Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. – Desiderata by Max Ehrman

12_ Jennifer flower girl CopyAs a child with a vivid imagination creating characters and breathing life into them came naturally. Later, my characters took on two-dimensional forms as I shaped them out of paper and scissors – grandparents, daughters, sons, children, right down to cute little babies.  I had in excess of one hundred paper doll families. I breathed life into my characters – I knew them by name, I gave them voice, I felt their joy and disappointment.

While never putting pen to paper, little did I know that what I was doing was akin to the pre-writing phase in the writing process.

As an adult, I began to pour my heart out in my journals. As events unfolded in my life, my journals became the substance of a story waiting to be told.  To set me in motion, in 1984, I took a creative writing correspondence course.  What started out as a novel, eventually morphed into a memoir.

Jen Promo-9 - CopyTo further hone my skills, I embarked on continuing education English courses in Canada. Life’s circumstances moved me to the southern USA where I switched my major from elementary education (McGill University) to communication (University of Mobile, Alabama.) I did a short stint as a local intern reporter for the Fairhope Courier, Alabama, USA.

After graduating with a degree in communication/print journalism/art, I turned out numerous freelance articles covering a variety of topics for publications such as Destinations, TravelMonthly.com, The Press, Connections, The Citizen, The Fairhope Courier and Triond.com.

Through all these years, the memoir crept along and in 2013 An Immoral Proposal was finally birthed. On reflection, I’m sure it would have happened sooner had I engaged the services of a writing coach.

AWA-affiliate-logoMy solid writing background, together with my training as a workshop leader through Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) have equipped me to guide others through their narratives. AWA was founded in 1981, by Pat Schneider, author of Writing Alone and With Others (Oxford University Press).

I echo Ms. Schneider’s philosophy that everyone has a unique voice.  Growing up under South Africa’s oppressive apartheid regime coupled with repressive religious indoctrination, I lived too much of my life like one whose mouth had been invisibly Duct-taped.

Thankfully, I’ve found my voice through writing and publishing my book.  Because I know what it’s like to have one’s voice silenced, my passion is to help others find their voices through my workshops, coaching and writing retreats.