This is the continuation of our agency theme on the podcast…

I interview another luminous Writerly Love community member, Wendy Atwell, who is earlier in the process than our previous member guest who secured agents, Lacey Yong, and Jessica Waite.

Wendy is writing and revising her memoir and I think it’s the perfect time to check in with her because she has made some great choices for her work that took a lot of intention and self-trust, i.e. agency.

She is also someone who takes in a lot of information about writing from great teachers and books and then—with lots of agency—discerns what will serve her story, including finding an unconventional structure for her work. Her memoir is titled, A Guera’s Guide to Ranch Life: Lessons My Father Didn’t Teach Me.

Links and Resources from this Episode:

  • Wendy mentions books that inspired her as she started her memoir, including Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje and California Calling: A Self-Interrogation by Natalie Singer, and Evidence of V: A Novel in Fragments, Facts, and Fictions by Sheila O’Connor
  • Wendy is taking a course with Alexander Chee about how he selected the stories for Best American Essays, 2022 and taking a course with Sabrina Orah Mark, where she learned about the book Osnabrück Station to Jerusalem by Hélène Cixous
  • Wendy also mentioned authors Annie Ernaux and Kate Zambreno and her novel, Drifts.
  • She discovered her memoir was a fractal through the book Meader, Spiral, and Explode by Jane Alison
  • Wendy mentioned the 8-track tape
  • She said that Body Work  by Melissa Febos is the book that most helped her find her form

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Episode Transcript


  1. Wendy Atwell
  2. Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson:  00:01

Welcome luminous writers to the Write, Publish and Shine podcast. I am your host, author, and literary magazine editor Rachel Thompson. This podcast explores how to write and share your brilliant writing with the world. In each episode, we delve into specifics on how to polish and prepare your writing for publication, and the journey from emerging writer to published author.


Hello there, writers. This is the continuation of our agency theme on the podcast after an impromptu break in episodes last week. I had to take some of my own agency and say,


“I can’t do it this week.”


This was not without having some hard feelings about being inconsistent and letting you, dear listeners, down. I don’t know if you relate to that kind of perfectionism and guilt, though I suspect you do, based on the responses I got to my latest newsletter, title Nope, in which I shared five things we can say no to ask writers and also shared how imperfect I am recovering from perfectionism. What a surprise.


So, I gave myself permission to be late here. I’m happy you still found your way to this episode. By the way, I’m winding up for the season with these episodes now too. There will be one more episode on agency, with another former literary agent, coming up next week. Then our book club conversation where we discuss Craft and Conscience by Kavita Das. So, you can grab a copy of that book and read along with us. You can find a link to pick it up in the show notes. Then you can tune into this channel in June for another craft-reading conversation. This is a great collection of essays and I’m excited to talk more about it. That’s Craft and Conscience by Kavita Das.


A lot of writers liked that Nope permission slip to do things in their own time and way and I heard from many who were relieved. You can subscribe to my newsletter, called Writerly Love Letters, at


This episode interview is with another luminous Writerly Love community member, Wendy Atwell, who is earlier in the process than our previous member guest who secured agents, Lacey Yong, and Jessica Waite.


This is more common in people in our community, in fact that they are working and maybe in the midst of writing their memoir, or they’re starting to put things together to work into a memoir. Wendy is writing and revising her memoir. I think it’s the perfect time to check in with her because she has made some great choices for her work that took a lot of intention and self-trust, i.e., agency.


She is also someone who takes in a lot of information about writing from great teachers and books and then—with lots of agency—discerns what will serve her story, including finding an unconventional structure for her work. Her memoir is titled*, A Guera’s Guide to Ranch Life: Lessons My Father Didn’t Teach Me.*


Here’s my conversation with Wendy Attwell…


So, I want to welcome you to the Write, Publish and Shine podcast, Wendy Attwell, and just thank you so much for sharing your writing journey with us.

Wendy Atwell:  03:14

Rachel, thank you so much for having me. I’m so honored to be here.

Rachel Thompson:  03:18

I’m excited that you’re here too, because you’ve been such a wonderful community member. It’s just such a joy for me to have seen firsthand how your memoir evolved since you joined. I don’t even think I could probably describe what it was like previously, but I just have seen it change into what it is now. I’m really excited about the current project. You just done such brilliant work. So, I know your project very well. But can you tell our listeners about your memoir, its themes, and central questions?

Wendy Atwell:  03:49

Yeah, absolutely. My great-great grandfather was one of Texas’s first Jewish cattle ranchers, and his wife, Sarah raised 11 children. When my father died, before that, he also sold the ranch. I was really troubled by that. I wanted to go back and try to understand what happens because we were raised to never sell the land that was sort of the rule that we were always supposed to follow. So, after he sold the land, and then after he had a traumatic death. I wanted to take a look. This book is what I think of as a scavenger hunt across the centuries, and I’m trying to learn about the magic of the land because it is a magical place Deep South Texas is seemingly a barren geography. But in truth, there’s so much history and a lot of secrets to the flowers and the fauna. Also, I think America is in a really polarized place right now, and my book is a rare and playful take on the dichotomies such as Christian, Jewish, Blonde, Brunette, [sysco 04:59] sobered, drunk, in City Country.

Rachel Thompson:  05:01

I love everything you said about it being the scavenger hunt too. You’ve described it in such a way that is super appealing. Also, it maybe hints a bit to the structure as well too, the fact that it’s going those dichotomies and piecing different parts together. I’ve invited you here, specifically, to talk about the structure of your manuscript, because it’s not a traditional story arc. I think for me, too, that was like, a beautiful Aha moment that I got to experience with you. You realize, oh, this isn’t a traditional story arc. So, I want to, if you will, please tell everyone about what happened when you realized it wasn’t going to follow the arc and what it meant for this history that you’re writing about your ancestors in the scavenger hunt you’re taking?

Wendy Atwell:  05:50

Well, it’s just been an interesting process. Because all along, I wanted to tell a feminist history of the land. Originally, I wanted to just talk about the land. Then I realized I needed to add people into it, because it’s too boring if you don’t have a narrative. So, I had all this information. I’m an art historian by trade. So, I work from image. I had so many different details of the land, like learning about the plants, and learning about the history of the indigenous people that lived there before us, I was really interested in thinking about land in a timeless sense.


As I was developing those thoughts, learning more about craft and thinking of it in terms of a memoir, I was researching different memoirs along the way, and reading and reading and reading and not really realizing what I would find and how it would, then inspire me to come up with my own theme.


I read Michael Ondaatje book, Running in the Family, which is a generational memoir, and he travels back to where he’s from, and learns about his grandparents and his parents. I really enjoyed seeing how it was a memoir, but it was told through time and the history of his family.


The other book that I loved is California Calling by Natalie Singer, which is an interrogatory form, it seems like it’s almost like a law-based interrogation. She is responding to the questions, and it really is based on an incident that happened in court with her when she was young.


The third book was Sheila O’Connor’s, Evidence of V, and she combined speculative elements of her subjects with her, like lyric flash with her research. So, I was really inspired by the idea of, if you don’t know the answers to some things that you are allowed to be speculative, as long as you announce that to the reader, you use your imagination to fill in the blanks. A lot of what I’m doing is writing from photography, I have this incredible old scrapbook from the wild family with great old pictures, and not a lot of answers or captions to go with the pictures. So, it’s me imagining what it was like to give birth to 11 children and survive that in the late 1800’s, in Corpus Christi, in between hurricanes, and what it was like for my great-great uncle Jonas to have to open 52 gates to travel to South Texas to the ranch from Corpus and get there and start this cattle empire that they did.

Rachel Thompson:  08:35

I wanted to maybe pull back into the interrogative form again, because I think that’s to me, a really exciting voice that emerged in your writing process. Also, I kind of zoom out. I just love that we’re talking about the book as it’s evolving and being able to really unpack the process of really just writing a book, versus


“Oh, this is a done and dusted.”


Because you’re in the final stretch, I would say, in terms of completing and starting to send it out, but you’re still working on it. I just love the interrogative pieces. The [sysco 09:07] Guera voice is what you named it. Can you talk a bit about how that voice came about and where it came from?

Wendy Atwell:  09:13

It’s so funny. It’s just happened. The Guera voice just appeared. The beautiful thing about reading is that it sorts of like you’ve internalized all these ideas and information, and I don’t even think that the wear Guera voice have been after Natalie Singer. I feel like it might have even happened before. But the Guera voices are really playful, just able to hold all the dichotomies that I mentioned.


The Guera voice is really named after when my mom first went to the ranch. My father took her there, and he was still courting her. The Cowboys there, which we call the Caddos spoke Spanish and they looked at my mom and just cracked up because she’s such a petite woman, and she has this sort of very beautiful, put together look all the time. Her name is Penny. So, they called her [sysco 10:10] senta vera, that’s just always been in the back of my mind the idea of [sysco 10:15] Veda, sometimes you hear Veda, in the sense of blondes, maybe like cat calling on the street. But this is not that. This is more like a term of endearment that cowboys use for my mom. It has always been just part of our family hearing that word. So, the Guera voice came out, and the Guera voice just holds, like, what it’s like to approach this land from the city, but you’re there you to learn how to ride the horses, and you can gallop across the land. So, what happens was, I think that in the process of questioning, Veda is the sort of there to magically answer questions that are hard to answer.

Rachel Thompson:  10:56

I’ll just make a note too that it challenges the narrator who I would think of as you although of course, it’s both of you and I just love actually coming off of in our Writerly Love community having read that book Voice First and about how they’re all these different voices. You were doing that already really deliberately. So, I think that’s really neat. The voice that’s narrating and then the voice that’s questioning the narrator is just cool conceit. Bravo, on that.

Wendy Atwell:  11:24

Thank you for that I think it’s been really fun to work with too. Since I did lose my Dad, I miss him. I feel like the back and forth that I have this sort of rapport that I also have with him, he had a really funny sense of humor. My sister inherited that sense of humor. So, I still feel like it’s with me in some sense. But the Veda back and forth like the questioning, me questioning myself as the Veda is really, I’m always picturing my dad in the background, teasing me like what are you doing writing this book and just calling me out when I’m getting too serious, or too melancholy, or it’s just a reverent, funny, back and forth. That reminds me of the conversations I used to have with my dad.

Rachel Thompson:  12:12

So, you mentioned several books already. I feel like every time we talk to you, you’re like,


“Oh, I’ve just learned this from this book, or I’ve taken this course from this teacher.”


I think you strike me as someone in our conversations, who can take in a lot of different information from brilliant sources, but also has a real knowing about your own writing. Can you tell us what you gleaned about structure along the way from your learnings?

Wendy Atwell:  12:39

Right now, I’m taking a class with Alexander Chee. What he learned from editing the Best Essays in America from 2022. That’s been a really fun process. Because what he does is, he kind of prompts us as readers to consider our reading habits, and what we’ve been reading, and really what we’re drawn to. I enjoy that so much. So, when I was reading this anthology, it was easy for me to pick out the essays that I loved. I think that learning from him about that is sort of realizing to be true to what you’re really drawn to, and to really look technically at the craft of that and why it is that you’re drawn to it.


One of the examples would be Sabrina Orah Mark, who I also have done workshops with, and I’m so drawn to how she’s able to take these archetypal elements of the fairy tale. Then we were meant to daily life in a way that seems magical. As I’ve had the workshop with Sabrina, I’ve encountered other writers who I’ve really loved and learned about them through other writers in the workshop, and one of the writers told me about Hélène Cixous, Osnabrück Station, which is an incredible book, it’s about weaving in what might have happened, if the Holocaust victims were able to return back to the city that they had to leave, or they were extradited from.


There’s so much information out there. Annie Ernaux is another writer who I was inspired by because of how she writes from daily life. Kate Zambreno’s, Drifts is such a good book because she works with art. Then she weaves it into her thoughts about the art that she’s looking at into her daily life. So, I think the balance is really just letting all of this simmer in my brain, and then seeing how it settles into something that makes sense in my own prose and poetry. It’s a time process. It really does remind me of planting. It’s like planting seeds and then just seeing what comes up and what I want to harvest from that. I’m really enjoying this stage because I printed out my manuscript for the third time, and this time around is really easy for me to see what it is that’s not working and how I want to either just prune it, or just reframe it in a way that is making more sense to me for the overall narrative.


I’m going back to Meader, Spiral, and Explode and looking at the fractal chapter, because I’m so interested in this section. Let’s see, it says,


“Self-replication, but with difference, from bear incidence, to melodrama, to tiny tragedy to psychological story of inner struggle.”


That really resonates with me, because as you know, in my book, I have different themes that are replicated throughout like the Cornucopia theme. So, as I’m writing, it becomes a deepening or sort of a deeper awareness, I started out with my character being the girl with a faraway eyes, which is a Rolling Stone song, and she is looking, but she doesn’t realize what she’s not seeing. Then, throughout the book, she becomes more and more able to see. She’s seeing back into the past, and she’s seeing elements of her parents’ relationship, and her father’s pain that she wasn’t able to understand when she was younger, because that comes with age and wisdom.

Rachel Thompson:  16:18

I just love that you brought up Meader, Spiral, and Explode. I’m trying to remember the author of that book.

Wendy Atwell:  16:25

Oh, it’s Jane Alison.

Rachel Thompson:  16:27

Thank you. I was going to say, Alison something. So, Jane Alison wrote that. Well, also a book that we read in our book club very early on, and it became kind of the permission slip, I think that many of us felt like we didn’t realize we needed maybe to go okay, no, I’m not reading a traditional story arc, there isn’t going to be a climax per se. Can you talk a bit about the structure of fractal in terms of how it felt like a good fit for your work?

Wendy Atwell:  16:54

Absolutely. Yesterday, I was looking back at the different fairy tales. What happened was, I realized that my book is a quest. My book is a quest in the sense that I am looking for the lessons my father didn’t teach me. But my quest is not a hero’s journey quest because I am writing a distinctly more feminist version. So, I came across the idea of the never-ending fairy tale, which is something that says things can’t be resolved. Like, there’s always more to be discovered. I really liked a fractal element because it’s replicating, and it’s deepening in that sense.

Rachel Thompson:  17:33

I think that’s sort of the deep sigh that I have when I think okay, no, we don’t have to follow this traditional form. Because life isn’t like that. It’s too neat and tidy to tie things up and make them all fit into this same shape. You already mentioned the Cornucopia, repeating images that kind of appear in different places in different ways and become smaller, or different sized. Anyway, fractals, I guess, but mirrors, maybe of the other pieces in the entire narrative. I think there’s something both really gratifying about reading work like that, too, because you get to see these patterns and finding patterns is always very exciting in writing. I feel like, it’s what readers are always looking for the patterns and writers are looking for the patterns to write about. But then also, it feels gratifying because it just feels more honest to the fact that okay, I can’t answer all these questions about this family history, or it’s more complicated. You mentioned, the indigenous peoples who were there to and the struggles that your ancestors would have had as well, too. It’s like, there’s all these different people and aspects and parts of the mosaic of this story that are not really resolvable, necessarily, but they’re definitely interesting to quest on. So, a little bit, you’re calling it a quest as well, too. That feels really true, too. Because a quest is like, intentional, even though you’re talking about not being a hero in the traditional kind of male, I guess arc again, too of the hero’s journey. It’s like, no, this is like a more of a feminist take. But a quest is something that, we set out on deliberately. So, I just love that. There’s feels like there’s agency, in that as well, too. That’s part of what we’re here to talk about today, too.

Wendy Atwell:  19:28

When we were young, and we used to go on [sysco 19:33] welters, which are just like drives across the land. My parents had their different little library of 8-track cassettes that they would play and it would be Pink Floyd or Willie Nelson or Fleetwood Mac. And one of the Willie Nelson songs was its not supposed to be that way, which is a love song. But that is sort of a theme that I’ve taken in looking at how I was raised there on the weekends. It’s not supposed to be that way. I always felt like there was something missing from the story whether it was like what was going on in the dynamics between my parents or how it was that my father became a dentist instead of a rancher. Then going forward using that song lyric as a theme or how things ended up like it wasn’t supposed to be that my parents would get divorced, or that my dad would end up selling the ranch. I use sort of the format of an 8-track cassette, which is that endless loop that goes on and on. And I just remember going down the ranch roads at the really slow speeds, hearing 8-track loop back and forth with all the great Willie Nelson songs, and just considering like, what it is. So, my job as the scavenger hunt is to fill in the missing pieces, the lessons that my father either didn’t teach me because he didn’t know or didn’t understand himself, because he wasn’t taught.

Rachel Thompson:  20:56

The great form, I never even thought of the 8-track for the non-definitive climax, rising action. Here’s the end [sysco 21:04] the day new memoire. It’s like no, no, this just keeps repeating and rotating around. So, that’s brilliant.


As I’ve mentioned, this episode is about agency and as you know, Wendy as well. You’ve already talked a bit about how you balance learning and outside feedback with your own inner knowing. Can you say more about that, too, like how you followed, your own lights and the sense of your story? Throughout this, as you’re still someone who’s, you know, pulling in all these great resources, taking a course of Alexander Chee, it’s just amazing, to being able to learn from these great writers as well.

Wendy Atwell:  21:40

I think that agency is so easy when you hit upon what it is that you love, and what you’re passionate about. Agency, it’s just about following that trail. Also, in my book, there’s this idea of the Bradshaw, which is this little pathway off into the pasture that the animals make, whether it’s cattle or even ants, which is a Tejano word for the paths that you see sort of wandering in through the grass. I would like to think that agency would be having the guts to actually follow that. When we were young, we couldn’t, because there were so many rattlesnakes, and we’d have to put on our snake guards. I write about now, finally reaching the age where I had my snake proof boots, and we could go wherever we want, we just have to watch our step.


So, agency is really that. It’s about being able to follow the path that you’re interested in, but also watching your step along the way.

Rachel Thompson:  22:33

Oh, that’s such a great metaphor. Watch out for those rattlesnakes. Wear your sneakers. Since we’re in this kind of advice, voice right now, speaking of all the voices as well, too. What would you say to writers struggling to know the form of their own work right now? What were things that helped you in sort of getting to know your form?

Wendy Atwell:  22:54

What’s helped me the most is one of the books that we read together Body Work by Melissa Febos, and that she quotes real key and she says,


“The work of the eyes is done. Go now and do the hard work on the images and presence within you.”


So, I thought that was just such a really helpful quote, Melissa Febos is definitely a huge inspiration for me. I would say that it’s all about trusting the images that come to you that you’re writing the story that you’re meant to write because you have to trust that your memories and the thoughts are the things that are pulling you, are the things that you’re meant to investigate and look into.

Rachel Thompson:  23:36

Trust is so essential. That’s a word that seems to keep coming up with agency too, it’s like self-trust. Tell us more about what agency means to you, Wendy?

Wendy Atwell:  23:46

Agency is just trusting what feels right, and then also Rachel, one of the things that you really helped me with in the process of being my book coach is, agency means choosing to surround yourself with, what happened with me, was I chose to surround myself with what was going to feed my craft, and really making those choices on a daily basis, minute by minute, hour by hour, and having goals set for myself and also choosing positive like really trusting that it’s a process and it just takes time.

Rachel Thompson:  24:28

I’m going to ask you to bring some reading for us today. So, we get a sense of one of the fractals in your piece, and how they might play with other pieces and become part of this big picture that is in itself a fractal of itself or the big version of the fractal whatever that might be. So, when we please read from: A Guera’s Guide to Ranch Life: Lessons My Father Didn’t Teach Me. Listeners, please enjoy this reading.

Wendy Atwell:  24:54

I’m going to read from a section early on in my book and I mentioned [sysco 24:59] Polly which is the name of my family ranch. Lesson: Make Your Own Map.


“My father kept the bundle of old [sysco 25:07] Polly papers just like he had received them from his father, wrapped in a scrap of brown suede that had darkened over time. I untied the leather strap that held it together, thinking of the roughened tan hands that had done so before belonging to my grandfather, father, great-great uncle, and great-great grandfather. Inside the 19th century, Spanish land grants and maps are folded and stacked, dry, crisp, and delicate, like they might break or tear if I tried to unfold them. Perhaps this very package was handed over to my great-great grandfather Charles on the day he purchased the land in 1899, and now this important old bundle of ranch business has fallen into my hands. I can’t imagine this is what Charles wished. He had, after all partitioned the ranch into equal portions between his sons while his daughters as their descendants like to point out to me, got money, stock and jewelry sounds good, but was an unfair trade. Charles’s first son Jonas inherited the cattle business, but he had had three daughters. So, the job got passed down to my grandfather instead. Now this raffle bundle lies in the hands of a woman. What alchemy? What trickery? What does an inheritance mean? When it jumps to the track? Would I be holding this bundle if I had brothers. Would my father have sold the ranch if he had had sons? I unfold the maps, looking at the scrolls of cursive rolling across the land, letters like graceful hills and valleys on what is in truth, dry flat, sandy land. The word palimpsest originates from the early days of writing when parchment was recycled, and old writing was erased and replaced with new writing. Palimpsests are the traces of past scripts, and markings left behind. On today’s maps, the echoes of Spanish and Tejano names remain. When I was old enough to realize the way patriarchal naming worked. I mourn for the loss of my family’s name. I didn’t know yet how many other wilds there were, or even that another Windy well existed a distant cousin, because my father only had daughters, why would disappear with us? It almost felt like it was our fault. Because we had been born girls. It had not yet occurred to me that I might choose to keep my last name, or give it to one of my daughters, which I’ve since done. Why did I not feel the same stab of loss from my mother’s maiden name? As women, we marry and take our husbands names, and our given names become maiden names, palimpsests. I felt sad for a while like it was an animal going extinct. My sister and me the last of the whiles, the end of an era. My husband and I have three daughters. I keep the papers in an archival box, store for them to open one day to make their own discoveries. So, they will be able to track the while name and the Polly, the faded script, palimpsest written into their past.”

Rachel Thompson:  28:04

I have one more question and then our rapid fire, not so rapid fire, maybe slow, rapid-fire questions. So, the final question is, when have you felt the most agency in your life or your writing life?

Wendy Atwell:  28:17

When have I felt the most agency in my writing life is when I find a writer that I’m super inspired by, and when I wake up, and I have a really great dream, and I’m able to just go straight into a writing day and maybe just be in that liminal space that happens between sleeping and waking and being able to just stay with that flow.

Rachel Thompson:  28:39

Yes, I love that space myself. When have you found the least agency when it comes to your life and writing life?

Wendy Atwell:  28:47

The least agency is when I submit a piece for critique, and it’s not something I should have done yet. When it’s too raw, and I know better than to take advice that’s not necessarily, getting my work. There’s nothing better than having great critiques. I’m open to that. I’ve always loved getting my work edited. But I’ve also learned that it’s important to hold things back until they’re really ready to share.

Rachel Thompson:  28:47

Thank you for sharing that because I think even those of us who know that need to hear it every once in a while, as well, too. Herren are my rapid fire, slow fire questions. The first is.


Being a writer is…

Wendy Atwell:  29:31

Being the observer and investigator in the room.

Rachel Thompson:  29:34

Rejection for a writer means…

Wendy Atwell:  29:37

Not being seen or understood.

Rachel Thompson:  29:40

Writing Community is…

Wendy Atwell:  29:42

When you find the right people, it is the real magic. I feel so lucky to find writers who share their writing and what they’re reading with me and that we are able to talk about the craft together that raises the bar and just feel so inspiring.

Rachel Thompson:  29:56

Thank you for being part of my writing community, in all senses, not just because your part of the formal writing community, but because I feel community and kinship with you. I just really appreciate everything that you bring to our community and the magic that you are definitely a part of. So, thank you so much, Wendy.


Thank you so much, Rachel. It was so fun to talk to you today.


So, that was Wendy Atwell. I hope you enjoyed her reading as much as I did and the idea that you can make your own map—both in the context of her memoir and also as writers.


I hope you take from our chat another permission slip if you need it. I’m giving those out in truckloads these days! If you need encouragement to find the structure that works for your writing and find the path that makes the most sense to you, please take the slip and be off on your writing journey. It’s all about what you want to create and how you want to create your luminous work, and how you want to feel as you write. (I hope great and not beleaguered by expectations—there are enough of those in our lives already.)


This episode is brought to you by self-care and rest. I am not currently offering any courses right now for registration. Lit Mag Love course is on its way with some amazing writers. The Whole Book course is going to start next month and I’ve already accepted all the applicants that are going to take into that course and I’m excited to work on books with these writers. There will be a reading in our community on May 28, Sunday. So, if you’re listening to this episode, and you want to come and hear some emerging writers reading from their work in process, you can do that. The best way to find out about it is to sign up for my letters at


The Write, Publish, and Shine podcast is brought to you by me, Rachel Thompson and sound editing is done by Adam Linder of Bespoken Podcasting. All of our episodes have transcripts, and in the past months of episodes, these have been transcribed diligently by Diya Jaffery. Thanks, Diya.


You can learn more about the work I do to help writers, Write, Publish, and Shine at When you’re there, sign up for my Writerly Love letters, sent every week and filled with support for your writing practice.⁠


If this episode encouraged, you to find fractals in your writing or look at other forms. Exciting opportunities to try something different with your writings in terms of its shape, you can email me at


I love to hear all about what you’re gleaning from the podcast. I would love it too if you tell other luminous writers about this episode. You can do this by sending them to the podcast at or telling them to search for Write, Publish, and Shine wherever they get their podcasts.


Thank you for listening—I encourage you to make your own map for your writing project and writing life.


Wendy Atwell spoke to me from San Antonio, Texas on Jumanos, Coahuiltecan, [sysco 32:48] Ndé Kónitsąąíí Gokíyaa, which is the Lipan Apache and Tonkawa land.


And I am a guest in the South Sinai, Egypt, on lands historically and presently occupied by the el Muzzina Bedouin.

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