May 2018

" Being a mother is an attitude, not [always] a biological relation." 
Robert A. Heinlein


I've always thought of May as my month because this month includes my birthday and Mother's Day. And now I'm even more excited to be expecting my third grandchild (from Rachel and Richard), and it would be cool if she was either born on my birthday or on Mother's Day. Becoming and being a mother has been one of my most gratifying accomplishments. Someone once told me that you're only as happy as your happiest child, and I've come to believe the truth in that statement. From the day my children, Rachel, Regine, and Josh, came into the world, I was so happy and proud to be their mom. Becoming a mother was not easy for me--laden with infertility and bedrest--but it was an experience I wouldn't have missed for the world. 

A message to my children and grandchildren, Joshua; Rachel (and Richard); Regine (and Daniel); and grandchildren, Jaxson and Lila: I LOVE YOU MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW, AND THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU!


I've just returned from a magical two weeks in Japan. In the coming months, I hope to be writing about my experiences. One of the reasons we went at this time was because it was cherry-blossom season, which elicited many memories. My childhood home had a cherry-blossom tree on the front lawn. I have vivid recollections of sitting on the falling blossoms and feeling the wonder. It also meant shedding my winter coat, gloves, and hat, and getting on my bike and riding around the neighborhood. 

Spring meant freedom. It was also a time when my parents did their annual cleaning ritual. My mother's rule was to give away anything we hadn't used in one year, and I've come to adopt that tradition. My mother was definitely not a hoarder; she was a minimalist and still is. 

So what are your springtime rituals and memories that remind you of your own childhood? What would you like to transform in your life? 

May the energy of spring give you the power for transformation, as well as the strength to remain open to all of life's possibilities.

Creatively yours,
May Writing Prompts 
  • Write about your relationship with your mother or another important female figure.
  • Consider writing a letter to your mother.
  • Write about your favorite book.
  • What are your plans for Memorial Day?

Recently Published Work s

"Spring is For Transformation."  (article) New York Spirit Journal. April 2018.
" Writing for Bliss: An Adaptation." (book excerpt).  Cafe in Space: The Anais Nin Literary Journal. 2018.
"Writing as a Spiritual Practice." (article).  New Age Journal Blog. April 3, 2018.

The RavensPerch. April 5, 2018.
"The Naked Truth About Longevity." (blog).  Psychology Today . April 15, 2018.
"Biopsy My Thoughts"  (poem).  Literary Nest . April 16, 2018.
"Wanting" (poem).  Zingara Poet . April 2018.

"Journaling the Sensuous Shadow." (blog).  Psychology Today. April 29, 2018.

"Writing Poetry." (guest blog). Review  Tales by Jeyran Main. April 28, 2018.

Workshops + Appearances

June 17-22, 2018 (workshop)
"Memoir Writing" 
Santa Barbara Writers Conference
Santa Barbara, CA


"Four Authors Celebrate Four Genres" (panel)
June 21, 2018
4:00 pm
Santa Barbara Writer's Conference


June 30, 2018
"Writing for Bliss: Finding Joy Through Personal Writing" (workshop)
Open Center
22 E. 30th Street
New York, NY
To register:  Click here


"Artists' Corner with Diana Raab: Feature Interview.  Addiction/Recovery Bulletin. April 18, 2018.

Suggested Reading

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles  (nonfiction)  

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that states that everybody has a reason for living. The authors studied the longevity on one Japanese island (Okinawa) to see what sets apart the people there from other communities. Having the strongest ikigai, or the place where passion, mission, vocation, and professional work intersect, makes a huge difference. In other words, it's important to have a reason to wake up in the morning. Okinawa is part of five world blue zones, or places where the authors say people live longer. Other key areas are Sardinia; Italy; Loma Linda, California; the Nicoya Peninsula; Costa Rica; and Ikaria, Greece.

Dietary and health habits also have a huge affect on longevity. In addition to drinking a lot of green tea, the Japanese believe in concluding their meals when they're 80 percent full. After interviewing a number of individuals in the community, the authors  identified the following keys to longevity: minimizing worry, cultivating good habits, nurturing friendships every day, living an unhurried life, being optimistic and, most important, being passionate about something or nurturing one's  ikigai.

This is one of the most poetic and inspiring books I've read in a long time. Highly recommended!


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