Tuesday, April 23, 2013

To Write (or Not) in Paris

Nine months ago I took a trip and I’m still talking about it. Which is worse--this incessant chatter about my summer semester abroad with Spalding University, or bragging about my grandchildren?  When Mahala Church asked me to be a guest blogger at Lyrical Pens , a blog she shares with Marilyn Johnston, I was flattered, but what would I write about? Easy, peasy: I would write about Paris. Again.

The piece is divided into three parts, and if you’ve already heard more than you can stand about Paris, just skip this one and catch the second part this Friday that is a snapshot of how the Spalding University brief residency workshop actually works—the one I had in Paris in creative nonfiction with Ellie Bryant. (Sorry. Like grandchildren, this experience won’t go away, nor do I wish it to.)

I met both Mahala and Marilyn when we had short stories published in Christmas is a Season! 2008, and Christmas is a Season! 2009, twin anthologies edited by Linda Busby Parker, Excalibur Press.

Check out their archives at Lyrical Pens.

Mahala Church and Marilyn A. Johnston have co-authored the blog Lyrical Pens for five years. Mahala Church, R.N., B.F.A. teaches creative writing for teens and adults through her Barefoot Writing Academy. An award-winning, freelance editor and writer, she is the published author of short stories, personal essays, chapter in writing textbook, online and hard copy articles, ad copy, encyclopedic pieces, book reviews, newsletters, and press releases. She is the published editor of four anthologies, online and hard copy articles, blogs, websites, business documents, and marketing copy.

cj petterson (the pen name for Marilyn Johnston) is the author of DEADLY STAR, a suspense romance released in 2013. cj is an award-winning writer and poet whose work has been published in numerous anthologies and on-line.


No experience is wasted for the writer who puts on her readers and fixates on Nabokov’s “divine details.”  This summer I’ll be spending two weeks on the road in the wild, wild west. While Tommy tries to spot a grizzly that can outrun a buffalo (he saw that once already,) and re-lives all gunfights and  shootemup tourist spots, I’m going to put Paris behind me as we ride off under wide skies on an endless yardstick of a road headed into the sunset. YOLO. Hi-yo, Silver.

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