Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Alice J. Wisler


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?

26 comments:

  1. It sounds like one of those meant-to-be things, Stacy, where you find just what you need by accident. So glad you found it and that it was helpful.

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  2. I was just thinking that a meeting of fate. You are probably feeling very emotional at the end of all that, but I bet it was good for you. Take care.

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    1. Catherine, a meeting of fate or maybe too much time on the Internet. :) It seemed an appropriate Thankful Thursday post after typing The End on Wednesday.

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  3. It's so true about the rabbit hole thing!! It can be exciting seeing what's beyond the next click :)

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    1. Coleen, Yes. The click is tempting and sometimes fruitful.

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  4. What an inspirational story that immediately grabbed my attention. I'm so glad you shared it and the information about her course. Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. Patricia, You no doubt relate to the anonymous tip.

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  5. Thanks, Stacy, for posting this here. So glad you took my writing course.

    Congratulations on finishing your memoir. I can't wait to see it in print!

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    1. Thanks Alice. I enjoyed the course and I hope to see it in print one day too.

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  6. Yep, it sounds like more than just chance that you came across Alice and her course. I can imagine that losing a child is a very specific sort of trauma and grief, and yet the pain has to bear much similarity with other griefs. Thank you for sharing with us, Stacy.

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    1. Joanna, Life is full of "more than just chance" thankfully. :)

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  7. Thanks for this share, Stacy. I've put a note on my calendar for near-end of March (I already missed the beginning of this latest course). I might sign up. Though I am not sure what heartache I would focus on...

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    1. Karen, I enjoyed the lessons and they really apply to any family or friend loss.

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  8. Congratulations on finishing your memoir, Stacy! :)

    The internet has opened up a whole new world of people connecting with strangers. And sometimes we're fortunate to find gold within the depths of the links we follow, as you did. How fortunate you followed the link that day.

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    1. Sheila, I feel fortunate I followed the link. I like the world being opened up by the internet.

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  9. First, congrats on finishing your memoir. Kudos for your bravery and hard work. I believe in kismet, have met many writers and mentors via online. I look forward to your posts.

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  10. Tonia, Thanks. I'm excited to have a complete draft now. Well, now the hard really hard work begins. I'm grateful for the many connections I have made online. You are one of them.

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  11. She sounds like an amazing lady! and her course sounds very useful and helpful.

    Congratulations on your memoir, Stacy!

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  12. Wow. Thanks for sharing this. We all harbor grief, and at some level I can't imagine how anybody can write honestly without addressing it somehow, whether directly or not.

    As for those online connections and the rabbit holes that lead to them: amen!

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    1. Sharon, So true. Amen to our online connections. I mentioned your Who's the Boss When Bringing Up Bebe? post in my Perfect Picture Books: Snuggle Puppy post.

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  13. Just joined your blog, Stacy! Thanks, again, for this post. You and your followers here have brought sunshine to my day!

    In appreciation,
    Alice

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    1. Alice, I'm glad. You deserve a lot of sunshine!

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  14. I do believe that things come to them when you need them and you are ready for them. That seems to be the case here. Powerful stuff!

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  15. How wonderful that you fell into that rabbit hole.. what a fantastic course concept. xx

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