I came to writing later in life. After moving to France for what I thought was to be one year, I started to see the world differently. When I wrote everyday in my journal, my observations became more detailed, more meaningful.

I realized that I was actually pushing myself to interact with my new community, not just so I could write about it, but because I was trying to get more out of the experience. After talking to other people who were living abroad in France, I learned that those who engaged in creative activities also seemed to intensify their experiences.

Back in the USA, I am still fascinated by writing about the things I see, the people I meet, and the things I do.

I use writing as part of my perceptual psychology practice. Sometimes we learn to hear ourselves better by listening to our written words. But first we must put them down. Each individual explores writing uniquely; there is no one way to write or to listen. And some who participate in the practice don’t write at all; it is not obligatory.

At times the act of writing about some small aspect of life intensifies the next experience. Writing can help draw attention to life so we can learn to live with greater satisfaction.

While in France, I wrote the early experiences of my family adapting to life in a culture new to us into a book that I would like to publish called Oh La La: Real Life on the Riviera. A sequel is in the works focusing on a persistent question among families abroad, “should we go back?”

I encourage others to write…and, hopefully, to intensify their experiences of living, whether they live abroad now or returned to their home land years ago. People from around the world read the stories on blueVicar.com. Some who read identify with the experience and have that “oh, I had that same thing happen!” reaction; some who read have had a different experience in a similar situation; and some who read enjoy the experiences Vicar-iously having never experienced anything that came close to what was described. But all gain something from sharing the story. Stories of living abroad draw attention to life…wherever you reside.

Increasingly, telling and collecting stories of faith draws me, so I am working with a group of churches in Europe who are learning how to tell their stories and then how to put those stories together to share with others. To read more about that project click here.

I offer workshops about telling and writing stories of life—whether about life abroad or about life in faith.

And, of course, I write every chance I get. I have several books outlined but not written and some only dreamed about; all are books to help make it easier for new and experienced writers to find their stories.

I believe that stories draw attention to life.


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