You have asked me, "Who or what inspires me?"
May Angelou will always hold a special place in my heart, because she gave me permission to write about the struggles that I held secretly within my soul. She opened the doors behind which sexual abuse and domestic violence thrive, and with her courage she paved a path of monumental change. Though I was not fortunate to meet her, she will always be my mentor.Poet Mary Oliver's verses speak to my spirit. Her ponderings draw me into mystery, where I am brought to a deeper level of understanding. Inevitably her choice of words guides my own. For instance this comment left me speechless: "Someone I once loved gave me a boxful of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift." How extraordinary!
Oriah Mountain's Dreamers is of similar quality to that of Mary Oliver--it is honest, pure. loving, and transformative. She knows pain and sorrow and yet found joy. She is like the sister I have never met, a friend who by her life teaches me how to live.
In addition to the works of the authors mentioned above, there are many other writers who are part of my life. Authors Nonnie Jules, Nicholas Rossis, and Robin Chambers are just few of who crowd my bookcases and inspire me to write. They open the doors of the heart through their choice of words and their characters. And, they help to reframe the worlds both seen and unseen.
Gwendolyn M Plano spent her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in New York, Connecticut and California. She has multiple academic degrees, including on in Theology, and one in Counseling. Recently Gwen retired, and she now devotes herself to writing, travel, her volunteer work, and her beautiful grandchildren.