Zoe Duff



The Green Pen Blog

Sharing an appreciation of Life

When I was about 15 years old I attended a youth camp and came home with a deeper understanding of the issues faced by the other campers and staff who had shared their troubles with the group and raised them up for divine intervention.  It was clear to me that people focused far more on the negative and even glimmers of hope were expressed with some drawback or hesitancy.  I had teen issues and was a much teased fat kid but even I knew that every moment breathing was something to celebrate and be grateful for and how could one expect some divine power to fix one's life if one didn't have faith in fixing it.  Inside the camp log provided at the end of the week was a list of campers and staff some reminder of who they were, their zodiac sign and their home addresses.  I had made notes of the more troubling comments during the final service on the back cover as well.

With a desire to remind these people to appreciate the wonder that is human life and dare to reach for their dreams, I began writing short letters to a list of those campers and staff.  Just a quote or a few cryptic words sometimes and others a bit more but never enough to reveal who I was or be annoying.  Once a month a note written in green ink with no return address but a small sketch of a quill pen and ink bottle would arrive.  The list grew over the years and my secret identity was disclosed but the feedback was amazing.  Just knowing that someone somewhere thought that they could make it through each day and in fact realize their goals and dreams was so inspiring.  I don't think it saved lives or made a huge difference in anyone's life or anything that dramatic but it did make a difference in mine. When I was at a loss for an appropriate quote, being the Green Pen gave me permission to trust my own words to express compassion.  I opened the door to writing and the words have poured unceasingly since then.

I learned at that young age that people are all the same inside and reaching outside myself to share the compassion I felt for them was good for them and very good for me.  I write today for the same reason, I think.  The stories I tell are ones that well up from the appreciation I have for every moment - well maybe not EVERY moment - of each day and the desire to share that with you, dear reader.

I began my other blog, Dear Polly Amorie, because I am asked so often about polyamory (ethical non-monogamy) and the various aspects of making multi-partnered relationships work that I felt writing about it would be well received.  It has been and you are welcome to go to that blog if that is of interest to you.

I find myself in a similar spot on the subject of writing and publishing and so I have set up this blog to impart some wisdom generally learned with lots of error and share my appreciation of the privilege of being able to express myself in writing and an ability to coach others.  Having read some very poor prose and studied under some not so effective teachers, I think both things can be learned but there is a gift to it as well.  I'm fortunate to have had the opportunity of a good education and some gifted teachers who left me with a love for reading and writing that is not often the result of academia.

I have resurrected my livejournal blog which I used quite effectively to post bits of my last novel in progress for restricted reader feedback. I may do the same here again but my main content will be about the processes of writing and getting your work in print.

I will try to post regularly and will watch for comments and questions that might be addressed in future posts.

Onward to this new adventure.

                              Copyright 2020 Zoe Duff