“Women’s Writers Retreat & Workshop” in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, August 7th – 15th

Are you a writer that wants to become a published author?

Do you want to know the ups and downs of using a publisher vs. self-publishing?

Do you need help in finishing your manuscript?

Do you lack the confidence to get your work published?

Well, look no further. I’ll be teaching a writer’s workshop in Italy this August and want to personally invite you to sign up and attend. I’ll be answering all these questions and much more during the week you spend with me in beautiful Emilia Romagna, Italy.

It’s a writer’s workshop and retreat, and as a writer you know just how important it is to write in a space that gets your creative juices flowing and this is just that place. Join fellow writers and me this August for a week of writing, relaxation and one of having all your questions answered as to how to get from writer to published author.

Join me in Italy this August and let’s get you from “writer to published author!”

Space is limited so sign up today!

All the information you need is in the link below. 

Ciao!

~Anne Dennish~

Summer Writers Workshop in Italy

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“On Meeting Elizabeth Gilbert”

I’ve always loved the author, Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve read most of what she’s written yet I have to say that her one book, which turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts, was my favorite, and that was the infamou “Eat, Pray, Love.” It’s a true story of her life at that point in her journey and one that I learned many life lessons from.

Another book she wrote, “Big Magic” is my second favorite because, as a writer, I understand all that she speaks of and writes about.

So when the opportunity came up a few weeks ago to see her speak in person, I jumped at the chance.

As a writer, I’ve always wanted to meet her and share my own books with her, but basie 4opportunities to do that are far and few in between. I’ve held onto the thought, actually, “the dream” of meeting her one day, and I’ve held that dream for many, many years.

As a spiritual person I knew that if my meeting her was meant to happen, it would, and it would happen as it should, how it should and when it would. So it was no surprise that in February a post from Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey appeared on my Facebook newsfeed: Elizabeth Gilbert would be speaking there. I knew I needed to get tickets and if that wasn’t enough, the event was being held  on my birthday! It was at moment that I knew the Universe had set this dream of mine up to become a reality…my patience and continued belief that I would meet her someday was paying off.

I proceeded directly to “purchase tickets” and much to my surprise and excitement found that I could buy tickets which also allowed a “meet and greet” with Liz. My head was spinning and my heart skipping beats as I realized that this dream of mine was coming true…that I would finally get to meet one of my “hero’s” of literature. I purchased the tickets and sat with the biggest grin on my face for the rest of the night…actually for everyday that was one day closer to that night.

As the time was quickly approaching I was beginning to get a bit nervous, after all, basiemeeting a “hero” can either be wonderful or a shot in the arm. What we perceive people to be through their books and social media does not always ring true when you meet them. I hoped upon hope that she would be everything I had imagined…

And she was…and she was more than I had imagined.

My love and I were about fifth in line to meet her. I knew she wasn’t signing any of her books that night, but had hoped she would accept my two books as my birthday gift to her!

Her staff took my coat and pocketbook, as well as my cell phone so that they could take pictures.  My heart was racing as I walked toward her. It was such a surreal moment of seeing her and walking towards this woman whose books had changed my life. As I approached her,  she smiled, said “hello,” and embraced me in a hug, one filled with all the love and light she is…and with an incredible amount of energy!

liz gilbertShe spent about five minutes speaking with me and graciously accepted my books. I told her that it was my birthday, to which she wished me a wonderful one, and that I had just reached my four year breast cancer survivor date. I offered my condolences over the loss of her wife, Rayya, and told her how much she meant to me. She took the time to pose for several pictures with me and I was on my way.

I was in heaven…on Cloud Nine, if you will. And so was every other person that had the chance to meet her that night.

It was time for her to speak so we took our seats in the fourth row. I snapped picturebasie 2 after picture and hung onto every profound word she spoke. Meeting her was a dream come true, yet I had one more opportunity to speak “one on one” from the audience with Liz. She had time for a few questions and I was right up in line in front of a microphone asking her mine. I felt as though it was a private conversation between the two of us, even though there was an entired audience sharing in it!

It was truly the most perfect birthday I’ve ever had, and that energy, that feeling of my dream coming into a reality lasted well past that night…once again an experience with Elizabeth Gilbert changed me a bit, put a few things in a different perspective, and made me want to be as good a writer as she is and be able to touch a life and the world in the laid back, easy going, and honest way that she does.

So if you were to ask me what she was like I would tell you this: She was beautiful, humble, kind, compassionate, honest, down to earth, sweet, warm, loving and an amazing human being to be in the presence of.

Thank you, Elizabeth Gilbert, for being all that I had hoped and more; for putting the real you out there for the world to see, not some facade of what the world wants you to be; and for embracing me, speaking with me, and accepting my two books that I’ve written, and two books which carry a lot of lessons I’ve learned from you.

It was my honor, my privilege, and my dream turned into a reality to meet you.

And that is my experience on meeting Elizabeth Gilbert.

It was one I will never forget.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“Podcast 1 – Getting To Know Me”

“Keeping It Positive”

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I realized something yesterday morning: that for the past few weeks all I’ve been saying is negative things, which is unlikely for me. Yet, I’m as human as anyone else and sometimes we forget to pay close attention to our thoughts and words.

Yesterday I sat in front of my laptop wondering what to write. I found myself saying “I hate having writers block; why does my foot still hurt; why is everything taking so long to happen?”

Then I realized that I was putting all that negative stuff out there all on my own. At that moment I changed my thinking and choice of words and turned it into: “I’m writing everyday; my foot is healing day by day; and things are happening just as they should”

You see, sometimes we lose sight of our thoughts and words. We forget to keep them all positive, yet when you notice what it is your saying and thinking you can change it. You can change it to positive thoughts and words.

I remind myself today that “everything happens as it should, when it should and how it should.”

And I remind myself that I do the best I can everyday.

More importantly, I remind myself that negative thoughts and words are to replaced with “I can, I will, I am.”

Go easy on yourself and remember that you are in control of your thoughts, your words and your actions.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“There’s Strength In The Tears”

I’ve had many people tell me how strong I am and I always wondered why they thought that. After all, I had bad days, sad days, and days of crying for no reason and every reason. Was this being strong? I didn’t think so until a few years ago when I changed my perspective on tears and what they meant.

Tears are our soul’s way of releasing the pain, the pleasure and the emotion built up within us. Tears cleanse our soul of those feelings so that we can again move on with our life. Tears are simply a moment in time that was necessary for our Highest Good.strength and tears

My cousin is a strong woman, the one I call “the gypsy.” I’ve seen her cry and heard her ask me how people could think she was so strong? Well, a few years ago I would have given her a different answer, but on that day I told her she was strong, especially since she knew that there were moments when she knew she had to cry, and she was strong enough to allow herself to cry.

I believe that your strength is in knowing yourself well enough to know that you have to shed a tear or two, or a thousand. Your strength is allowing yourself the time it takes to release your emotions and knowing that you need to do this for yourself.

And your strength is picking yourself up, wiping the tears from your face, and moving forward. Your strength is knowing that you’ve released all that you needed to for that moment and knew it was time to smile again.

That is strength.

Strength is knowing who you are, accepting who you are, and willing to be who you are despite the opinions of anyone else.

Strength is knowing when you need a day to cry, to feel emotions, to miss someone, to want someone, to lose someone. Your strength is within you and the tears you release are merely the soul’s way of helping you through your pain and sadness.

Cry if you need to and cry if you want to… after all, “it won’t be like this forever, just for today!”

And after you’re done, smile, smile, smile!

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“On The Outside Looking In”

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There are times in my life when I feel like I’m on the outside looking in and I know in my heart that it’s okay to feel that way, because:

“Sometimes you need to step outside of your life in order to see what’s inside of it”.

Do you ever find yourself getting lost in the midst of your day to day routine? Getting lost among your loved ones, finding yourself wondering who you are anymore? Are you a mom, a wife, a “life partner?” And where are “you?” Where did you go?

It’s not a conscious decision to be on the outside. It just happens. One day you wake up and don’t feel like yourself; you feel like you’re “on the outside looking in.” At least for me that’s how it happens. And there’s no time frame for it; you feel that way for as long as it takes to see and learn what you need to, and it could be a day or two, or longer.

Sometimes amidst the routine of loving and caring for my nearest and dearest I suddenly find myself wondering where I went to…where am I in all this. It seems like everything is about everybody else, but not me.

I feel like no one notices me unless they need something, and tempers are shortened when I’m not doing what I should be…for them. I spoiled them by doing it all, and I love doing it all, but I also love being loved and cared for by THEM. I want them to spoil me just a bit, I want them to notice my feelings, I want them to reassure me of their love and commitment to me as much as I do to them. I don’t want to be taken for granted.

Yet on the other hand, I believe that being on the “outside” is most often times the only way we can observe our life; it’s the one way we can be objective by looking in from the outside at each person and each situation; it’s the best way we can see what is or isn’t and learn from it.

It’s the best way to see ourselves objectively.

And that’s when the lessons are learned.

We observe the behavior of others towards us; we see how they’re treating us and how we’re reacting to it. We see what the truth of our relationships are and what they aren’t. We see our strengths and our weaknesses, and we can see whether or not we’re speaking our truth.

Often times we find ourselves on the outside when we’re holding too much inside; we’re not speaking our truth for fear of the outcome. It’s that fear thing holding us back and keeping us on the outside.

I’m looking from the outside at all the excitement everyone around me is having; new adventures, exciting opportunities, and movement, yet I’m not a part of it. I’m here, in a life of laundry and cooking, responsibility and reality.

I’m looking at this girl I once knew who had one adventure after another, more excitement than she knew what to do, and an appetite for life and all it had to offer. Life slowed down on her, and she stepped back and she stepped into solitude; the woman who’s life revolves around every one else’s became invisible to those she loved most.

Yet, it was her fault. She allowed it, she contributed to it, and by not speaking her truth, those around her never knew how she was feeling. She had hoped that they would; but they didn’t. And I guess in the end,  it doesn’t matter, because that’s what being on the outside is about, and she knows that it’s up to her to get back to the inside.

So, here I sit on the outside, observing, making decisions, and making big changes. I want those adventures again; I want to feel the excitement of my passion again; I want to be me again.

And so I will. I believe that everything happens for a reason, even being on the outside, and once I  get back to the inside I feel that my life will be even better than it is now.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

outside looking in

“Taking The Next Step”

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I can’t stay stagnant, I need to move forward, otherwise I begin to feel restless…and bored. I’m not saying that I’m always on the move, I just mean that when I feel comfortable in one of the many steps I’ve reached along my lifes’ journey, I know that it’s time to “take the next step.”

For instance, my writing. It took me two years to write my last book, “Waking Up,” and it was published last year. I took the time I needed during that “step” to promote and market my book, write song lyricss, produce a CD of songs, perform and speak in public, be interviewed, photographed and the list goes on. Now that I’ve accomplished the comfort of that step, I need to move onto the next: writing another book. And I’m working on two as I write this.

Jobs are the same…I know of people who absolutely love their job, mastering all the skills they needed to feel confident and comfortable, then one day they realize it’s getting boring and they want to move forward and move up in the company…they are ready for the “next step.”

Relationships are no exception. They are an endless amount of steps from beginning to date, to falling in love, to committing yourselves to each other, to living together to… well, that would be another “next step,” and that’s a tough one if you aren’t both on the same step (or page) at the same time.

Now to the heart of the matter: why do some people never take the next step? Why do they sit in the “comfort zone?” My answer would be this: fear. They’re afraid to do something uncomfortable or “out of the box.” They’re afraid of the “next step” not working out or changing their life in a way they may not want. They’re simply afraid to have faith in themselves to take that leap of faith onto “the next step.

Or they simply are content with a less than exciting chance at their life changing by taking the next step. These are the ones that I say “take things for granted.”

I’m not one of those people. I love my love and am very content with it, yet I know that it’s only a matter of time before that contentment turns to discontent and boredom, and I try never to let that happen.

If you’re not moving forward in your life then you’re standing still…on that “same step.”

I’m ready to climb the whole staircase, one step at a time, but I’m not willing to sit on the next step 2 and next levelsame one for the rest of my life. I want to reach for more, do more, and experience more in this lifetime of mine. I want to stay on the staircase of life, but I want to climb the steps when the time is right…and for me, the time is now.

 

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

“The Will And The Way”

There are days you may feel like you can’t do it anymore; a day when you feel as though no matter what you do, you can’t seem to get where you want to be or have what you want to have. Yet, it’s on those days that I have to remind myself that “if there’s a will, there is always a way!”

Obstacles will always pop up in our lives, yet there is always a way around them. On the days you feel as though you don’t have the strength,  simply relax, take a breath, and get some sleep, and know that it won’t be like that forever…just for the day.

Here’s to a day of “having the will and finding the way!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

will and wayPhoto by Anne Dennish – copyright @2017

“Someday”

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It took having breast cancer to realize just how precious and precarious life really is. I thought I valued every day of my life until I was diagnosed with something that stopped me in my tracks…cancer.  Suddenly, I valued every single minute of every single day. I began to realize just how lucky I was and things I took for granted were now becoming blessings to me.

When you’re going through chemo you have to be careful of chemical cleaners, people who are sick, including your own children, your pets, what you’re breathing, what you’re eating, what kinds of cancer causing chemicals are in your make-up, your shampoo, and the list goes on. I never thought I would miss the mundane things like spring cleaning, but I did. And one of the biggest things I missed was not being able to walk barefoot on the sand or put my toes in the water because if I got a cut it could be serious.

So you can see why I appreciate everything about my life, the good and the bad; it’s because I’ve learned that nothing should ever be taken for granted and that I’m blessed to have this life.

Cancer taught me those things, yet in the last year or two, and in the last several months, it’s all changed again. My family and I have been affected by the loss of loved ones and the diagnosis’ of life changing illnesses. It’s’ been quite a couple of months, yet we’re all here, together, weathering the good days and the bad ones together.

I never thought I could appreciate life or the lives of my loved ones more than I already did, but I’m here to tell you that I do. My life and theirs have become incredibly precious to me and I know first-hand that we never know about tomorrow…we only know about today.

There is no waiting for “someday,” because that’s never promised and I’ve realized that more than ever. I dislike when anyone says “I’ll do it someday, we’ll do it someday, maybe someday,” Actually, I hate to hear that, especially since I’ve lost  loved ones very close to me in the last few years that looked forward to “someday.” They never knew that on that last day of their life, their “someday” was gone.

I don’t wait for “someday” anymore, because there is no “someday, only today,” and today is a gift to me every morning that I wake up to see it. Every day is a gift to live my life to the fullest, love as hard as I can, and laugh at every chance I get.

Tomorrow is never promised and yesterday is already gone, so why wait for “someday” to come, when you can live every day of your life as if your “someday” is today?

Don’t miss out on something great because you’re waiting for something  better to come “someday;” don’t miss out on a lifetime of love because you’re waiting for the “right time for it someday;” don’t miss out on an adventure or an opportunity or a dream because you thought the best timing for it would be “someday.” There’s no time like the present, and that will be gone by tomorrow.

Don’t live your life waiting for “someday” to come; live your life as if someday is “today.”

And today, more than ever, I appreciate my life because today I am a

“3 year breast cancer survivor!”

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

*This is a song I wrote called “What Now.” I wrote the story on the last day of my treatment, wondering what come’s next after cancer. The story is in my book, “Waking Up,” which inspired me to write the song. It was about the end of my cancer, yet it can be for anyone who is changing their life and starting over. I hope you enjoy it! I have to say, it’s one of my favorites!

 

“How Full Is Your Glass?”

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We have the choice to see life as the glass half-full or the glass-half empty; we also have the choice to see it as completely empty. It’s that moment of seeing “empty” that can bring only negative into your life. “Empty” means that you’ve lost your hope, your faith, your joy, and your ability to see the beauty in anything.

Yet it’s your choice.

It’s your choice to dwell on the negative things, the sadness in life, or the trials and tribulations that life hands us from time to time. It’s your choice to let it swallow you alive or to begin to fill that glass up again.

Look at the “glass” as your life; fill it to the brim with blessings and all that you are grateful for; fill it with the memories of loved ones’ lost; fill it with the love of all those that surround you with their love. Fill it with every new day that you are gifted to wake up to; fill it with the gift of family and friends surrounding you; fill it with love.

The world can be a harsh place at times and can drain your glass to near nothing. It’s the people and situations that cross our path that suck your glass dry and it’s your choice to surround yourself with those that fill your glass.

Trials and tribulations will always cross your path, yet if you can change your thinking on them you’ll realize that they also hold a blessing. Without those tests in life, you’d never know what a true blessing is.

“Trials, tribulations and blessings are one in the same. You can’t have one without the other.”

It’s always your choice to see the glass as half-empty or half-full. I choose to see my glass as full, and I hope today you’ll be able to see your glass that way as well.

The choice is yours.

Wishing you love, light, and a glass filled with blessings,

~Anne Dennish~

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