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Well, I do: Allyson Latta, writer, editor, instructor and friend, whose innate compassion paired with wisdom and confident expertise is an incomparable combination, both rare and beautiful.
The Writer Magazine
How appropriate that “The Writer” magazine 125th anniversary issue names her website one of its 16 favourites! In her customary style of sharing kudos, Allyson says, “I’m crazy-honoured to be sharing space in the list with 15 other wonderful writer- and editor-bloggers …”
Putting ourselves out there through our writing is a scary business. Fragile creatures we writers are, easily bumped off the writerly path, particularly when our inner critics are wide awake and screaming like “… banshees and drunken monkeys” (Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird). I’ll never forget how my first writing instructor spoon fed these insecurities and left me questioning my passion for writing. I took a long hiatus from writing or anything to do with learning to write better, and then fate stepped in – I connected with Allyson through one of her online memoir writing courses! She cleared a path through the rubble and pointed the way to my writing voice!
Squeaking, Sniffling and Blubbering
I’ve continued to slot into her programs and retreats when I can, including hosting a retreat at my cottage the summer of 2010 with Allyson facilitating. That time spent with her and my writer pals was cathartic. Allyson innately establishes an environment where it feels safe to work through those painful turning points often associated with memoir writing.
One of Allyson’s favourite quotes is from Robert Frost, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” Strong emotions and especially tears can scare the hell out of some instructors, but not Allyson. For her it is the signal to take the student closer to the memories, holding your virtual hand all the way.
I am a writer thanks to you, Allyson. I’m so pleased you received this well-deserved recognition. Congratulations!