The Newsletter of 


"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." 

~Winston Churchill 
As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. This year marks my 14th year of survival. Many would attest to the fact that not only am I a survivor,  I am a thriver. While darkness has entered into my life on many occasions, my philosophy is to look for and embrace the light. It's true that without the darkness, we might not recognize the light, but it's also the light which gives us the inspiration and drive to move forward with our lives. 
Speaking of light--my beloved father was full of light. He used to often remind me to look at the glass half full and that all we need is good health. My father-in-law, who recently transitioned, was also of the same belief system. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, he told me: "Have no fear, Diana. Have no fear." Ever since, his words have echoed in my ears, and have impacted many parts of my life. I frequently referenced them in my book, Healing With Words: A Writer's Cancer Journey, a self-help book depicting my passion for the power of writing for healing and moving on with our lives.
If you're a cancer survivor-celebrate, rejoice and live with an attitude of gratitude! Gratitude and a sense of optimism is vital for survival!


(poetry) by Marsha de la O is a gem.        
This award-winning poetry book is written by a poet who is completely tuned into her world, never missing a nuance, observation or opportunity to invite the reader to join her in transcendence. These contemplative poems are a balance of the darkness and the light that we all face; always embracing the importance of family, birth, death, health, beauty and the natural world.
Having just experienced the transition of my beloved father-in-law, her poems honoring deceased loved ones really resonated with me. For example, in  "Under the Lemon Tree" she writes:

"Six years now my mother gone to earth./This dew, light as footsteps of the dead./She often walked out here, craned her neck/considered the fruit, hundreds of globes/in their leathery hides, figuring on/custard and pudding, meringue and/hollandaise."
This is one of those rare poetry books that needs to be read slowly and listened to carefully. The messages here are profound and strong, akin to the psalms. They have wisdom and a musical quality that inspires us to read them over and over again.  In a beautiful note to me, included in the review copy, she wrote, "My mantra is: All poems are affirmations in one way or another." And Marsha de la O's poetry is certainly a testament to that.

(memoir)  was written by the iconic 
Vivian Gornick, who has not written a book in years. When we hear of this author, most writers are reminded of her classic books,  The Situation and the Story and  Fierce Attachments. It's been ten years since Gornick has come out with a new book, but the recent release of her second memoir,
The Odd Woman and the City is a wonderful addition to the Gornick library. The book does not adhere to the classical memoir form; in a sense, it's a series of reflections by a New Yorker written in Virginia Woolf stream-of-consciousness style or the Baudelaire flaneur style by a woman who still has issues with her aged mother. As she says, "Releasing from the wounds of childhood is a task never completed, not even at the point of death."
In a sense, this book is an elegy to loneliness. The book's worldview revolves around the self in relation to the city. It's a complete testament to living in the moment, as Gornick wanders through New York City, sharing and documenting her encounters, but at the end of the day always winding up alone in her apartment.  The Odd Woman and the City i s a quick read, offering insight into the life of a single, childless and often lonely feminist living in the Big Apple.


If you have just released a new book or have read a book you highly recommend, please share the title and author by emailing me. I love supporting the accomplishments and passions of my readers.

Thank you! 
" Haunted By Images." Fourth & Sycamore. September 21, 2015.
"The Trigger." Snapdragon : A Journal of Art & Healing. September 2015.
"According to Buddhism,"Zen Thoughts." Buddhist Poetry Review. Fall 2015. 
"The Allure of Anais Nin: 5 Artists Honoring Her Inspiration." 
Friday, January 29, 2016. Antioch University Santa Barbara. Community Hall. 7pm.  (Details to follow in subsequent months).

Event organizers: Diana Raab & Steven Reigns

Speakers: Judith Citrin, Perie Longo, Diana Raab, Tristine Rainer, Steven Reigns 

Two writing prompts for this month:
  • Write about your favorite Halloween costume.
  • Write about a time when your health or the health of a loved one was compromised.
Creatively yours,

P.S. Please send any comments to
(Subject: Newsletter) 

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