Sheila K. Collins Website



July 2013  

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This week finds me in Iowa for my sixth annual visit to the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. This week-long writing and learning-about-writing extravaganza always begins for me, in a state of near exhaustion. A five-hour drive from Lincoln where my grandchildren live always precedes the Festival's opening gathering. But the chance to visit my grandchildren and be surrounded by writers in a writing community on the same trip is always well worth the effort.


"When the student is ready the teacher appears" has proven true for me as each 
year, the offerings I participate in seem exactly what I need at the time. Today, for example, as 
I'm receiving notices of long awaited reviews of Warrior Mother, the focus of the lecture was Elizabeth Robinson's "Writing Reviews." She urged us all to consider writing our own reviews for Amazon and Goodreads. 

This way we can support the writers we care about and the type of books we like to see.I'm hoping that some of you will write a review ofWarrior Mother after it comes out August 28th

Check out some pre-publication reviews of my book, which will be posted soon in those public places. (address). My gratitude to the people who took the time to participate in the literary community in this way and to help us get Warrior Mother to her intended readers.


Hope to see you at one of the "Performing the Book" events or to hear from you after the book is launched.






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Upcoming Events
Surviving and Thriving the Tough Stuff
Wednesday July 10, 2013

A particular pleasure in the early morning hours, when I visit my family in the high desert of California, is to walk the labyrinth my son and daughter-in-law built in their desert-landscaped backyard. I didn't see the space before they began what must have been a mammoth construction job... CLICK HERE


Rituals That Heal

Tuesday July 2, 2013

There was dancing in the streets in Pittsburgh, and many other cities around the country last week when the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act. Marriage for same sex partners will not soon be available throughout the US, but major bricks in the legal barriers preventing it have been torn down.  DOMA became law in 1996, the year before my then 31-year old gay son died of AIDS...  CLICK HERE 


Tuesday June 18, 2013

A trip to the Alaskan Glaciers is on many peoples' bucket list of things to do before they die, and Rich and I were among that group. In 2009 we had a cruise to Alaska all planned and nearly paid for as a way to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. - See more at:   CLICK HERE


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My Baby's First Outings 


I often refer to my book as "my baby." I teased my pregnant daughter-in-law last year that I wanted to have my baby before she had hers, because I'd been pregnant longer. 
She beat me by a year and my book, Warrior Mother, will be released on my 
granddaughter's first birthday, August 28, 2013. My baby has finally been birthed, but like a human baby, that's just the beginning of a new mother's life. Both books and babies need lots of tender loving care after they arrive so that eventually they can live on their own. And that is what we wish for our creations, that they will someday be able to live on their own. 


"So what now?" People ask. "What's your next writing project?" That question feels like someone asking my daughter-in-law on the way home from the hospital, "So what now? When will you have your
baby?" I am continuing to write but at this point my writing skills must be used in the service of the baby I've just had. 


I've busy exploring ways to introduce my new offspring to friends, family, and community. I've been a frequent visitor at the post office, mailing signed copies to some of the people who appear in my book, whose stories have been important in the telling of my own. I'm gifting copies to people who helped to midwife this baby, to edit and advise, to read early drafts, to endorse, and to provide encouragement when it seemed I would be in labor forever.


Moving toward sharing Warrior Mother with people who don't know me personally, I'm collaborating with my son as we create a book trailer. Like a movie trailer, we hope this minute and a half excerpt will entice people to purchase a ticket to the experience of reading the book. With the help of a literary publicist I've been getting pre-publication reviews, and we'll get post reviews as well, along with radio interviews and guest spots on blog posts. 

As a way of sharing the heart and power of the book in person, I've created a format I'm calling "Performing the Book." With the help of my InterPlay troupe, we use dance, song, and story to explore major themes present in the Warrior Mother excerpts that I read. Last month, when we tried this out my invited guests spoke often of the emotion of the evening and I am choosing to take that as a positive noticing. E-motion is the engine that moves us and we can't avoid the negative or uncomfortable emotions without dulling or cutting off the positive ones. The gift of movement and dance is joy and sharing it doubled its effect on me that night.


Inspired by the response to this event I am planning others, one in Edinburgh Scotland next month when I'm there with members of the national InterPlay community, to perform at the Fringe Festival. I plan to invite members of that troupe to join me for a "Performing the Book" event at Word-Power, the largest independent bookstore in the UK.                                                                           
Sheila K. Collins, PhD 

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