Letter from the Editor

December 1, 2011 | By | 47 Replies More

This letter is about what Women Writers, Women Books means to its  editor, within the context of her life.

I grew up moving.

Moved when I was 1, 2, 3, 5 and we kept moving. Cambridge, Massachusetts. London, England. Cambridge, Massachusetts. Amman, Jordan. Port Said, Egypt.

And on. And on. So many places I had to write a list down and memorize it, to know how to say where we’d been.

Treasures from international travels: a brass pitcher turned into a lamp; a golden painted box from Russia; and an inlaid treasure box filled with polished agates from a skinny leather skinned Yemeni man in a canoe at The Creek in Saudi Arabia; all on a chest that may be from Syria.

Moving changes a person. Just like pulling up a plant leaves some roots behind, and could kill the plant, moving affects people.

It also can open a person’s mind.

Cut roses in a vase, won't live long. Lemon verbena cuttings drying for tea. A vase of vines rooting in water, transplantable anywhere.

Open perspective. Joggle judgement – as in judging others. Splinter unquestioned self-confidence – as in I know what’s right, and my way of doing things is the only way that’s right.

Not only did we move – my three siblings, my father and mother – we went into different schools.

Italian schools. French schools. International schools. American schools. Correspondence schools. Boarding schools.

We studied different languages. Italian, French, Arabic, English.

Not only were we moving and marinating in different languages and cultures, our mother herself was like us.

Mom was also the daughter of a diplomat, moving, getting dipped in different ways. Her father was Italian, and her mother, American. And, to make things more complex, her mother was an expatriate – she lived in Panama in Central America.

This life of multi-generational moving and living outside one’s country was deeply informing. Established a precedent, a pattern, an inclination towards building connections.

We built connections everywhere we went – across oceans, mountains, lakes and deserts; across English, French, Italian, Arabic, and later Spanish, Latin, Chinese; across religions – Episcopalean, Anglican, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, Unitarian, Islam, Judaism, and later Daoism, Buddhism and many variations of Christianity; across levels of wealth – from the poor to the most wealthy and every variation in between; across educations from Harvard, to some who only did grade school; from the respectable – distinguished diplomats and professors to the despised.

Author Kelly Harrell (left) and Anora McGaha (right) meet for the first time in August 2010, in Raleigh NC.

There is value in making connections between us, across differences. There is value in humanizing each other through sharing words, in building gentle, mindful bridges.

I was born in the late 1950s, in the day when long distance phone calls were made through an operator, and cost ridiculous amounts of money, and we could only talk for a minute or two or five before it was too expensive. Telegrams were used for important messages. Weddings. Funerals. Births. Sickness. Big successes. Telegrams where each space, like in Twitter, counted. And unlike Twitter, where each space COST $.

Sometimes we were lucky and our friends stayed in the same place a whole year – sometimes, they left after a few months, or we left at the end of the school year.

Mostly, we had no more than 9 months to be with our friends, and then the deck got reshuffled, and some of us disappeared by Pan Am or TWA, or by boat or train.

No Internet. No email. No Facebook. No Twitter. No texting. No cell phone. Just international mail. Which sometimes came by boat and took a month if the postage was insufficient for Air Mail.


A younger self, writing poetry and journals, and the occasional published non-fiction essay.

So letters were extraordinary.They arrived like water in the desert after a day of fasting with no food or drink at Ramadan. They arrived like food after a long mountain hike in Italy. They arrived like love, like being found after getting lost in the in the dark, or a foreign city like Athens. Like oxygen to someone who can barely breathe – like finally escaping the crawl spaces to the  inner chambers of the Egyptian Pyramids.

Those letters meant everything.

Little life lines of words between friends; very much like the guest blog posts you are submitting for consideration for our online contemporary women writers’ magazine.

So every query I receive, every draft blog post, is like getting letters from afar – and is as exciting as the delight I felt as a young girl and woman – between 6 and 24 – when seeing an envelope addressed to me.

Sometimes your stories make me laugh. Sometimes they make me cry. Sometimes I smile with a peace and pleasure like spending an afternoon at a beautiful beach. (Sometimes, rarely, when the post isn’t personal to our magazine, our audience, our women writers, and you as a woman writer, then it’s discouraging; the opportunity we offer was missed.) Most of the time, it’s very satisfying.

Though almost all of us have books we want to sell. And those of us who don’t yet have books, hope to one day have books – to sell. Still the exchange is so much more than just a simple advertisement. In fact we require that your post share something of yourself, something of value about your writing life, that other women writers would want to read.

So all of this to say, your editor, Anora McGaha, comes naturally to this work of reaching out to you women writers around the world, inviting a variety of discourse that informs, entertains and creates new relationships.

All of this to say, what a very meaningful time this has been this year, getting to know you through Twitter; through your queries;  through our editing and formatting, and ongoing exchanges on Twitter.

Guest blog posts for an online literary magazine for, by and about contemporary women writers, are like letters from an era long gone, for hearts and minds and souls that still need connection, understanding and recognition.

I hope you will share some of the value you have received, and carry the conversation forward.

Anora McGaha, Diognes Ruiz and Martin Brossman at Anora & Martin's book launch August 2011

Anora McGaha is a poet, writer and author. Her non-fiction essays have appeared in four anthologies, not including the Social Media for Business book she co-authored in 2011. Her poetry is mostly unpublished, while she is working on a poetry and prose manuscript called, (creatively!), Notes from a Life. Through ClearSight Creative Resources, her business, she is a publicist, writer, social media strategist and manager, as well as a micro-publisher. She started Women Writers, Women Books in 2011.

Connect with Anora on Twitter @WomenWriters, @anorawrites (the poet and memoir writer), @AnoraMcGaha (the business and social media handle), @ClearSightPR (the publicist).

Like her Author Page and Women Writers on Facebook.

Connect on Google + and on LinkedIn.

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Category: Contemporary Women Writers, Multicultural Writers, US American Women Writers

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  1. ArmchairBEA: Introductions : Women Writers, Women Books | June 5, 2012
  1. Steve Buck says:

    Dear Norie – Your write beautifully about the third culture kid experience. I will definitely send this to people I meet with a background like yours. It’s great being so close to Carol and Andrew and hearing of all the good things you are doing.

    Leila will perform her play, In the Crossing, about taking her Jewish husband to Lebanon just in time for the Israel 2006 bombing campaign for an extended run off-Broadway this fall, produced by an established theater group, the Culture Project. More details when I have them. [Playwright Leila Buck’s website]



    P.S. I prefer email to blogs.

  2. Anora,
    I’m very late coming to this luscious post, as one commenter called it, but I wanted to thank you for bringing to mind something I had not thought about in a long time. In high school two cousins (sisters) and I became very close. I had few friends at the time, or at least friends who understood me, so they became a lifeline during those turbulent years, and the bonds we forged were especially strong. They lived in Baltimore and I lived north of Philly, only a two and a half hour drive, but as none of us had cars, it might as well have been cross country. Fortunately I had a brother living in MD and he often brought them to visit. Other times we’d convince our parents to meet at a half way point we’d located, and spend the most pleasant of Sunday afternoons walking together, sharing confidences.

    When the separations were too long, we just had to talk, so we burned up the phone lines for a month, not realizing the expense. Our parents put a stop to that after the first bill arrived. We started writing letters instead, pages and pages of teenage excitement and angst. My favorite time of day was when the mail came.

    It’s occurred to me recently that those letters were really the genesis of my essay writing. Pouring my heart out, and getting feedback…looking for a connection…it sounds a lot like what we’re all doing here. In fact one of those cousins called last week and we talked for hours, happily unconcerned about the cost. Some things do change for the better.

    Anyway, thank you for taking me back for a moment, and thank you for reaching out to share a bit of your amazing life story. Kudos on your writing and on this beautiful site.

    • Elaine, Thank you so very much for weighing in. I loved reading about your high school cousins and the impact of phone calls being to expensive, and the shift into letters “pages and pages of teenage excitement and angst.”

      Really appreciate reading that you see these letters were the genesis of your essay writing. Putting the threads together to see the bigger picture.

      Thank you very much for writing, and for your appreciation of my post and this site! Being heard and seen is such a fundamental human need that one pre-industrial culture I learned of in school, banishes wrong-doers by not looking at or speaking to the person ever again. It is so devastating that people go off into the wilderness and die.

      Here’s to the evolution that continues to happen when we tell what we know and others hear it and counter back.

  3. Anora, I’m FINALLY getting around to catching up on writing, commenting and I really loved this. Your post has prompted me to write something about moving on my own blog. We moved twice and the second time was quite a cultural experience and it was in the SAME state! Moving from South Florida to North Florida, large city to small town was tough to get used to.

    Thank you for your writing and giving us all a place to “talk” about our experiences! XO Jess

    • Jessica, So glad you’re getting caught up. Thanks so much for sharing your appreciation. Every time someone shares what they appreciate about a work, I look at it with fresh eyes and perspective. I’m glad you mention the impact of moving even if it is within the same country, and state. We don’t expect it to be as shocking if it’s in the same state.

      Thank you very much!

    • Janis Greve says:

      Hi Anora,

      Just wanted to chime in about how much I enjoyed your post. It’s just such luscious writing. I love how you eloquently tucked in all the geographical and cultural descriptions to make us experience all the places in your “blood”–things like (of letters), “They arrived like water in the desert after a day of fasting with no food or drink at Ramadan. They arrived like food after a long mountain hike in Italy. They arrived like love, like being found after getting lost in the dark, or a foreign city like Athens.”

      This really is travel writing (or travel memoir) at its best, igniting a desire for both the written word and the intimate experience of other places, other peoples–especially as those two things cohere. Your background is quite different from my own–that of a minister’s daughter from the small-town Midwest who hasn’t traveled much–but it does make me want to recall and celebrate my own ingrained places.

      Thanks for this inspiring piece and for reminding us so clearly why we write (and why to contribute to this marvelous site.)

      • Janis, What a thrill to read that the writing spoke to you. High compliments you give with “luscious writing.” I aspire to that. Coming from a professor of memoir, it means all the more.

        Have you written essays on your own ingrained places?

        You speak of how I “tucked in” all those places. When one’s places are so dispersed that no one person can embrace them all (including myself), the only space in which to lay out one’s life is a tucked space, like gems sewn into pockets of a coat to slip past guards at a border crossing. It’s actually one of my biggest challenges – creating space in which to know my own life. We all share that challenge, don’t we, whether or not strange places were a factor.

        Any place and moment we savor, whether with exotic names or plain ones, inspires our readers to treasure their moments.

        What a kind note to carry with me to the new year! Thank you very much.

  4. maryann minutillo says:

    Dear Anora,
    My own childhood was spent in the warm cocoon of an extended Italian American family in a hometown with aunts and uncles and cousins around holiday tables year after year. But all that changed when I married and became part of a Foreign Service family, and we began life in a new country every two or three years.

    As I read and re-read your letter I ponder not only how my own life changed, but what it was like for our son – 3 years old when we began our moveable life. His experience, like yours, I think, was profound and formative.

    Thank you for your letter and the eloquence with which you describe your life. I am touched by it. Thinking of you at this holiday season, Anora. Warm regards from Maryann

    • Maryann, I can not even imagine your childhood, so much was mine different, as was your son’s. Yet I spent time in Italy too, when I was 11/12 and then 16-18 surrounded by aunts and uncles and my mother’s mother in Rome, but as a transplant, it may not have been the same.

      I really appreciate your taking time from your busy life to drop a note. Thank you very much. I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s, but have to confess to still working on integrating and understanding the vastness of the experience. Happy holidays to you and your family Maryann.

  5. I know what you mean about receiving letters, Anora. When I was a kid it was a special treat to receive a letter from my grandmother who lived 700 miles away. I’ve kept many of those letters and reread them once in a while. Letter-writing is definitely a lost art, and I think that’s why I like to blog. It kind of fills a niche that long away faded away.

    I really appreciate you providing this website. I’ve read a lot of the posts and I must say, I totally enjoy it. So much so that I have given you (and the website in general) the Versatile Blogger Award (you can read details in my latest post). If any blogsite deserves this accolade, it’s this one! I am happy to share you with my blog readers and give you a bit of link love. Cheers!

    • Beautiful comment Stacy. Love your connecting the lost art of letter writing to blogging – filling a niche that long ago faded away.

      Thanks so much for your appreciation. And thank you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Your recognition is greatly appreciated! Thank you also for the link love. In the Internet world, links are life lines.

  6. Sally Shiver says:


    I read your letter with great interest, having lived overseas myself and raised two daughters. While my postings were not as extensive or as long as yours, the experience was so valuable as to make me shudder to think how limited my life would have been without the overseas experience.

    “Moving changes a person. Just like pulling up a plant leaves some roots behind, and could kill the plant, moving affects people.” What a wonderful analogy – some people thrived while others turned into themselves and withered. “Bloom where you are planted” was what I tried to remember to do.

    “Open perspective. Joggle judgement – as in judging others. Splinter unquestioned self-confidence – as in I know what’s right, and my way of doing things is the only way that’s right.” Simplistic of me I know, but I honestly think that all elected representatives should be required to live overseas for a year for the exact reasons that you stated above. Well said!

    I was discussing with one of my daughters last week how different it woudl have been had we been overseas now. How wonderful if they had been able send e-mails and pictures to their grandparents instead of the twice a month hurried phone calls where nothing of substance was discussed because of cost.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. They brought back many fond memories.

    Sally S

    • Sally,

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience. You comment the way I like to, by including a quote to show exactly what caught my eye. I so appreciate that.

      That international, multi-cultural experience is exactly why a number of my “global nomad” friends and family were so incredibly excited about President Obama. He’s one too: parents of two countries, a step father of a third, and time living overseas.

      If we’re lucky the third culture experience changes us for the better, if we’re open to it.

      Wouldn’t it have been so different to have a cell phone with camera. The new global nomads will have quite the different experience because of communications, even if the countries will still feel foreign.

      — Anora

  7. Sara Taber says:

    What a beautiful, poetic piece about the importance of women’s writing–and of women writing for and to one another. What deep nourishment one receives from a piece such as this, which illuminates something seemingly simple but profound: that another woman’s words can be a saving missive from across far oceans.

  8. Anora,

    I’ve heard about letters to the editor, but never such a one *from* the Editor. Contributors here share their experiences, their thoughts, news on their writing and many even share parts of their lives. So it was particularly moving for me to see you flash your life before our eyes to show what this place means to you.

    Much of what you say speaks to me. We have both lived in various countries and languages, making “connections… across difference” long before the Internet set out to connect the world. I too, remember when the only communication across a world was a letter, news more often “old” by the time it arrived at its destination, but at least one knew what had been going on. But those letters, often due to their rarity and arriving out of the context of time, contained emotional depths caused by the distance to which they were subject, depths that today sometimes fail to come through. Many of us write in our given genres triggered by a will to revisit those depths, and to connect. Despite, and perhaps because of, our difference, today, more than ever before, we need to connect, as women, as persons, as writers.

    Thanks so much for a great post which has triggered all sorts of ideas!


    • Sylvia, thank you so much for your note. I appreciate your perspective. It is so helpful to get responses from such articulate people as have written here. Each reflection highlights aspects I hadn’t fully seen. Quite a gift. Love this: “long before the internet set out to connect the world.” Interesting comment about the emotional depths in letters. That would make a fascinating post. Beautifully written Sylvia. Thank you again! – Anora

  9. Today’s social environment has reduced us to 140 characters in a medium that encourages, nay requires, brevity for instant gratification. While USPS does a better job of getting snail mail to destinations, near and far, within a reasonable amount of time, there is little encouragement now to send anything through a post office other than greeting cards at the appropriate time of year.

    We’ve lost the knack of socializing with others through a medium that doesn’t give us instant gratification and without the addition of emoticons to express our feelings without words.

    This Letter to the Editor brings the subject and its regret to the forefront with images that don’t require emoticons. Actual words are allowed to function as communication devises.

    Kudos to this author who has stuck to words over punctuation smilies. I thoroughly enjoyed this trip around the world and a peek into one lady’s early experiences with communication. Such continually changing experience has molded a lovely mind and an expressive heart.

    • What an interesting comment Claudette. You help me see the letter in a clearer light! Thanks for your gracious compliment. Beautifully said, “such continually changing experience has molded a lovely mind and an expressive heart.”

      Thank you.


  10. suzi w says:

    I grew up traveling too. In the 70s and 80s. My parents continued traveling in the 90s. I remember being 17 in a pay phone trying again and again to get through to my parents in Warsaw, Poland. “All lines in your country are busy.” And I’d try again, sometimes 17 times, until I got my parents, to talk to, costing $1 a minute.

    Our stories need to be written and read. Thank you for this.

    • Suzi W. Thank you so much for reading it and relating it to your life. Powerful story about the payphone, and all the lines being busy. Who could imagine that today… it happens, but on cell phones and Twitter it’s usually short lived (except on 9/11).

      Would be thrilled to have an essay from you in the new year, if you’d like to read our guidelines, and draft something up to query with.

      You might enjoy Unrooted Childhoods, one of the books that I have an essay in. But even more, writing your own story and having it read by readers who resonate with it could be life changing. – Anora

  11. Anora,
    What an amazing letter! I too grew up in the 1950s and 1960s in foreign lands. Perhaps I’m the only man responding but you note was very insightful, and moving as I could see myself in a lot of what you said.
    I look forward to looking at your writings and facebook page.


    • Mike, Thank you so much for reading it, and sharing that you relate. I often debate if it’s the moving or the foreign lands which dominates the the landscape. But I’ve heard from several writers here who have the moving part, and it’s a powerful common experience to share – kind of like being a veteran.

      We’ve had a few men respond to posts here, and we do have maybe 100 or so male writers / creatives following on Twitter.

      I appreciate your comment.

      Thanks again.

      PS. If you’re interested in the third culture kid / global nomad dimension, two of my three personal essays (vs. Social Media essays and book) in anthologies focus on that. Anora McGaha’s Essays

  12. Hi Anora,

    As I read your story I couldn’t help but feel closer to you as a writer, reader and a woman. As women we go through some extraordinary things. You’re right in saying “There is value in making connections between us, across differences. There is value in humanizing each other through sharing words, in building gentle, mindful bridges.” Beautifully said! This is something I’ve always believed in, whether it’s been moving my own children from state to state or taking my children to experience different cultures around the world. There is value in learning from each other. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    • Anora McGaha says:

      Vacen, aren’t you kind to comment! Thank you so much for sharing what you liked and how that related to your own life experience! As editor, I’ve been behind a curtain, I hope this post helps make sense of this site. : ) -Anora

  13. Nancy Wait says:

    Dear Anora,
    It’s so beautiful the way you take us all in. What a nurturing soul you are!
    Thank you so much for this bit of background about you.
    As you say, it’s all about connection. Back in the day, we used the tools we had then, and now, we use the tools available today.
    You have a beautiful heart, and we are all the better for your presence among us.
    Thank you!

    • Thank you Nancy. Thank you for your rich appreciation!

      I have always had an interest in listening – both sides of it. Listening to others. Being listened to. Hearing ourselves. I feel there’s not enough deep listening in the world. It’s as precious as gold and platinum, maybe more precious.

      I’m thrilled that you contributed this year, and hope you will write a post for us in the new year. – Anora

  14. roz morris says:

    Anora, your formative years sound like the stuff of novels – what a lovely post. I was an unstoppable letter-writer as a child. If anyone became a friend of mine they were in for an awful lot of reading. I love what we can do in this age of the instant and the endlessly connected – and it’s now hard to imagine a time when we didn’t have it. Thank you for reminding us how precious this simple gift of communication is – and for creating such a nurturing space here for it.

    • Thank you so much for responding and for your appreciation. You are confirming that there is a correlation between love of letter writing and becoming a writer! I’ve just come to understand that in the past couple of years.

      One of the challenges of an exotic or unusual mobile childhood is that there are fewer people who can hear about it. You’ve left them behind in the last place you were, and in the new place, they’re not so interested. It’s like we have an unfinished circuit inside, and it isn’t complete until our messages are received and understood by someone else – closing the loop. – Anora

  15. wrathofgodherself says:


    Reading your open letter reminded me of why i responded to our initial exchange – much more swiftly and fully than I had intended (being then – and now – preoccupied with time consuming things) by writing a piece about my work as an editor on an all-women anthology; it was because of a sense of rapport, a strong feeling that you were genuinely interested in the stories of others and in how we – women – relate to each other.

    I also had a rather disclocated childhood (less far flung than yours, but involving distance from home, from family, from being ‘safe’). In retrospect, perhaps more than at the time, I now appreciate the enormous benefit of meeting people with different cultures and perspectives. Seeing things through fresh eyes was, I’m sure, what helped me to discover storytelling, and to keep working at it, from a desire to share ideas and convey impressions and reach out to people – ‘did this happen to you? How did you feel about it?’ Stories on the page, or read aloud, can be like letters; and then, letters tell a story one can revisit with greater ease and enjoyment than their modern electronic counterparts, gone in a flash.

    • Susie, I was thrilled when you changed your mind and wrote your story. It was so encouraging that something real happens when we write and readers read our work.

      I’m so glad to hear that you felt my genuine interest. It’s absolutely there. Though I know our site is only as strong as our collective shared interest. Sometimes when people are talking only to me in a group, I’ll avert my eyes to other people, hoping that they will catch on and start looking at everyone in the group – including everyone as listeners.

      Thanks for sharing about your dislocated childhood. Retrospect is THE way to appreciate it – dislocation is weird when it’s happening.

      Thanks for reminding me of story telling. That is what we’re doing here, isn’t it, even if we’re not calling them stories. – Anora

  16. Gill Wyatt says:

    Oh this makes my heart sing. I relate to this, although on a much lower level, as my family moved about the U.K. when I was a child and my only means of communication with old friends was letters. Even now, when I discover a friend from the past on facebook, I dance around like an idiot in utter delight to hear their news. Having lived in London, the midlands, south wales and now living in Gloucestershire, I have friends of different classes and many nationalities and I feel that they have enriched me, given me so much. Even now, as the Christmas post arrives, the most exciting part is the ‘Christmas newsletter,’ I can take or leave the cards. I quite agree, what I love about WomenWriters is that as I read a post, I come across something that I relate to and I feel, in that moment, as if I know the writer. It really is an exciting site. Thank you for this post Anora, now I must go and write my Christmas newsletter.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your response, Gill. I’m glad to know that you have that experience of mobility and have an appreciation for the strengthening aspects of it.

      Very happy to hear: “What I love about WomenWriters is that as I read a post, I come across something that I relate to and I feel, in that moment, as if I know the writer.”

      Thank you! Anora

  17. What a wonderful piece. It gave me goose bumps and also reminded me of a different time, of letters waited for and opened from my grandmother. I love the analogy of letters to our guest posts. Thank you for this beautiful piece. I look forward to contributing to your beautiful magazine again soon, knowing my words will be opened by someone who understands that words connect us all.

    • Tess, Thank you so much for reading it and sharing that you felt it.

      Why is it that human beings need to know that their message was received?

      Thank you also for your appreciation. That means a lot!

      I look forward to your next guest post also.


  18. Jo Carroll says:

    I so understand what you mean about being rooted and uprooted. I’m quite happy to leave my childhood roots behind (although, of course, we never quite abandon them). But – once my children were grown – I went travelling.

    It was a totally different experience from my brother’s travels – he’d been reliant on air mail letters and phone calls he had to book in advance. I had texts and emails, and a blog. And I don’t think I could have managed without it – my daughters watered my roots while I was flowering elsewhere for a while.

    We have all learned. I came home a different woman – they have adjusted to that, and we share our stories differently now. My far-away connections reach them, too.

    And so, Anora – I understand roots, and connections, and the joy of reaching across continents to discover a shared delight in things we love. Thank you for this great website. You connect us all.

    • Jo, I thought you might relate with all your travels. Love your phrase “my daughters watered my roots while I was flowering elsewhere”.

      Love this too: “I understand roots, and connections, and the joy of reaching across continents to discover a shared delight in things we love.”

      Thank you very much for commenting. – Anora

  19. Judith Haire says:

    I was really moved while reading this post Anora. It’s so sensitively written and is really beautiful.

    This is a wonderful site, a ground breaking site and I am proud to be part of it
    connecting with other women is so important be they writers or not. Connecting with women writers enables us to share and discover, and support and relate. We find aspects of our lives interweaving. Very interested to read of the many paths your life has taken to date and do look forward to hearing more about your journey. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to write a contribution here and thank you for your friendship and for telling us about your life – this post has been a real pleasure to read.

    • Thank you very much for reading it, and taking it in. I really appreciate it.

      I’m also grateful to be reading your memoir these days, learning about your life journey. It is a page turner. Some of us feel committed to sharing the truth about our life experience, so that others may benefit. That’s a worthy mission. – Anora

  20. C Murray says:

    Do check out ‘Our voice’ and International PEN Women.

    There are changes going on at the main site – so mostly
    the women will meet in one or two discussion groups, as
    well as posting at ‘Our Voice’.

    There will be news about how the sites are developing soon enough.

  21. Nettie says:


    What a beautifully written and touching post. Although we never moved about when I was young, I never felt that I fitted in with the people around me and found my lifeline in books. I always had pen pals and looked forward to hearing from them so I do understand how much this ezine means to you. It is wonderful to read about the lives of other women writers around the world.

    Thank you for sharing such an intimate glimpse into your life, and thank you for your friendship.

    Nettie x

    • Thank you Nettie.

      Thank you so much for reminding me. I always think it’s the moving, but really so many people experience a sense of disconnection with the people around them. Books are lifelines. I forgot about pen pals – maybe you’ll have to share that story one day.

      I really appreciate your reading and commenting.


  22. C Murray says:

    Hi Anora,

    Thank you for publishing ‘Aluine’s Gardens’ in your developing poetry
    section.I was somewhat struck by the theme of this letter and thought
    to suggest that you connect this blog up with some of the International
    PEN Women writers and their friends on Our Voice : https://www.facebook.com/IPWWCommittee

    Best wishes,


    (oh Btw,I am trying to construct something about women emerging into
    voice from behind classical traditions, I do not know when it will
    be ready but I shall send you the link)

    • Thank you C. Thank you so much for sharing Aluine’s Gardens with us! You started something for sure.

      Will definitely look into the International PEN Women Writers. Thank you for suggesting it.

      I look forward to reading more of your writing. – Anora

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