Nearly Valentine’s

red heart Valentines for you

Hello Valentines,

I must thank you for being in my readership at Rising Forth.

I began this site back in November, 2009, before lots of seismic things happened in my life, when my writing was just beginning to take shape, when I thought my book would be written within a brief amount of time–lalala just like that! Back when my kids lived under our shared roof.

Time has passed.

Large-scale and intimate pivotal events have taken place in my life, as they have in yours. I have been shaped by these events, and by the way the world has changed in the ensuing years, grieved and celebrated with humanity, felt the need many times to hide my head under a blanket, and turned again to the world as a resource, because that seems to be the best way for me to show up.


Suzi in a canoe on Lake Lila. A Valentine's of sorts.

from one of my first posts…setting forth on an adventure to parts unknown

A few changes after Valentine’s Day

Now, after all these years blogging on this Word press platform, I will move my website. There are some fatal flaws in the beautiful design we enjoy here. I cannot sustain moving around the cracks in the foundation anymore. During February, my site will move to another platform. The look will change a bit, but for the most part, what you find here will be much the same–solid strong content about women’s lives, motherhood, and daily creative practice.

Yesterday, a very long-time friend came to my website for the first time and sent me a note,

“I checked it out and it is so YOU, Suzi – the Suzi I remember – creative, independent, sharing, encouraging, strong…”

That comment, from a beloved friend whom I’ve known since I was 15, means so much to me. It means that Rising Forth conveys the message I intend, that when one woman rises, we all rise. It makes me put my head on my desk also, because what she sees is not how I feel all the time, especially lately, but that is okay. I know enough now to carry forward. So, here is what is a bit of what is happening:

• I deleted the Out of the Mouths of Babes blog series. If you want to order a copy of An Anthology of Babes: 36 Women Give Motherhood a Voice, upon which the blog series was based, email me here.
• New Illuminations, the entire project, will be represented on my website. I keep a separate email list for my residency in Gyumri, Armenia. You can put your name on that here.
• You will be able to register for my upcoming offerings and see the schedule for the classes I teach.

By our writing we are made, Valentine’s too.

This winter, I continue to work on the manuscript of the book that got me started writing in the first place. Maybe you think, “Isn’t she done with that thing yet?” Well, believe everything you hear about writing a book. Primarily, it takes time, gigantically–in the writing, the writer is made. The content is deeply personal, and only now, as my daughter is about to graduate from college, do I feel I have enough space in which to write fully.

Are there things that have taken a large swath of your life to learn?

Both of my kids are in an era of life lessons, dealing with long-term relationships and decisions, with transitions and who they are as young adults. Like how to handle a water stain on silk or wrangle grain moths in the flour jar. They are every bit as dear as they ever, but their bigness brings out certain new empathy in me.

Just today, Catherine texted to say she needs help to figure out her next steps after college. Not one split second between reading her words, and boom! there I was on a late winter day at Northern Michigan University in 1980, chilled, heavy sky and backpack, out in front of the theatre not at all sure of where life would take me after graduation. No more shows to audition for, no friends to walk along Superior to the breakwater with, no teachers or directors to contour my learning.

I clearly recall the weight of my own life shift, felt it settle around my shoulders. I remember how my body felt, I recall the sense of a horizon out in front of me that I had never seen before.

Things do work out. But not without participation, right?

Last year at this time, I was writing. I engaged in Lindsay Robinson’s 100 Day Project that begins every year on Instagram in April. I spent 100 days painting a tree in my journal. Every day, a tree. Rudimentary, because maybe you remember I am not a painter?

Over the course of those 100 days, I heard from so many people that they’d like to do the 100 Day Project, but they had no clue as to what to select to actually DO. I have mulled that question over. What the heck do you want to do for 100 days and how do you start?

When my new site is up, you will have an opportunity to purchase a self-guided workshop to discern what you might do for 100 days, beginning whenever you decide you want to begin. I have a plan for my own 100 Day thing this year, which I will let you know then.

us clapping for Michelle at Out of the Mouths of Babes 2014

Until that moment, I have a request. I cannot move all 700 blog posts to my new website. I have begun to delete ones that seem obvious to toss. But could you please recall posts that you loved and want to be sure I carry over? Leave me a comment here or on the posts themselves. That way I will be sure to move them!

Yes, there are 11 years of really dear comments from so many of you which will go away. Your words of reflection, your questions or stories, your up-rides have buoyed me in untellable ways. You have shown me what a community can do for a person making their way as a writer, a maker, and a mother. I have nothing but thanks to you for this. Your comments, along with those of dear people who have died, I just have to say goodbye to. Michelle, Susan, Ditte, Uncle Jim, my teacher Mr. Dedic. Yes, I can copy and paste them into a doc…

…but the original sweetness is a perfectly set Valentine’s you deliver each time you comment.

This website is a gathering place and you all have brought me warmth with your attention.

Thank you.Thank you! Call again Valentines! A scale from Noho in Manhattan by SBB

This transition will take place in February.
You don’t have to do anything. Just keep your eyes peeled for a website warming something-or-other in a few weeks.

Til then,
I’m writing.
Love, S




Here are my teaching dates for 2020 as I know them today:

• April 1, 2020 Powder Keg Writing Workshop for Women resumes at the Ramsdell Public Library in Housatonic, MA 6:30 PM
• May 30, 2020 Discovered Truths in Discarded Books: a wordy art workshop at the Bushnell Sage Public Library in Sheffield, MA 10-4 PM
• July 24-29, 2020 Build a book of writing prompts at IWWG. Learn more here.
• August 7-11, 2020 5 full days of Backyard Art Camp in Great Barrington, MA
• August 23-29, 2020 Book and writing intensive at Snow Farm in Florence, MA. Go here for details.
• November 29-January 6, 2021 Advent Dark Journal

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Showing 4 comments
  • Janet Elsbach

    Brava and godspeed!!! Excited to tour the new place, just as I’ve been so happy to be invited in here. Xxoo

  • Lin

    Blessings on your changes.
    Cleaning and clearing is always a good thing!
    Keep me on your list.
    Thank you and happy heart day.
    ❤️ ❤️

  • Debbie Irwin

    You make magic wherever you go!

  • Marty

    Ding, Dang, How is one supposed to say which post or anything you have done here can be dropped…yet it is a ch ore I am sure… Love your “love” and perhaps artists of your bent can make the changes our world so much needs. Thank you s, love that sig. God Keep.

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