The question, “Who is Kathie?” fuels my writing and pushes me to grow!
My love of words began when I was very young. Books were cherished in our family. Playing outside and reading were encouraged more than any other form of entertainment. When I learned to read by myself, the whole world opened up. We received books for gifts and were encouraged to read anything and everything. Before long I was devouring young adult mysteries (Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys), classics (The Three Musketeers and Treasure Island), the Colllier’s Encyclopedia on our bookshelf, and our Children’s Animal Encyclopedia. As an adolescent, I made a point of reading the lyrics on vinyl record sleeves, articles in borrowed issues of Teen magazine, and once, a smutty novel I found on a neighbour’s bookshelf when I was babysitting.
On my birthday the year I left home in 1971, my aunt gave me a copy of Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet. I still have the same inscribed copy. Until that time, I didn’t realize then how deeply my heart ached for deeper connection with my Soul Self. I never expected that my bond with self-expression would continue for a lifetime.
I went on to write and self-publish a poetry book and created several handmade “Chapter Books.” A personal essay collection, creative nonfiction pieces, articles and short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines. I have written a book of Elder Tales called “The Storyteller: True Tales of Enchantment” and am working on a autobiographical narrative that seems to have morphed into a collection of based-in-fact fiction pieces and a novel.
My creative writing is inspired by people I meet, writing teachers, my experiences in the world, unusual ideas, books, and nature. Thoughts and feelings appear in the pages of my journal, and lie there asleep until they can be transformed into a poem or a story. I often use metaphor to create space between my perception of the ordinary and the mystery of the extraordinary. It amuses and delights me when I connect two unrelated things, especially when one of these things is mysterious, abstract or beyond words.
My journal has become the ideal medium for my personal growth, so much so that I began teaching others to journal to find their stories too. I presented workshops focused on the Inner Child, Soul Diving to Release Stress, the Heroine’s Journey, Grief Recovery and now, legacy letters called “Letters of the Heart”. I believe all of this work was in line with the purpose of writing. Now, I’ve relaxed into writing for insight and pleasure. As I move further into retirement, I am writing to leave a legacy for family and friends through life review and life completion writing, and encourage others to do the same. I am a member of two writing groups and enjoy writerly conversation and creative sharing.
I am comfortable at readings and speaking from the podium, and am thrilled to share my writing or give inspirational presentations. When the opportunity arises, I enjoy giving my views about the importance of writing as a tool for self-understanding.