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Earth Joy Writing: Creating Harmony Through Journaling and Nature

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A seasonal journey to creative and joyful writing.

In Earth Joy Writing, Cassie Premo Steele draws upon her life's work as a teacher of writing, literature, and mindfulness to help writers foster a greater connection between the natural world and their own creativity. Earth Joy Writing is a writer's guide to reconnecting to the earth. In chapters divided by seasons and months of the year, this book will guide you through reflections, exercises, meditations, and journaling prompts-all designed to help you connect more deeply with yourself, others, and your natural surroundings. Weaving together poetry, stories, and cultural wisdom, Earth Joy Writing invites us to consider our connection to the earth and offers hands-on exercises that will help us meaningfully reconnect with our creative selves and with the planet we all share.

"Earth Joy Writing is about finding joy when we align our creative practices with natural principles. It is about living in harmony with our deepest selves and the natural world. It is about committing to a mindfully creative life in collaboration with nature and, in the process, healing both ourselves and the earth." - Cassie Premo Steele

226 pages, Paperback

First published March 30, 2015

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Cassie Premo Steele

14 books29 followers

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415 reviews40 followers
May 27, 2015
Recently, I participated in a clean eating challenge I saw on Facebook, not because I am particularly interested in clean eating, but because the challenge coach posted recipes, a menu, and a shopping list pre-made. Add that to healthy meals for my family and I was on board. As a full-time teacher and a mother of two, I felt sheepish that all I wanted was someone else to plan things for a minute or two, but that didn't make me want it less. In many ways, Cassie Premo Steele's book, Earth Joy Writing: Creating Harmony Through Journaling and Nature, recognizes the twin impulses here that many mother-writers share—the need for order and help, and the need to do well and be well. For literary mamas, these needs relate not only to our families but to our creative lives when we see fit to acknowledge them.

A book like Earth Joy Writing starts by giving permission. Owning such a book says that you want to move forward with your writing. Opening it and using it gives you a kind of coach, like my clean eating coach, who rewards stillness and introspection, often the very things that we cannot give ourselves.

Author of 13 books, Premo Steele introduces this book with her own origin story. Formerly an academic, she turned her focus when she realized how competitive and hierarchical the academy was; instead, she looked where she often looks, inward and outside. That combination creates the potent center of the book—in order to heal a wounded world, a wounded self, one must simultaneously, lovingly, and curiously enter two wild spaces—our own minds and the world of nature—both with an intent towards germination and discovery.

The book takes its form from the cycle of the seasons, the cycle of the year. Beginning in winter, Premo Steele sets forth a pattern. In each section, she introduces a core concept like germination. She offers a passage—one of her poems, a piece from a person of faith, a quote. These allow her to expand the initial idea; the rest of the expansion comes from the writer/reader interacting with the text. She may ask her audience to dance or write or ruminate or ramble in the woods, then to articulate feelings and impressions; she calls this "creative action."

Often, she begins bodily so that the sense of involvement is emotional, cognitive, and kinetic. She approaches interaction by incorporating the multiple intelligences possessed, and rarely acknowledged, by people. For both the print book and the e-book, Premo Steele provides audio meditations on her website to help guide readers, bringing in an auditory component for yet another kind of emotional and intellectual engagement. One thing that writing and being demands, for this author, is emotional involvement, an involvement that terrified some of her academic colleagues, but a concept that Premo Steele embraces.

Read Literary Mama's full review here: http://www.literarymama.com/reviews/a...
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