Wednesday, May 24, 2017

So Thrilled To Be Driven By @DeniseDiGrigoli On Her Show. Doodle On!

Drinking Beer From a Straw Is Dumb, But
How Else Can You Start From the Bottom? ~ AnERip
Yesterday, I had honor and privilege with being a guest of Denise DiGrigoli, who hosts The Drive through the HAN Network. I am grateful that she allowed my thinking to be featured at Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall Talks Connecticut Writing Project For Youth. My name was referred to her after I received the Elizabeth M. Pfriem Award for Civic Leadership in the City of Bridgeport, a celebration from the Bridgeport Public Education Fund and Community Foundation of Fairfield (of which I'm a tremendous fan).

Denise DiGrigoli hosts the weekly show in celebration of mindfulness, inspiration, and wellness. She wanted to tap my crazy noggin' about the work I do with the Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield University, and to be honest, I was extremely nervous. The show was live and I didn't know what would come out of my mouth. I am actually pleased, however, by how I articulated myself and give credit to Denise DiGrigoli for her grace and kindness while hosting the show - she brings out the best in others.

Of personal pride, however, was the opportunity to shout out to Mr. Finster, a 5th grade teacher, and to my grandmother, Grannie Annie, who were central to how I think about creativity, writing, sharing words, and voicing my world. My older sister, Cynde, sent me the photo (above) after the show which put a huge smile on my face. This is what I am talking about. My grandmother kept our drawings as kids and wrote verse for them, stories, poems, and memes (before memes were even a thing). We loved them.

Denise DiGrigoli's genius. Boom!
I shared with Denise during one of the commercials that I doodle what I want to write or say before I know what it is I'm trying to articulate (as evident with Three Stanzas for 40 Years, a guest post I contributed to the National Writing Project's birthday).  After the show, Denise sent me a few doodles and mind maps of her own (including the one I post here). Her writing processes are the same.

What I love about such doodles (which I learned from my grandmother and Mr. Finster) is that they express as much as any text I could commit to paper. Part of the storytelling is mindfulness of the images we wish to harness from our brains to the page. It was wonderful to meet a friend of creativity, outside the box thinking, life journeys, and hope.

A few minutes with the host and I knew Denise DiGrigoli was a kindred spirit and easily a universal mentor to others. Writing is therapy. Writing is knowing our way towards truth. Writing is everything and I thank Denise and the HAN network for offering me the chance to say before a camera what has been whirling in my head for years.

Now, time to doodle the next steps for this summer --- off to the office I go!

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