Thursday, June 03, 2010

Writing The Heartache Workshop Interview

My friend Alice Wisler is a Christy-award nominee and has authored several novels. She also has a unique perspective on writing in the midst of loss. I love her idea of teaching others how to do this, and invited her to share a bit about an exciting new workshop she has coming up. Maybe God will prompt some of you to join Alice and others for this workshop in July. Or maybe you know someone who needs to be at this. Read on...

Alice, you are a novelist. Tell us a bit about the books you've written:

I grew up in Japan, yet my novels all deal with life in the South. I've now lived in Durham, NC for 22 years, so I suppose this remarkable state has taught me a thing or two about grits and sweet tea. Rain Song takes place in Mount Olive and How Sweet It Is is centered in the Smoky Mountains.

You have a novel coming out soon, right? Tell us about that one:

Hatteras Girl is about pursuing a dream. Jackie and her childhood friend, Minnie, want to run a bed and breakfast in Nags Head. Obstacles get in the way--- including a realtor who isn't as savvy as he wants others to believe. There are quirky characters like Aunt Sheerly who sings in a band called, All That Glitters is Gold, and a coworker who always loses his stapler.

In addition to writing novels, you also teach writing, specifically writing for people who've experienced grief. Can you tell us how that got started?

When my son Daniel died after cancer treatments in 1997, journaling kept me sane. I spent lots of time under a weeping willow writing out the bottled-up pain. My journal was my respite from a long day without my child. I believe that God has given us this wonderful tool of writing from our pain to help us heal. I want others to see how valuable grief-writing is for healing, hope and health.

You've decided to do a live one-day seminar in NC. Can you tell us what you're offering and where?

This workshop is a dream come true! July 17th at the Country Inns and Suites in Durham is where the workshop will take place. In addition to music, food, coffee, and a nice setting, we will discover how effective writing can be. Grief-writing is healthy, lowering blood pressure and pulse rates, and it is cheap therapy, too.

The testimonies I have from those who have found writing through pain to be life-changing are numerous. I want all those with heartaches from the loss of a significant loved one to the loss of a relationship to see just how vital writing is! We'll cover writing poetry, lists, psalms, letters, and essays. We'll share memories and stories. Each participant can bring something to share for feedback---if they wish.

Alice, we so appreciate all you're doing to give back to the writing community and inspiring people to write through their heartache. I know that writing will in turn bless others. What a powerful ripple effect it's sure to have. Thanks for stopping by today and sharing what's going on with you. How can people get in touch with you if they live within driving distance of the Raleigh NC area and would like to attend?

The Country Inns and Suites has reasonable, nice rooms that are waiting to be booked for this weekend. So if the drive is too far, consider staying the night.
Find the hotel online at 201 Airgate Drive in Morrisville, NC, right next to the Raleigh-Durham Airport. If you have questions about the hotel or the workshop, please
email me at
In fact, for reading this interview and being connected to Marybeth, email me to get a special discount off the workshop fee.
Bring a friend and save even more! Read more about my Writing the Heartache Blog and feel free to post a short piece there:
Pin It!

1 comment:

Alice J. Wisler said...

Thanks so much for this, Marybeth!
Please note that all "Friends of Marybeth" will get a discount off the workshop fee. Just email me at

~ Alice