Featured Writers

Featured Writers 
from Laura’s Classes

Susan Dorf: How to Paint Fearlessly


Close the door, turn off the phones, and take a few deep breaths.

Squeeze out generous blobs of paint onto your palette and feel yourself getting excited about the colors.

Deep ultramarine blue, buttery Cadmium yellow, juicy Alizarin Crimson.

Line up your brushes and palette knives, adjust your easel and face the blank canvas.

Ignore the voices that say you are not good enough, and the ones that say you are wasting your time. If they persist, open the door and kick them out of the room.


Pick up a brush, scoop up some paint and put it on the canvas.

Karen Rowe: The Wake Up Call


Karen Rowe was a founding member of the Friday morning feedback class and is participating in the Memory to Memoir Intensive. She is writing a book about her experiences growing up over a funeral home. Karen wrote this piece at a weekend memoir retreat. 

The Wake Up Call

Spring ushered in the season of untimely deaths. Before the move to the funeral home, Spring meant April showers bringing May flowers; May: Memorial Day-the first vacation day of the season; and June, the month to celebrate…nuptials, confirmations, and graduations.

In 1965, when I was in fifth grade, my parents took me to a commencement ceremony. My babysitter, Patsy, was graduating from high school. She would go to college in the fall, and leave us behind. I couldn’t wait to reach graduation myself.

Paula Mahoney: How to Be a Daughter

 Paula Mahoney is a founding member of the Friday feedback class. She is currently working on a memoir about the five years she spent in Japan as a young mother. This piece was her response to the prompt, "How to Be a Daughter."

Begin by staring up into that face, the face of your mother, believing that she is the sun, the source of light, and life itself. Believe that face exists only for you, and that person is there to serve your every whim, applying a balm for every wound. Keep this going for several years. 

As you grow, there will come a time when you begin to see yourself through the eyes of others, not just through your own, or through your mother’s. At this stage, blame your mother for all of your life’s flaws: the tattered cushions, the house that needs paint, your missing father, the works. Let her know how disappointed you are for the ways that she is failing you, point out her flaws. Use your words to push her back, back as far as you can get her. This is the only way to break free of seeing yourself as an extension of her.

A Gift to Inspire Your Writing

Subscribe to my mailing list and I will immediately give you a beautiful eBook: Writing Toward Courage: A Thirty Day Practice.

Subscribe to my mailing list and I will immediately give you a beautiful eBook: Writing Toward Courage: A Thirty Day Practice

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