worlds are forming in my heart…

“I need to be silent for a while,

worlds are forming in my heart.”

~Meister Eckhart


(brilliant quote swiped from Julie Long’s website)

#38Write: February 2013′s Writing Workshop Is Open for Registration

#38Write—my global writing initiative—is a monthly series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of craft, culture, or the writing life, and during each 38-hour adventure, writers connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag and a group Pinterest board.

Crush Points_Wikimedia CommonsWhoop! Whoop! February’s #38Write writing workshop is open for registration!




Well…when I first started to plan out this workshop, I was thinking about Valentine’s Day in the U.S. (which falls on Feb. 14) and my very first “culture crush.” The buzz and hum I felt in my head and heart when, in second grade, my teacher Mrs. Mangus introduced our class to the indigenous Aboriginal people of Australia. I was hooked, as hooked as a seven-year-old with a slim social studies book, a World Book Encyclopedia, a few worn issues of National Geographic, and a map can be—by the people, the place, the faraway-ness of it all, the distinct differences between my boring old life and their exciting one, as well as the hint/promise of similarities. At night, for months after Mrs. Mangus moved us on to other, less scintillating social studies topics, I’d lie in bed wondering how to buy a plane ticket to Australia, what it would feel like to be a seven-year-old Aboriginal kid, if the Aboriginal kids were reading about and longing to visit kids in U.S. steel communities, how I could convince my mom to let me pierce my nose, and so much more…. (finish reading about the “why” here)


Saturday, February 23, 2013


$38 (U.S.)

How to register?

Easy peasy. Click over to the CLASSES pages.


#38Write is a writing adventure workshop designed specifically for place-passionate, culturally curious writers that will get you out of your house—no matter where you live—and into your environs.

In June, I launched the first #38Write online writing adventure with #38Write | Description.

In July, I continued with #38Write | Structure, which went forth with 16 writers in 9 countries. One of the assignments for that workshop was to define culture without using a dictionary, thesaurus, or other reference tool. It sparked some pretty spectacular definitions (read them here) and a lively conversation on Twitter.

In September’s #38Write, writers wrote about square peg, round hole situations. Read a few examples here.

#38Write has been growing ever since. In January 2013, we had 17 writers in 9 countries.


  • Each writing adventure is 38 hours long. It’s a manageable amount of time that fits into anyone’s busy schedule. (Good gracious, no, you will not be writing or adventuring for 38 hours straight. I’m ambitious for you, but not crazy. You will need approximately 2-4 hours to work during the 38-hour period…give or take an hour.)


  • Each writing adventure will focus on one particular aspect of culture, craft, or the writing life. You will not be writing an entire essay or short story (but you might accidentally do so). Some adventures will focus on a skill, like writing kick-butt descriptions; others might get you to look at what inspires you or how you move from idea to writing; all will encourage you to engage with and explore the culture in which you’re living.


  • During each 38-hour period, you’ll be able to connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag. (How cool is that?!)



  • You will get feedback from me. (For more info about me, click here.)


  • You have the option to participate in peer critiques.


  • Terrific for folks writing fiction, essays, memoir, or poetry.


  • Beginners and experienced writers are welcome and encouraged to join. There are some of each (and everything in between) in every workshop.


  • It’s affordable. A single #38Write writing adventure costs only $38 (U.S.).


Growing and developing my global niche is a big part of who I am. My own global niche starts at home. I’m from the U.S. My husband is from Ireland. Our daughter is from Vietnam. And we began as a family while living in Shanghai, China. While living, writing, and teaching writing in the U.S. and Shanghai, I learned (and/or relearned) a number of things:

    1. Each of us has a heck of a lot to learn from folks in other countries (and not usually the things we think we need to learn).
    2. Story is an international conversation that can help us better understand one another.
    3. By helping writers from all over the world to improve their craft, I can play a wee role in facilitating this global conversation.
    4. Writing is recursive. You must practice. (And if I do say so myself, I’m pretty darn good at getting writers to practice.)


#38Write adventures are designed for all place-passionate writers, including expats and repats, globetrotters, armchair travelers, nomads, cultural spelunkers, deeply rooted souls, mapmakers and mapbreakers, wanderers and wayfarers, voyagers, and all writers interested in exploring and writing about their environs.

Heart_MorgueFileFreeSo, yup, if you’re asking, #38Write is probably for you.

To learn more and sign up for #38Write | CRUSH, visit CLASSES.

#38Write I EAT FEAR Launches Today! 17 Writers in 9 Countries!

#38Write—my global writing initiative—is a monthly series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of culture, craft, or the writing life, and during each 38-hour adventure, writers connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag (#38Write) and a group Pinterest board. Lots and lots of good work getting done.

Eat Fear_MorgueFileFreeToday—January 19—#38Write | I EAT FEAR launches with 17 writers in 9 countries:

  • Malta
  • Japan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Australia
  • U.K.
  • Belgium
  • France
  • U.S.
  • Turkey

Pretty good mix of voices, cultures, and storytelling, isn’t it? If you want to follow along, check out the #38Write | I EAT FEAR Pinterest board, where writers are pinning images and documenting their creative process.

Check back soon to read some pieces that grow out of this workshop.

And go on! Eat a little fear today yourself.


January’s #38Write Group Pinterest Board Is Starting to Blossom

Nadia Comeneci! The fearless one! This photo was posted on the group Pinterest board for I EAT FEAR (January’s #38Write workshop). The Pinterest page is starting to blossom. Check it out!

To find out more about how I use Pinterest in this writing workshop, click here. And there’s still time to register for the workshop. Just pop over to the CLASSES page.

Source: via Anita on Pinterest

“I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid.

Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear

is to trample it beneath your feet.”

~ Nadia Comaneci

6 Great Reasons You Should Build a Global Writing Community

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few weeks ago, I did a videochat over at the most-marvelous GlobalNiche about global writing communities and #38Write (my monthly online series of writing workshops for place-passionate, cultural spelunkers around the world). It was a terrific conversation (click thru to watch here).

Since then, a few writers have asked, Why do I need a global writing community?

Ask and you shall receive:

1.  Because our world is changing & changing fast. As technology and globalization draw us closer together, it’s more important than ever for writers (and all humans, really) to:

  • become culturally literate
  • learn to communicate with folks who are different than us (speak different languages, practice different religions, follow the laws of different political systems, etc.)
  • work/write on the fly—we’re more mobile; we get around faster, farther, and more often; we need to have writers/artists/creators in our lives who get this
  • use social media tools to enhance the writing process, share work, boost creativity, offer feedback, engage in discussion, etc.

2.  Publishing is changing (shocking revelation, I know). Opportunities to share work with a global audience are popping up everywhere. You’ll need a global writing community to stay relevant and informed.

3.  If you’ve ever belonged to ANY writing community—local, global, live and in person, virtual via the Internet, etc.—you know that belonging to such a community is not just about getting feedback on your work. It’s about connecting with a group of people who share your passion for words, stories, place, communication, adventure, culture, etc. It’s about giving and getting support for the delightful yet arduous life of a writer.

4.  Belonging to a global writing community is exciting. It’s exciting to give and get feedback from someone in the Middle East. From someone in Australia. From someone in Turkey or Egypt or China. It broadens your world, enhances your perspective, and makes you step back and consider things in new ways.

5.  To those who say it’s impossible to create trust and intimacy in a virtual, global writing workshop/community, I say phooey. Yep, it takes time and commitment, but all good relationships do, don’t they? Social media tools—Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube—are perfect for worldwide community engagement; their true potential has yet to be tapped. (I’m a’tapping…)

6.  Finally—and perhaps most importantly—building a virtual, global writing community is about cracking open…your mind…your heart…even that dark place deep inside where we hoard judgment and fear. (Don’t forget, I EAT FEAR!)

Cheers! Hope to see you in a #38Write workshop soon!


2013: From Gaaaaaahhhh! to Gaga

Welby ? India ? Tin Treasures ? Friction Bump n Go ? Spaceship ? Commander Ship ? BowWelcome to 2013, writers, creators, storytellers, artists, and visionaries around the world!

We’re about 10 12 hours into the New Year. I woke not having a clue if I would blog this morning. Sure, in the past, I’ve always had something astoundingly brilliant and profound to share with you at the new year. Like in 2011, I shared my three non-resolutionary words. And in 2010, I visited and wrote about the Longhua Temple in Shanghai.

But this morning, feeling uninspired, I poked around the Internet for inspiration.

Maybe I’ll make a list of things I learned in 2012, like the Communicatrix, I thought. She’s cool. Always cool. Hip. Always hip. Bald. Not always bald, but bald by choice in 2012.

Or…maybe I’ll create a kickass Pinterest page for my vision for 2013 like my brilliant friend, colleague, and sister global-nicher Tara Agacayak, I thought.

Or…maybe I’ll create a gorgeous, expressive image that represents all I do and believe in like the oh-so-talented Catherine Bayar in Turkey (check this out).

Or maybe…

Or maybe…

Rackham_fairy_ring_WikimediaThen I popped over to Now Write! where I read Dinty Moore’s post called “Writing and Creativity as a Peculiar Crossroads” (read it here). It’s lovely and it sang to me. This idea of the “smidgen of enlightenment” and the ongoing search for it…in writing and life.

It sang to me because for months—for all of 2012, really—I knew I was at a major crossroads—though often I’ve felt this crossroads is more like a fairy ring in Ireland which is lovely & magical, but from which there is no exit…see photo to right. (You can hear Christy Moore sing about a fairy ring here.)

It’s not any kind of unusual crossroads. Millions and trillions and gazillions of you are probably right there with me, trying like hell to solve the mystery of how to be a mom, writer, cultural spelunker, world citizen, and teacher at the same friggin’ time.

Sometimes I find that smidgen of enlightenment, and other times, I just want to yell,


Suggestions for the title are received with thanks

So I’m officially dubbing 2013 as my year to do less “Gaaaaaahhhhhhhhh”ing and to better synthesize all that I love, believe in, and am passionate about—as a writer, a mumma, a cultural spelunker, a global-nicher, a teacher, and a human. Like Lady Gaga. Because no matter how you feel about her less-than-usual appearance and approach to things, she’s pretty damn good at synthesis.


Cheers, my friends! Here’s to a creative, synthesized 2013! See you here at Writerhead and #38Write!

Mission Inspiration: Get Wowed: #1

When life gets crazy, inspiration shoots out the window. You look around, think, “man, oh, man…I’m pretty sure there was a little inspiration here yesterday.” But no, you’re running, and inspiration is nowhere to be found.

I’ve been racing around a lot lately—in my head, life, process, work, family, etc.—and as I hunker down into “maker mode” (remember?), I’m inviting inspiration back into my world. In any way it would like to arrive.

So I think I’ll share some of inspiration with you, hoping it might make a difference in your day, too.

The first boost of “wow”?

This dream:

The other night I dreamed that both Anais Nin and Virginia Woolf had a writing ritual called “The Sixth Activity.” They each obsessively wrote about any sixth thing they did, said, or discovered. In one dream scene, Nin was writing about the sixth step in a long staircase. And in another, Woolf was writing about the sixth stone she found on a beach. Woolf also listened for the sixth word in all spoken sentences.

I woke inspired. How could I not?


Join Me on December 21 For a Talk About Global Writing Communities

A few days ago, I wrote about how I’m heading into “maker mode” and will be quieting down here on the blog for a bit. I imagined myself disappearing and hunkering over my metaphorical potter’s wheel, but since I wrote that and have been sinking into “maker mode,” I find myself more inclined to blog and to connect…just in different ways.

To this end, on Friday, December 21 (10 a.m. Pacific), I’ll be giving an interactive web-video talk at GlobalNiche about global writing communities. No matter where you are in the world, you can log in and participate live and in person. We’ll engage for one hour, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.

Some aspects of the global writing life that I’ll be exploring:

  • how globalization and technology are changing the ways writers work, coexist, communicate, share, make change, create, and more
  • making sense of our cultural connections in the world
  • how writers whose lives/families/hearts/jobs straddle borders, time zones, and oceans can create, build, and nurture vibrant writing communities
  • innovative ways writers can use social media
  • #38Write (my monthly writing workshop for place-passionate culturally curious writers around the world )

The GlobalNiche community is a terrific one. So join me…join us…creative folks around the world who identify themselves as writers (fiction writers, nonfiction writers, journalists, etc.), as well as creative entrepreneurs, expats, repats, bloggers, travelers, artists, travel writers, and more.

Ooh, I’m loving “maker mode”! (now…back to my metaphorical potter’s wheel)

More Info:

  • To find out more about the nuts & bolts of GlobalNiche and how to access the conversation, click here.
  • To view the Facebook event page, click here.


Mojo Monday: Alice Munro Talks Books & Writing

It’s Mojo Monday, and as always, I’ve got a little something-something to lift your creative spirits, buoy you up, help you get your mojo on, and nudge (or better yet, catapult) you into writerhead.

A charming, inspiring conversation between Alice Munro and Diana Athill about books, writing, and what they’ve learned so far in life. Enjoy.

#38Write: Register Now For December’s “At the Party” Workshop

#38Write—my global writing initiative—is a monthly series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of culture, craft, or the writing life, and during each 38-hour adventure, writers connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag (#38Write) and a group Pinterest board. Lots and lots of good work getting done.

Looking to add a little writing cha-cha-cha to your holiday season? The December #38Write workshop is the perfect spot to do so. Here’s how it will work:

  1. Register for #38Write.
  2. Let Kristin know when your party is taking place.
  3. Receive a suggested reading list and your #38Write | At the Party! writing adventure guide from Kristin.
  4. Go to your party!
  5. Sip a little wine. Find out it’s cheap. Make a face. Trade it in for a whiskey sour.
  6. Sneak into the john & write about the cheap wine.
  7. Check out the shoes of all the women at the party.
  8. Send yourself an email from your phone about the silvery pumps with the red-hot bows (snap a picture, too, and add it to the #38Write | At the Party! Pinterest page).
  9. Listen to conversations buzzing around you. Take notes on your palm documenting the fight the super-tall couple is having about whether or not the gift they brought was culturally appropriate.
  10. Eat a few appetizers.
  11. Tweet a picture of your favorite! (using the #38Write hashtag)
  12. Eat a few more appetizers.
  13. Excuse yourself to the bathroom. Once safely locked in, jot a few notes about the party decor. Compare and contrast it to that of parties you went to in Budapest, Barcelona, and Boston.
  14. Dance. (No, no, no, not in the bathroom, silly! You can come out once you finish the notes about decor.)
  15. Snap a few more party pics. Pin them here!
  16. Talk to guests about their cultural expectations of the party. Tweet about how theirs compare to yours. (again, hashtag #38Write)
  17. Head home when exhaustion sets in or the host kicks you out (whichever comes first).
  18. Get a few hours of sleep (or not!).
  19. Write.

Ready to register? Grab your party shoes & click here!