"My father used to say that it's never too late to do anything you wanted to do. And he said, 'You never know what you can accomplish until you try.'"
~ Michael Jordan

Depending upon our vantage points, everyone has a different idea of when summer actually begins. Some people believe that it launches on Memorial Day weekend, and others believe it's in July, but if we went by the calendar, June 21st is the Summer Solstice, when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky, making it the official beginning of summer. It's also the longest day of the year. Unlike when I was a child and the school year finished by the end of June, these days, many schools begin winding down at the beginning of June, which coincides with the start of summer. Living in California, I'm often reminded of the Summer Solstice because there are many celebrations on this longest day of the year. Traditionally, people celebrate renewal, fertility, life, and the potential for a good harvest. Some towns across the nation even have parades that include festivals, singing, and dancing in the streets. What a good reason to celebrate the beginning of summer and a sense of renewal!

What are your plans this summer, and what do you have in mind in terms of renewal in your life?

June is also National Hunger Awareness Month, and perhaps it's a good time to count our blessings and make offerings to those in need of food or nourishment. This is a wonderful gesture at any time of the year, but it's good to be reminded of this issue. This brings me back to when my children were younger and we used to take them to homeless shelters the day before Thanksgiving in Orlando, where we lived at the time. We volunteered to feed delicious, warm Thanksgiving meals to the hungry and the homeless. It was such a special tradition in our family, which we carried out for many years. Now that I'm a grandparent, I hope to continue this tradition with my grandchildren.

What might you do to help the hungry this month?

Creatively Yours,
A radiant smile, a handshake to fracture a bone, a giving heart never clutching a bad intention. On New York streets, he'd toss the shirt off his back
to a broken beggar then walk into his favorite diner, where regulars arrived at 6 a.m. He'd flatter the waitresses until he made them giggle, as they poured his morning coffee, which he gulped down before dashing to manage his toy store, which brought joy to all girls and boys.
Now, nearly three decades since his passing—my hungry heart holds a place for my father beside a deep emptiness. His spirit continues to feed and encircle me, and glows in my kids' and grandkids' souls, as I speak each day to the man who I know loved me no matter what. I continue to be warmed.
  • Write about your relationship with a dad, grandfather, uncle, or beloved father figure.
  • June 3rd is World Bicycle Day. Write about how you learned to ride a bike.
  • June 8th is National Best Friends Day. Write about one of your best friends.
  • What are you going to do to renew yourself this summer?
"One Wink. " Poets Unlimited . April 26, 2019.
"A Letter to My Grandmother." Thrive Global. May 1, 2019.
"Having Reverence for Our Own Safety." Psych Central. May 6, 2019.
"A Man with a Paddle" and " At the Crossroads " (poems). Colere. 2018.
"Have You Examined Your Life Lately? " Psychology Today . May 16, 2019.
" How to Choose a Self-Care Activity." Psychology Today. M ay 29, 2019

Transform Yourself: Writing to Heal
June 8, 2019
2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Yoga Soup
Santa Barbara, CA
To register: Click here


Writing a Compelling Memoir
The Santa Barbara Writer's Conference
June 16-21, 2019
For details: Click here


Journaling for Bliss: Fundamentals Under the Full Moon
Ojai Valley Inn and Spa
Ojai, CA
June 17, 2019
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
For details: Click here


Sip. Write. Create.
Margerum Wine Tasting Room
Santa Barbara, CA
July 18, 2019
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
My Reading Life by Pat Conroy (memoir)

Pat Conroy, who passed away in 2016, was the author of eight books of fiction and memoir. Throughout his life, books provided him with solace and inspiration. In My Reading Life, he credited his love for books and literature to his mother, who read him Gone With the Wind when he was five years old. As a result, he was an avid reader his entire life. In fact, he claimed that ever since he was a freshman in high school, he tried reading 200 pages each day. He said that his love for books changed him, and he loved the feeling of being submerged in one and forgetting that he was reading. He said, "Reading is the most rewarding form of exile and the necessary discipline for a novelist who burns with the ambition to get better" (p. 310).

Conroy said that he began every day with a poem that would unleash the "avalanche of words inside." In summary, Conroy concludes that reading and prayers are both acts of worship for him. Amen!

Buy this book for yourself and/or a friend or relative who loves the written word. It would be a wondeful Father's Day gift.

With the keenest of observational powers, George Yatchisin invites us into his passion for living. He is alive to the universe’s wonders, both large and small. He presents like a Renaissance man who has lived many lives in many parts of the world and in many historical settings. He covers so many aspects of the human experience, such as nature, emotions, romance, travel, and science—all told with a crisp eye for detail. His love for food and wine is palpable, and while reading his poems, one could easily imagine him seated in a Parisian café, wearing oval-shaped spectacles and jotting down musings in his journal. “Position is nine-tenths of the law—ask the French, clinging tight to cognac and champagne, the rest of the world left with but brandy, simply sparkling wine.”

While reading Yatchisin’s poems, we turn many unexpected corners. He presents inquiries and encourages readers to question, reflect, and contemplate every step we take or corner we turn, during every moment of our day. He’s playful and he misses nothing. ‘It’s time to play./Let’s take out our stories/and dress them like dolls/yes, pretty, pretty, there,/pretty, pretty, sshhh.”'
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