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The Next Page

I recently completed page 140 of The Next Page Book Project, which put a pep in my step. The Next Page Book Project is a wonderfully original concept created by Samantha Pearlman, a school-based therapist and photographer from Saint-Louis, Missouri. In her own words, “The concept of this project is to have a book written by 150+ people. The story will be passed one page at a time to the next writer. The proceeds of this book project are going to be donated to mental health charities.”

During the first half of this year 2022, I shifted my focus away from writing to take care of more pressing matters including my health, which thankfully improved. Now I feel like I am waking up from a long physical and metaphorical slumber that lasted much longer than six months. I can no longer recognize the United States of America, the country I moved to in the mid-eighties, and where I still live. Some days, I even wake up wondering if I should obtain a different passport to keep on living here! I’m also older and no longer look like the photo I chose for my Twitter account and this website. That photo was taken about two years ago, but I have since embraced my gray hair which makes me look my age. I’m fifty-eight years old already!

It’s time for me to write my own passport for a different type of entry into my inner and outer worlds. I’ll be writing an autobiographical novel next. It will be in French, and I’ll probably also do the translation in American English once the book is completed. It will be the book I wish I could have read when I was a teenager desperately searching for the meaning of life.

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“Luz and Corazón” published by Pensive

My poetic short story, “Luz and Corazón,” is now available online in Issue 3 of Pensive: A Global Journal of Spirituality & the Arts.

Northeastern University’s Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service hosted a launch party at 7 p.m. ET. A trip from Los Angeles to Boston would not have been feasible, so I am grateful to have been able to attend via Zoom.

Co-editors Alexander Levering-Kern and Jayla Tillison introduced the event, and Alexander asked that we observe a moment of silence and that we send our love to our fellow beings across the planet. At that moment, I closed my eyes and traveled back in time to when I was sitting at one of the small wooden desks popular in 1990s university classrooms.

The air smelled like when professors were still using chalk on blackboards, and I was sitting, listening to, and observing Willard Johnson, my Religious Studies professor at San Diego State University. He was a type of human being that I had not yet encountered. He had a Ph.D. in Sanskrit, he meditated, he personally knew and invited as guest lecturers many Native American authors, he was himself a prolific author, and I could palpably sense that he truly saw me. His way of seeing me projected me onto a future in which I sensed that I could belong.

At the time, what Professor Johnson talked about in his classes was highly mysterious to me. My English skills still left much to be desired, and the subject matters he was introducing me to were completely foreign to a French girl educated in France where religious studies was not an academic discipline. And yet, by the time I signed up for my first class with Professor Johnson, I had already undergone two near-death experiences, and I was about to drop out of an American University system that, just like the French university system, had provided no answers to my need to understand why I had been born and what I was supposed to do with my life.

Even though Religious Studies was not my major, Professor Johnson became my thesis advisor. More than that, he left a lifelong imprint on my development as a human being. His book Riding the Ox Home: A History of Meditation from Shamanism to Science, is the book I would take with me on a deserted island. How I wish that Professor Johnson were still alive today!

I dedicate “Luz and Corazón” to him.

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My publishing journey and my new website.

This is it! My author’s website is live! Many thanks to Teresa Berkowitz from Third Sector Consultants for creating my online space and for graciously providing her time, talent, and skills!

A year ago, writing for publication was not on my mind, and yet, during the winter of 2020/2021, a strange sensation came over me. Stories whose themes I’d mostly kept to myself started to take a life of their own. They no longer wanted to live in hiding. Many even took the form of young children and small animals. I had to make them happy, to set them free, and that’s why I decided to start writing for publication.

So far this year, eight of my stories have been published and will be forthcoming in magazines such as Tangled Locks Journal, Pensive: A Global Journal of Spirituality and the Arts, and the Dillydoun Review. Currently, I am working on a memoir whose themes are anchored to a near-death experience at sixteen.

Thank you for visiting!