Writing from the Heart in Essoyes
As I look forward to meeting my Writing from the Heart workshop participants next week in Essoyes (that’s pronounced “ESS-wah”), I can’t help but also look back with fondness and nostalgia on the first group to join me there, last year at around this time.
What a wonderful group! The first three all had names beginning with J. (With me, that made four of us.) How relieved I was when the next one’s name was Trish! And what a wonderful addition to the group she was in so many other ways also.
For a small group there certainly was a lot of diversity–participants came from Alexandria, Virginia and Kenosha, Wisconsin; from the San Francisco Bay area and from Vienna (Austria!). Some of them could hardly imagine life without writing; others showed exceptional courage and imagination in choosing to take a writing workshop while thinking of themselves as anything but writers. (One of the things they learned during their week in Essoyes, I do hope and believe, is that they were wrong about that!) They wanted to write: short stories, a memoir, an illustrated popularized version of a compelling psychotherapeutic approach, greeting cards, and they-didn’t-know-what. They all wrote their hearts out!
Coming together with very different agendas, different ways of approaching writing, and different levels of comfort with the French language, they all got a lot out of their time in Essoyes and with each other–and they all left essoyesiens very favorably impressed.
I’m thinking of them now as I pack my bags once again. Grateful that their memories of Writing from the Heart in Essoyes are good ones. Hoping their writing is going well. Hoping they’ll keep me posted as to what they’re doing.
Looking forward to a new adventure with a new group!
Janet Hulstrand is a writer, editor and teacher of writing and literature based in Silver Spring, Maryland. She teaches literature courses in Paris and Hawaii for the Education Abroad program at Queens College, CUNY, and Writing from the Heart workshops in a beautiful little village in the Champagne region of France.
Entry filed under: About Essoyes, About France, About Writing from the Heart. Tags: champagne, essoyes, France, inspiration, l'Aube, writing, writing from the heart, writing retreats, writing workshops.