In 2003, upon recommendation of the talented and ubiquitous Kevin Sampsell, I enrolled in a workshop called "Dangerous Writers." This was to be an adventure that would take me deep into risk: learning to open up on the page, using whatever language was at hand in order to tell the truth. It was there I learned to stop using words as props, and instead allow my writing to unfold in the moment, present tense, first person, if necessary. The "dangerousness" I embraced led to many writing classes with my new teachers, Tom Spanbauer, Joanna Rose, and Stevan Allred.
I continue to marvel at how venturing into scary places helps me grow, transforms me, makes life a creative adventure.
My friend and inspiration Sage Cohen speaks of the value of moving through fear. I join with Sage in the invitation to "make 2011 the year that you start giving fear a friendly nod." Indeed, your encounter with danger may turn out to be the greatest story of your life.