, like me, who lost a child to death. Others who had a loved one (not a child) die took the course and found it beneficial. Then, those who had suffered wounds in their lives (significant sorrow and losses) participated in the workshop and told me that this course is for anyone who has experienced heartache. The testimonies speak loudly —writing through anguish brings healing, no matter what path you are on.Alice blogs at Writing the Heartache.
I found the Writing the Heartache workshop through one of those rabbit holes I fall into while online. I'm grateful I had time that day to read Alice's post and follow the links.
What secret treasure have you found following links online?