Writer's Connection, SM
a publication of The Virtual Writing
"The Creative Process of Writing
is a Liberating and Therapeutic Experience"
In This Issue:
2. Publisher's Note
3. Kitchen Table Wisdom
4. Helpful Hints
The Writer's Connection explores the creative process
of writing and the interplay between thoughts, feelings,
and actions. We are an interactive community of authors
and readers who share ideas to enhance our knowledge,
skills, and experiences in writing fiction in any genre,
but our emphasis remains mystery and suspense thrillers.
Published monthly, the Newsletter offers writing tips
for authors, coaching suggestions, editing, and marketing
Topics are presented from the perspective of Keith Barton
and represent only his ideas on producing your first manuscript,
and are provided to the general public. Because we are
an interactive community of writers, other viewpoints
are welcomed and may be printed in future monthly newsletters
with permission from Keith Barton.
2. Publisher's Note
Dear Writer's Connection Subscriber,
This month's newsletter features: Kitchen Table Wisdom
3. Kitchen Table Wisdom
It's been fourteen years since its publication but Rachel Naomi Remen's book on
"stories that heal" remains a must read for anyone in the helping professions.
Remen is an MD and deals with life and death daily. Her stories are from her
patients and her compassionate commentaries were taught to her by her grandfather
sitting around their kitchen table when she was a young school girl. Her chapters
will remind you of the recent popular bestseller, The Secret, but
Kitchen Table Wisdom is much more than the "mystery of life". It is about
living within a life force, not pre-judging others, grace, freedom, opening the heart,
embracing life, helping others, knowing God, mystery and awe.
Remen entered the study of humanistic medicine during a time when mind-body-spirit
connections were popular in California. Her calling was to educate other physicians
about a psychological approach to people with life-threatening illnesses and to educate
doctors about their patients' needs. She was the recipient of the Mind, Body, Spirit Book
award in 1997 and the Wilbur Award for her excellence in communicating religious issues,
values, and themes. She has been featured on Bill Moyer's PBS special on Healing and the
Mind and is Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine.
Many eastern and western religions use meditation to visualize that which we are
yet to experience. Lightness signals strength and healing while darkness signals endings.
But this dichotomy is too simplistic because we were born out of darkness;
in John Chapter 1:1 "In the beginning there was the Word and the Word was God."
"Endbeginnings,"a term coined by Remen, speaks to the universality and wholeness of life
and death as not just end points on a continuum, but occupying the same space within another
fourth dimension of time and space. It begs the question of when life begins and ends; for
some endings represent darkness and "nothingness"; for others, eternal life.
In studies of how people cope with terminal illnesses there comes a time when people
finally let go of their determination to breathe oxygen and upon their last exhale move to
a state beyond which much is written and debated. But there seems to be little debate that
most people know when their time is up after fighting a long terminal illness and all the
prayers and handholding only helps to give the people remaining hope. For the newly deceased,
they're already at peace. Many prepare their own funerals and life celebrations while alive.
We remember loved ones by how they touched us personally.
In her final chapter, entitled appropriately, "The Final Lesson," Remen tells the story of
an elderly, never-married male physician of fifty years who was fighting lung cancer. Thomas
was a non-believer and loner his entire life, except for his patients. He talked about
"shepherding his flock until the last lamb was saved", a reference to David in Psalms before
his Kingdom in Judah. After Thomas took his final breath, Remen left the hospital, fumbling
for her car keys when she heard the church bells ring. She stopped, confused. "Could they be
ringing for Thomas?" And then she remembered. "It was midnight and the Shepherd had come."
- Read any book on death and dying. What universal truths do you gain?
What if you were tuned in only to body and mind? Does hope still exist for you and
why or why not? Does it even matter to you?
- Near-death experiences (NDEs) are similar accounts of a phenomenon
that has been explained spiritually and neurologically. Which do you believe?
- Read Don Piper and Cecil Murphey's Ninety Minutes in Heaven.
How can you explain Don's living on earth and in heaven simultaneously for ninety minutes?
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Keith Barton, Ph.D.
(c) Copyright 2010 A. Keith Barton, Ph.D.
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The Writer's Connection SM Mission:
The Writer's Connection SM is dedicated to
helping first-time authors create their first manuscript
for publication and to offer an exchange of ideas and
opinions from our readers who might be interested in becoming
The Writer's Connection is a publication of The Virtual
Writing Coach and Keith Barton, Ph.D. and a registered
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About Keith Barton, Ph.D.
Dr. Barton received his Ph.D. in 1972 from the University
of Texas at Austin and has been a practicing therapist
for over thirty years. He is currently enrolled in MentorCoach
and is accepting new clients.
He has been an adjunct professor at the University of
South Carolina, consultant to Fortune 500 companies in
executive development, founded and managed Texas Community
Living Ventures, Inc., in 1986 for providing group home
services to persons with mental retardation. Keith founded
and has been running a clinical practice in Northwest
Houston since 1990.
He writes part-time with the goal of completing one novel
a year. His desire to coach others derives from his passionate
interest in helping others become attuned to their creative
powers of storytelling.
Dr. Barton has training in coaching, cognitive and family
therapy and health psychology. He has published articles,
made presentations and conducted workshops about:
Anxiety and achievement
The relationship between psychology and spirituality
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