My writing is inspired in countless ways. Walks in nature, stories from history and herstory, pilgrimages to sacred places, Mozart and Satie, ancient objets d’art, and anything French…these inform my spirit and fuel my creative journey.
I’m also passionate for the cinema. I will watch a film over and over again to extract every morsel of meaning. My top five films are: The Hours, Girl With A Pearl Earring, The Godfather (Parts I & II), A Man and a Woman, and Into Great Silence.
Numerous authors offer inspiration: Tracy Chevalier, Sue Monk Kidd, Elizabeth Gilbert, Shirley Jackson, Doris Lessing, Hemingway, Flannery O’Connor, the Brontes, Anais Nin, to name a few. Spiritual writers: Andrew Harvey, Joan Chittister, Christine Valters Paintner, Joyce Rupp, Macrina Wiederkehr, and Richard Rohr, and of course the writings of the feminine Christian mystics, St. Hildegard of Bingen, Theresa of Avila, Julianne of Norwich, and the Beguines, always inspire. Poets also fuel my spirit. Favorites include: Sharon Olds, May Sarton, Rumi, Hafiz, Anne Sexton, David Whyte, and Emily Dickinson.
Books, it’s safe to say, are my obsession. All aspects of a book’s construction fascinate me including; the texture (hand) of the chosen paper, the ink and font selection and if there are illustrations I’m delirious. I adore illustrated books, especially vintage children’s books.
I have several books from my childhood that are personal treasures. A dog-eared, tear stained copy of Little Women, and the classic, Winnie the Pooh, complete with poetry,”They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace, Christopher Robin went down with Alice…”
Illuminated manuscripts are an additional passion. I own several facsimiles of medieval manuscripts and the detail is astounding. Recently I acquired a copy of Carl Jung’s, Red Book. It has the quality of an illuminated manuscript and Jung’s wisdom and images are breathtaking. It’s one of those books that must be savored over time, like a rich meal, morsel by morsel. There’s simply too much to digest.
Books are sacred containers, not only for the author’s story, but also as vessels recording particular historical moments in time and place. The quality of the paper, the weight of the cover, the scent of the ink…all of these elements are a reflection of the culture and era when the book was created. If you enjoy the wonders of paper and the craft of book making I suggest you take a look at my Book of Wonderment course.
Though modern technology has blessed us with the portability of ebooks, I pray there will always be “real” books to enjoy. Nothing can replace the sensual quality of turning a page or the feeling of a book resting in the lap.
Ink and Honey was a work in progress for twenty-two years. It’s safe to say, Ink and Honey, is my “soul book.” Click here and scroll down the page to find the audio recording of my story within the story of Ink and Honey.
I didn’t know anything about writing a novel when the story of the sisters of Belle Coeur first came to me. My writer’s journey was definitely a learning experience blessed by many teachers along the way. Several of my beloved teachers are residents of heaven. I call upon their spirits each day when I sit down to begin my writing. Their wisdom was/is invaluable and I’ll be forever grateful to each of them.
The Way of Belle Coeur: A Woman’s Vade Mecum is the companion guidebook for Ink and Honey. Sacred practices and prayers, iconotypal portrayal, journal prompts and a formational guide for Belle Coeur sisterhood, the Vade Mecum, will provide a feminine cosmology for your spiritual enrichment.
There are plans in a notebook on my desk for a novel and a book of sacred poetry. These projects should carry me into my seventies and I pray there will more books to follow. Meanwhile, when I’m not writing, I attempt to put a dent in the growing pile of books on my nightstand. At the top of the stack right now is gorgeous book, The Bronte Cabinet, by Deborah Lutz…and on it goes.