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Monday, September 27, 2010

Zona Rosa


After referring to Zona Rosa in my last post, I decided I have more to say about it. We are a sisterhood in creativity - all forms, not just writing. Our members are talented visual artists and musicians as well as writers. We are a sundry and heterogeneous group of wide-ranging interests and strengths. We are woman at her finest, and I am proud to be a part of it.

At our last meeting, I asked members of the group who follow my blogs to leave comments when they read my posts. For some reason, I rarely have input from them in that forum. I asked for constructive criticism, not just attaboys. These women have keen eyes for good work - and for work that can be improved. I can learn from them, have been learning from them for years.

So, a week later, when I got a e-mail from Ujjvala, with some suggestions about a post I published on September 14, I was delighted. I must confess that I am only now rereading the post and making the suggested changes she so thoughtfully sent me. They are spot-on (pardon the cliché). I have made the changes - and a few others - with many thanks to Ujjvala.

When I attended my first meeting of Zona Rosa, I did so at the urging of my then best friend, Mary Ellen Coleman. She was an editor and gave me an uncorrected reading copy of Rosemary’s landmark memoir, Fatal Flowers - On Sin, Sex, and Suicide in the Deep South, written in 1980. I read it in one sitting. It’s raw honesty tilted the Deep South on its ear and drew unwarranted criticism and wrong judgment down on Rosemary. She had already published a volume of poems entitled A Sexual Tour of the Deep South. Since then, she has published many work - poetry, fiction, volumes about our group - just a few examples.

Rosemary’s example of writing down her truths, no matter how raw or uncomfortable, made me the writer I am today. I don’t know how to sugarcoat my feelings or the things I see around me. She taught me to distill my work to its most dense and powerful form. I owe her a great debt.

There is no way to measure the atmosphere of trust and safety at Zona Rosa. It is my writing home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog since I talked with you one day,while my wife was in with Ann Carroll.I was telling my wife what a nice person you are.Most people never look at you in those places.I was so glad to read of you having fun & dancing sorry about your arm,anyway I think you are FAR OUT!