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For additional information contact Theresa Nichols Schuster at tnschuster7@gmail.com.

About Theresa Nichols Schuster

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Theresa Nichols Schuster is author of "We Are the Warriors" a 2015 USA Regional Excellence Book Award Finalist and a Health Educator. She was a resident of the Fort Peck Reservation in Northeastern Montana for thirty years. She currently lives in Bozeman, Montana with her husband, where she continues to write, hike, ski, enjoy family and friends, photography and gardening, good food and good music.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Introduction to "Bridging: Writing the Journey"



For those of us who write - and I don't mean just writing for publication - our writing encompasses the ebb and flow of our lives. It is not only a means of self-expression, it is an avenue of self-discovery, processing and clarifying, that at times reveals more than we ever knowingly intended.

Currently I write, type and muse from the hinterlands of extreme rural northeastern Montana, just south of the Canadian border and not far from the Bakken oil fields.

I invite us on this blog site to share our writing journeys - whether that be from our own journaling or poetic creativity...or the more gritty process of writing to effect change, to publish, to be heard or to entertain.

Recently I stumbled upon the tiny tattered pages of a spiral notebook roughly stapled together. Scrawled diagonally across the first page was the word "Diary". Concealed in the pages was the world of an 11-year old. What was it like to be that 11-year old girl? How did she see, understand, act? Was that really me?

As I read, most of the pages were taken up by the birth and growth of a batch of kittens, multi-colored, black, gray and white; obviously an important event. The frequent words that Dad wasn't home from Miles City yet were scattered in different entries. Why was he in Miles City? A hernia operation at the VA? Finally, after a week and a half, there is the notation that Dad is home. No mention of why he was gone, how he was doing or if it was surgery. Hard to believe that's how I thought then - as now my curiosity and interest in things medical and health-oriented is almost insatiable.

A few pages later, the wonder of finding an inflatable canoe, although flattened, on the banks of the Yellowstone River, brought to mind my yearning to cross to the mysterious islands in the middle of the river. I could almost taste the disappointment, when the entry a few days later noted that the young girl had inflated the canoe and realized only baby could fit in it.

The words reminded me of the desire to explore the islands of the Yellowstone that regularly tugged at me throughout my childhood and teen years. I did swim to an island once; I wouldn't recommend it. And a few hairy crossings as the strong currents swirled around my knees and thighs and my feet slid over moss-covered rocks also were a little nervy. The impatience of waiting for the flood waters to recede each year added to the appeal of the isolated, darkened cottonwood forests, meadows and stands of willows far across the turbulent river.

Writing is our opportunity to explore, learn, express and create. The reading is the remembering, reliving, feeling and discovering.

You are invited on this blog to join me in exploring the literary field of writing and publishing from a stance of openness, playfulness and self-reflection.           Theresa Nichols Schuster

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