Dedicated to Marie Cartier, Ph.D.
Author, Baby, You’re My Religion

At the end of 1991, I made a commitment to write every single day of 1992. I was inspired by an extraordinary poet and writing teacher, Marie Cartier, who taught classes at the Arvada Center for a few years in the summers. I took her classes for two years and learned about my love for writing in her classes. So, on January 1, 1992, I woke up at 4:30 a.m., with no alarm, and got coffee and went to my room where I developed a little ritual – listen to one track of Marie’s meditation and prompt tape, turn on some very soft music (something without a beat or lyrics) and light a candle. That ritual may not have been necessary, but I liked it. And I still do the ritual every morning 24 years later. At the end of that first year there was no stopping me. I don’t get up at 4:30 now but I do like to get up in the dark when the world is quiet, put on writing clothes, make coffee, light a candle, put on Coyote Oldman or Enya and write.
I’ve written countless journals over the years, most of them saved in boxes. I keep swearing I’m going to have a huge bonfire on a Winter Solstice. I’m afraid now the fire department would be called because there are so many books to burn now!
I took Natalie Goldberg’s advice in Writing Down the Bones to buy cheap notebooks instead of pricey journals so it didn’t matter to me what I wrote down. No precious paper to waste! I hardly read what I write in the morning and it all lasts about an hour. That first year, though, I was mining my life and would easily write two hours every day; I was tilling my soil. I filled a composition book every month.
In 2007 for my master’s degree, I was able to write a memoir based on much of what I wrote in my journals. My committee loved it (their words, not mine) and told me to publish. I haven’t yet.
In 2014 my first novel grew from some characters who just showed up one morning in my journal and started telling me their story. I balked, claiming I wasn’t a fiction writer. But I caved to their developing story after three days of their showing up, and finished the first draft nine months later.

I wrote the first part of this entry 26 May 2015, a Tuesday.

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