Zona Rosa: A Writer's Dream

I remember the day I first heard of author, Rosemary Daniell and the Zona Rosa Writer's Group. I had walked into E. Shaver's Bookstore, located in the middle of downtown Savannah's Historic District. I wandered around this delicious little bookstore feeling oh so comfortable surrounded by such delicious-looking books. I wanted to read every single one of them. When I passed by the desk clerk, I told her I was new in town and asked if she knew of a local writer's group.

"Rosemary Daniell leads one. You could call her," she said, her voice dripping with Southern friendliness.."We have some of her books up there on the local authors shelf." She pointed to a shelf across from the cash register. I thanked the woman and then checked out the local author books, hoping that some day my own book would sit on that shelf.

I bought Rosemary Daniell's book, "The Woman Who Spilled Words All Over Herself" and after reading it, I called Rosemary to get information about her writer's group. We had a great visit. I soon found myself sitting in Rosemary's artsy living room enchanted by this pretty Southern lady, surrounded by fertile creative minds. "Be patient when you write, Rosemary said. "Let your soul follow your body."

Rosemary treated each person with gentle encouragement. "Write about the very thing you don't want to write about," she said emphasizing the importance of writing with total honesty. Across the room, I clutched a fuschia folder holding the first three chapters of the novel that I had been writing over and over. Right then and there , I vowed to make writing a top priority in my life.

I left that first workshop anxious to center myself. On the drive home I kept repeating one of of Rosemary's quotes from a writer who said,"I want to write a book before I go mad and die.

"I could relate.

I attended Rosemary's Zona Rosa Group for many years. Rosemary gave concrete writing tips and shared stories of scores of brave women and men who had healed their lives through writing. Thanks to Rosemary and the many Zona Rosa writers and to many years of hard work, I now have two novels, "Row Away From the Rocks," and "Tessa and Claudine," on local bookstore shelves. And I lead a writer's group to help encourage other writers to hang in there. We critique each other's work and cheer one another on. And that is what writers like to do.

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