A gathering. A writing circle. A community of story keepers and legacy makers …
daughters and wives and mothers.
Ten years ago I watched my dad fall into a cognitive abyss that erased the comical, slightly eccentric, luminous man I had known all my life. Over the course of a decade I watched him shrink. Gone were the celebratory meals and the words that accompanied each, “It’s a party!” (For my dad, every meal was a party.) Gone were the mouthwatering trips to the markets he knew and loved. Gone were the stories he would share with anyone who would lend an ear, usually over a beautiful meal.
Not only did I lose my dad, I lost my story keeper. I now realize how important it is to gather those stories while they’re still close at hand. And that’s what you’ll find when you engage with me in my Luscious Legacy Project: The Art of Reminiscence.
We’ll tell stories and write ‘snippets’.
We’ll pick up the phone and have conversations with the story keepers still in our lives.
We’ll play with our own unique expression of art: photo essay, ebook, visual journal, glue book, PDF, pen & ink, anything goes.
We’ll bask in the memories that emerge when we take our seats at the table … kindred spirits evoking luscious.
There is power in the collective energy of women coming together to honor their stories. This will be a beautiful marriage of food, love, and legacy. No food memories? No worries. I’ll lend you some of mine. You do not have to be a cook to enjoy the memories that surface when you write about the steaks your mother burned or the time your aunt invented a game called, “Toss the Meatballs.”
The perspective: (why I created this course)
I believe. . .
• the practice of storytelling, rooted in reminiscence, has the power to nourish us deeply.
• we are becoming a culture of “some day, when the children are grown, when I’m not so very busy.”
• dabbling in the art of creative expression can be deliciously intoxicating (and healing, too).
• embracing process over perfection is a life skill worth knowing.
image by Lisa McLoughlin
Are you ready to create your luscious legacy project?
The next round begins shortly. Stay tuned for dates.
early bird investment $297
Who this course will serve:
writers :: you are a writer and you love the idea of writing in the company of fellow writers
wanna-be writers :: you love writing but you rarely take the time to sit with pen and paper, or keyboard and coffee, and you love a good prompt
storytellers :: you love a good story and you want to start recording some of yours in a tangible form
artists :: you love dabbling in various art forms and the idea of crafting a visual journal or ebook sounds enticing
closet artists :: you have an artistic talent and/or sensibility but you rarely give it the time or space to express itself
creatives :: you have a yearning to kindle your creative energy and you need a little nudge
SoulCollage® enthusiasts :: my cards often become an integral piece of this project and vice versa
painting by Salvatore R. Campagna (my dad)
eCourse: 18 email invitations/prompts delivered to your inbox over the course of 6 weeks.
online writer’s circle: where we gather together to write, reminisce, share stories (and recipes!) and nourish ourselves (and each other) with words.
five conference calls: two “live” calls and three pre-recorded interviews
private Facebook group: optional, of course, but please know that I tend deeply and facilitate groups with the joie de vivre my dad imbued in me.
I’m here to hold your words, to honor your process, to support you in crafting your ebook or art journal, and to give you a little nudge when ‘monkey mind’ shows up and says, “No time to write/create this week.”
I’m also here to hold a very sacred space for you when the memories bring unexpected tears. Tears and fears welcome.
And, to sweeten the pot, I’ll be introducing you to a few highly-esteemed guests. Stay tuned. . .
photo by Bella Cirovic, shetoldstories.com
Jen Lee is the director and producer of the documentary film, Indie Kindred, which offers an intimate look at creative collaboration among independent artists. A publisher, producer and a performer in New York City’s storytelling scene, Jen has been featured on public radio’s Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour and The Best of The Moth: Volume 15. She is a sought-after mentor and guide for workshops and retreats. Jen will share with us how her ‘live’ storytelling experiences have informed both her writing and how she views the details of her life.
Amy Meissner is a mother, a maker, and a textile artist whose art combines traditional handwork and contemporary imagery to explore themes of the body, fear and loss. Her materials are vintage, discarded or found.
Amy has shown in museums and galleries in Alaska and in the Lower 48, with award-winning work residing in the permanent collection at the Anchorage Museum and in several private collections. She is a recipient of a Rasmusson Foundation Fellowship Award and lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska.
Her current passion, The Inheritance Project, is a beautiful representation of what it means to honor articles and artifacts of generations past. When I stumbled upon her work, I was captivated by the dance between past and present … the stories and artifacts of our past and how they weave themselves together, sometimes purposefully, often mysteriously, into the narrative we’re living and breathing today.
early bird investment $297
Tuition is non-refundable. The journey begins the minute you register.
Next round begins shortly. Stay tuned!
Snapshots from the Circle
(Click the image to read a snippet from some of the members of this LLP Circle.)
This course keeps going LONG after the material is delivered. The work is evocative, powerful and deep. The prompts are like magnifying glasses, wormholes, slipstreams into sweet reverie, portals and radical mirrors. And sometimes lasers! Each new prompt takes me into a very different emotional landscape and adventure.
I am so grateful I had the opportunity to be with you a second time round Sue Ann! During the first round I found the topic so rich, so potent and loaded with SO many layers, I needed to push pause. The second run gave me room and breathing space. I knew what was coming so I could relate to the material in a way that allowed me to claim it for myself.
There is definitely an element of refinement that compels me to be present for multiple rounds. Each time a new layer is touched, the previous material gets grounded. This time I got to know I could steer my joy. You have re-introduced me to the power and joy of writing and by doing so inspired a whole new level of creative expression. It was so much fun to discover that a felt-sense of a memory could be the “entry point” for a new painting.
I have learned a new way to resource myself! I learned that my Luscious Legacy is mine to claim and that I have the power to create and define magic for myself despite a broken family history.
Sue Ann, you ARE the definition of ‘enhance and inspire.’ I am so grateful for you and for your gorgeous light!
Shelby Frago | Bainbridge Island, Washington
The Luscious Legacy Project, each word means just that for me. This has been a personally luscious experience in so many ways. Firstly I didn’t join the group as a way of writing about food, but rather for a writing community. Gratefully I found inspiration and community, as well as a lot more to feast on. The tasks set by Sue Ann were very inspiring and allowed me to tap into my feelings through my history with food. Food is a connection both with ourselves and with others, and that’s a valuable legacy to hold. The care and consideration that was felt within the project was also nourishing and created a safe and encouraging environment to develop our work. The women in our Facebook group were dynamic and generous with their experiences and food histories, thank you all! The legacy of this project in my life is that now I am constantly discovering little treats for myself as the thoughts and feelings that I experienced during the course continue to feed my writing process and writing life. Hands together, I bow to your presence Sue Ann because, as you rightly called it, “your container” in my words is magical.
Dawne Gowrie Zetterstrom | Örebro, Sweden
I have absolutely loved every call, every minute, every snippet, bite, slice and writing prompt and the wonderful interaction in the Facebook group. I did not realize there were so many memories connected to food. And, I have to say the last call, about form, was an absolute delight! Hearing the women read their stories gave me shivers. I think it was simply a perfect call.
Carina Grasbeck | Turku, Finland
This topic/project is SO rich and deep and wonderfully delicious. The most delicious part for me was taking the time to ‘catch’ the stories rather than lead with the recipes. Starting with the stories is making the product much more exciting, and frankly, a truer legacy. I love that you share your own writing and your process and inspire others to do the same. It works!
Lisa Bourdon | Roswell, Georgia
I really liked the pacing of the Luscious Legacy Project. It seemed like just when I was thinking about you, I’d get another email in my box. I loved the content and delivery. You guided us along in a gentle and gradual manner, which is so perfect when the desire to collect a compilation of recipes and stories is so huge and the thought of tackling a project like this, so daunting. I loved the way your tasks/invitations could be done on a small or larger scale, depending on time availability.
I was both surprised and delighted with how active you are in the Facebook group. I’ve taken courses where the facilitator is practically absent and it’s discouraging. It is so lovely to feel your presence and devotion there. What a gift you have for fostering community. I also enjoyed being able to witness the process of others. It’s so wonderful to hear those voices telling their stories on the weekly calls. Inspiration a plenty. Memories of others triggered my own, and just feeling the community of people all digging in and uncovering memories around food and legacy… all of us doing it together. It’s wonderful and motivating. This has been a delight.
Elaine Katherine Watson | Santa Barbara, California
I can scarcely believe that six weeks is almost up! How rich and colorful this genre of writing is, and how intimate to share it with others. I learn so much about people based on their culinary habits and desires. You really do facilitate deeply and the calls were a huge part of that for me. I loved that I could get to know the other participants a little better each week. I really appreciate how clear and concise you have been with the delivery of the course content. It is easy to follow and keep track of. I look forward to opening each email!
Erin Duffy Osswald | Great Falls, Montana
My greatest takeaway is … Joy. That I love to write even more than I thought I did! That these food memories are family treasures. We all eat. How we, or our parents or our grandparents, did it in the past and how we do it now, tells us a lot about how we live our lives. It’s really been a fun way to highlight some family history. It has also rekindled my desire to do more genealogy research, which I haven’t done for a long time. But mostly, this course has encouraged me to keep writing.
Betsy Beese Sheridan | Sterling, Virginia
Perhaps what I take away from the Luscious Legacy Project is a lived recognition of how presence and care can turn chores into expressions of love. We all need to eat; we are lucky to have beautiful food. I choose to prepare it with interest and curiosity. The sounds, smells, tastes and textures of cooking give a materiality to my days that might otherwise get lost in hours spent with pen and paper, computer screen and printed page. I give our meals – the preparation, the enjoyment, and the afterwards – my time.
Melissa Fu | Haslingfield, UK
I came to the Luscious Legacy Project toward the end of a difficult year. My Dad was the teller of food stories in our family and he died without anyone collecting or collating them. I had been wanting to write something about food for some time, so the timing was perfect.
Working with you, Sue Ann, has been a gentle process. The emails helped me to create a little at a time, yet often. I found myself jotting down ideas in the queue at the bank, on the ferry, and in a hospital waiting room as well as in the more planned environment of my desk. And, at the end of six weeks I have about eighteen pages of stories, thirty or so recipes, countless memories, and an outline of ideas to finish.
The Facebook group was amazing. They supported and guided me through the process. It was fascinating to watch one person’s story spark yet another memory. One new friend even took photos for me of the bakery I used to visit as a child in Bretherton. Facebook enabled me to build a relationship with the group and the calls gave me a chance to hear my new friends read their wonderful work.
I’ll be doing the course again to help me finish my Luscious Legacy Project. And I know there are some emails I am especially looking forward to!
Louise Ebrey | Macao, China
On the fence?
Here are the questions that are coming up. Feel free to ask me more.
What if I’m not a foodie and I have no recipes to share or to include?
Guess what? During this last round of the Luscious Legacy Project, there were only two of us sharing food stories/recipes. The rest of the participants enjoyed responding to the email invitations and following their muse. The material is open-ended. It inspires each member of the Circle in a different way. I love watching each session unfold.
What can I hope to accomplish in six-weeks?
It varies from person to person. I have seen some complete a gorgeous hardcover book for family and friends while others use this experience to curate and organize the stories they want to remember. Sometimes a collection of slices and snippets grows into a beautiful essay, a blog post, or the chapter in a memoir. Other times it’s the slices and snippets alone that form the luscious legacy project. At the very least you’ll have a framework and a very good start. The best part, however, is that the group stays active once the program ends so even if you just build the architecture of your project during the six-week period, you have a warm, supportive container in which to continue posting your work.
I’m not a big Facebook fan. Do I have to participate in the Facebook group?
Not at all. We have weekly phone calls to stay connected. You’ll receive an MP3 recording of those calls about an hour after they finish. Facebook is a great place to continue the discussion, ask questions, and hang out with me and with the women in our Circle, but it’s not a necessity. Think of it as a bonus opportunity.
How does the telephone piece work?
I have an international conference line. Once my roster is set, I send you a toll-free phone number for your country and that’s the number you call. If you’d like to speak or share during the call, you send me an email (or ‘ping’ me in our Facebook group) and I’ll call on you and ask you to unmute your line with a simple *6. Sharing snippets of our writing in community is a very special piece of this program. Storytelling feeds our writing. It also feeds us.
How are the calls structured?
Great question! Most of my courses are driven by ‘content and perspective’. This one is a little different. In addition to the content, I plan to inspire you with short readings, delicious writing, poetry, and more. Sometimes we even write together from a prompt to deepen our practice and inspire a conversation.
How much of this course is writing and how much is recipe collecting?
This is completely up to you. Some of the women are leading with recipes, but many are finding the stories have taken center stage with some recipes sprinkled in. If I’ve learned anything in my years as an educator, I’ve learned this: the students drive the instruction. I’m simply a guide at the side with a whole lot of passion and a gift for drawing out story and creating cozy, nourishing spaces for whatever it is that wants to be expressed, both online and off. You can read more about that right here.
What is the Luscious Legacy Living Room Tour?
I drove to Nags Head, North Carolina one summer for a retreat and on the way I listened to Carole King’s ‘Living Room Tour’ CD. When I sat down to write the copy for this page I had this serendipitous moment where I just knew I was supposed to be leading Luscious Legacy Living Room Circles both online AND in living rooms across the country. Contact me if you’d like to host one of these Circles in YOUR living room. We’ll write. We’ll reminisce. We’ll tell stories. We’ll laugh. We may even shed a few tears. It’s good. It’s all good.
image source: victoriaporterphotography.com
Are you ready to create your luscious legacy project?
early bird investment $297
next round begins July 10th