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An inspiring guide featuring the wit, wisdom, and stories of Zona Rosa, the writing-and-sisterhood workshop that has empowered thousands of women
For more than twenty years, Rosemary Daniell—Southern belle, successful writer, and tireless champion of female empowerment—has led Zona Rosa, a writing workshop for women founded on the premise that writing can be not only a creative challenge but a tool for healing. Here, she shares the secrets of Zona Rosa: practical advice and ...
An inspiring guide featuring the wit, wisdom, and stories of Zona Rosa, the writing-and-sisterhood workshop that has empowered thousands of women
For more than twenty years, Rosemary Daniell—Southern belle, successful writer, and tireless champion of female empowerment—has led Zona Rosa, a writing workshop for women founded on the premise that writing can be not only a creative challenge but a tool for healing. Here, she shares the secrets of Zona Rosa: practical advice and home-grown "Exorcises" that help you face and think through writing issues, and life in general.
You'll learn how to avoid the "13 (Possible) Boo Boos" that plague everyone's writing. You'll bring yourself to "Write About the Thing I Most Don't Want to Write About" and learn how facing the difficult past can lead to breakthroughs. You'll discover "The Emotional Tai Chi of Getting Your Work Out There," with suggestions for painlessly sending your work into the world.
Along the way, you'll meet some of the many women who have improved their writing—and lives—through the camaraderie, constructive advice, and fun of Zona Rosa. And you'll be inspired by Rosemary Daniell herself, who has weathered personal tragedy, Bad Love, and her own writing issues to come out singing. Secrets of the Zona Rosa is essential reading for any woman who writes—and who has lived a life full of stories.
You Are Now Entering the Zona Rosa
What is the Zona Rosa? And what does it mean? These are the questions people ask me more often than any others. Since we in Zona Rosa were originally four women, getting together to talk about writing and life, on the surface it simply means the "feminine zone." Our name came from a quarter in Mexico City, reminding me when I first heard it of a name for a female rock group. But if you think for a minute, you realize that it indicates more, that the rosa has been a part of us from our beginnings. And if you look inside yourself, at your inner lips or even more intimate parts—as many women did during the '70s—you see that all women are created pink, with a special relationship to that color. "Always wear shades that occur naturally in the body," a makeup artist once advised, and pink is one of those shades, most notably in that organ Eve Ensler enshrined in The Vagina Monologues, and, even in the most repressive of times, through the sensuousness of a pair of full rosy lips, whether assisted or not by Tangee or Revlon. "I was shown around Tutankhamen's tomb in the 1920s. I saw this wonderful pink on the walls and the artifacts. I was so impressed that I vowed to wear it for the rest of my life," wrote mega-romance writer, Barbara Cartland. "Pink is the navy blue of India," declared Diana Vreeland, the famous editor of Vogue, who, when she became blind shortly before her death in 1989, said it was the result of looking at too many beautiful things. I, too, have had a lifelong romance with the terra rosa, just as I have had with experience, knowledge, and the letter Z. Each spring, the city of Savannah, where I live, and which I always describe in my writing as a woman, is blanketed in luscious pink azaleas—and then there are their counterpoints, the pale crape myrtle, the aptly named fuchsia, the roses that live up to their name, the hydrangea turned roseate by a nail judiciously embedded in the soil beneath. In France, cherries are termed cerises, surely a prettier, pinker word. The Zona Rosa is six beautiful midlife women wearing pink ruffled bathing caps, swimming nude in a synchronized flower design in the south of that country. At Codolle, Paris's and perhaps the world's poshest lingerie atelier, proprietor Poupie Codolle has created petale de rose, "the most heavenly pink in the world," according to freelance writer Daisy Garnett, who willingly shelled out over 555 euros (or $629) for a bra made for her in that luxe tint. And isn't the soft pink cheek the part of a baby we want most to touch? Intuitionist Julia Griffin describes the heart chakra as a pink light, exuding beauty and love. Wouldn't Eve—being smart and a woman—have eaten the apple anyway, rosy globe that it was, hanging within easy reach, no matter the price, and even without the snake to egg her on? Pink is the opposite of fundamentalism of any kind, which would outlaw it if it could, and which finds that all the veils in the world can't subdue its charms. Yet there are still those, even among the enlightened, who would keep us naive, fear-bound, innocent of our strength, of our radiance within. "She writes about the labia-pink South," a well-known writer said, quoting a phrase from my work in the Washington Post, forgetting that it was in the rosa that his own book had been nurtured—not to speak of the fact that he, like each of us, slid into this life out from between the slick pink walls of a woman gracious enough to give him birth. For while men may land on the moon, plot new and better ways to destroy one another, and generally strut their stuff, Norman Mailer-style—not admitting for a moment that it is from their feminine side, their anima, that their better books and paintings evolve—it is still up to women to give comfort and life. "Nothing can soothe the soul but the senses," wrote Oscar Wilde, who surely knew, and while other words also denote the salves with which we ease our way—bath, bed, chocolate, silk, scent, fur—it falls to this shade, this vibrant inner passage, to define the ultimate, the primary, in richness, fecundity, pleasure. So what is the Zona Rosa? It is the pièce de résistance, the zone where all things female are not only allowed but prevail; where women tell their truths, truths men beg entry to hear, or at times, simply beg to enter. Or it is as easy, as accessible, as my five-year-old great-niece, Faye, twirling in a pink feather boa, already in possession of her considerable powers. So what does it mean that you are now entering the Zona Rosa? It means Beware, for whether you are man or woman, you are about to be immersed in that region where you will be in danger of seeing in new ways, of looking through rose-colored glasses, even of creating art.
Copyright © 2006 by Rosemary Daniell
YOU ARE NOW ENTERING THE ZONA ROSA
THE STORY OF MY WRITING (AND OTHER) LIFE
Why Where You Are Is Good Enough
WE ARE ALL DOORS UNTIL SOMEONE SLAMS US
How We Can Empower Ourselves No Matter What
IF I WAS REALLY WILD
Why Courage and Daring Are Not Just for Other Women
WHEN I'VE STEPPED OUT IN FAITH
How Patience, Perseverance, and Some Other Virtues Your Grandmama Taught You Can Help You in Writing and Life
IF I TOLD MY JUICY SECRETS
How the Power of the Pink Keeps Us Laughing, or Why Even Serious Babes Still Want to Have Fun
"IF I'M REALLY HONEST, I'M NOT ACTUALLY OKAY WITH . . ."
How Writing plus the Power of the Pink Helps Keep Us Sane When the Worst Happens
IF I THOUGHT LIKE A GUY
Yes, There's a Lot We Can Learn from Them!
A CHORUS LINE OF WINNING LEGS
To Take You Where You Want to Go
A BEVY OF PERFECT T.I.T.S
All the Writing How-to You Will Ever Need
FIREWORKS, OR THE BIG ZONA ROSA PARTY IN THE SKY
Afterword, and an Invitation
My Third Brother's Wife's Strawberry Cream Cake, or the Official Zona Rosa Dessert
A Slew of Writing Fears—Do Any of Them Hit Home?
Tap into the Power of the Pink—Start Your Own Sub Rosa Group!
Posted April 16, 2010
"Secrets of the Zona Rosa" by Rosemary Daniell,is a must-read for all aspiring writers, actually for anyone who enjoys good writing and great tools for self-help along the way. She draws the reader into the realm of writing, writers, and their stories in such a compassionate manner that one feels she/he is experiencing the world of a character in a great novel. Her tools for writing, or "exorcises" are invaluable for self-growth and for writing about it. I have needed a mentor for a long time and Rosemary's gift of bringing people together and sharing in their lives has given me the excitement and courage to write. Now I am a rose in bloom!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 18, 2007
For most of my life I was a blocked visual artist with a little writing artist inside jumping up and down screaming to get out. Someone handed me Julia Cameron's book 'The Artist's Way', and after reading it my paint began to flow, then flood. Still, that little writer kid inside wouldn't shut up, though I squelched her pretty good for a lot more years. Another person handed me 'Secrets of the Zona Rosa', and after reading it, the ink began to flow, and the writer kid still won't shut up and so I have to let her out a lot to play (write) if I want to get any sleep! Going to the Zona Rosa meetings is the first activity I've done in many years that I don't have to MAKE myself do. Rosemary is just as supportive in person, maybe more, as she is in the book. She will go the extra mile to assure your opportunity to become the writer that you already are, if you even cracked her book. It is filled with encouragement, inspiration, information and suggested writing projects. After reading all of her previous books, I thought that I must surely know her inside-out, but in this book she has emerged, still progressive, but softer and wiser. This is a 'must read' if you want to start that ink to flowing!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 27, 2006
Experience is found in the journey, not the destination. Rosemary Daniell's book, Secrets of the Zona Rosa, is not your typical writer's 'how-to' list of conclusions or rehashing of accepted principals. Rosemary reveals how she reached - and confirmed - how a writer should write over the course of her life's experiences, which she shares most generously. Her work taught me enough about the feminine mystique to make me jealous I ain't got it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 27, 2006
I am ashamed I didn't write this review the first month of this book's publication. Here it is now. The reasons you should buy and then read this book are contained in all the reviews herein. Whether it's once in a while or often that you take risks, unless you are holding back and walking the straight and narrow path of conformity, this is a book you should know and use. Come to think of it if you're trying to get off the conformist's path it's for you too. You should buy and read this book because it is a gift -- a gift from the heart and soul and full rich life of an unusual writer, author, and teacher, born-talent self-formed into literary phenom. The gift of a life of extraordinary courage, pain, abandonment, and perseverance. You'd think somebody who suffered as much as Ms. Daniell would be shriveled up and ready for the ground. Not so. She's soft and pretty funny and tender blunt and blundering, flesh and blood. Importantly, she's sincere and enthusiastic and exacts high standards. She has given herself to writing and to teaching those of us too afraid to come out of our holes in the ground or those of us falling out of the sky without a parachute - and everybody in between. The contents of this book are such that it should be a book bound in fine soft leather with rich colorful end papers. The book is loaded with her own observations & insights and the remarks and writings of other authors all intended to enrich you, encourage you, involve you. It is divided and subdivided into chapters and subchapters that entertain, teach, guide, exhort, uplift, encourage and just plain believe in you as writer. Yes YOU. And you won't have to change a thing except your habits. Just write. Just do what she tells you to do. You don't have to believe in yourself, she does. If you can't write yet, read the book. Read a paragraph. Read a few words and sleep with it until you can read more. Think I'm crazy? I am. But I'm also right. Buy this book and all at once or a little bit at a time, immerse yourself in it. You have nothing to lose. If you don't believe me, read all reviews of this book. This is a book for beginners and already-writing alike.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 5, 2006
Secrets of the Zona Rosa is a wonderful way to learn more about how to live your life as well as how to become a better writer (or to become a writer in the first place). Though it has all the practical advice, techniques, and writing exercises that good writing instruction books have, Secrets of the Zona Rosa burrows down one or two levels deeper to help you confront the things in your life and mind that keep you from writing productively. Rosemary Daniell (who shares herself completely in this book) is a rare writing teacher who can honestly critique your writing at the same time she teaches you how to go forward with your work and your life. Rosemary Daniell knows writing¿she's won an NEA in both poetry and fiction, published books of poetry (including the notable A Sexual Tour of the Deep South), memoirs (beginning with the ground-breaking, Fatal Flowers: On Sin, Sex, and Suicide in the Deep South), a novel about New Orleans (Hurricane Season), a collection of essays (Confessions of a (Female) Chauvinist) and a previous book about writing (The Woman Who Spilled Words All Over Herself). In Secrets of the Zona Rosa, you will feel the excitement, encouragement, and acceptance that we who have been in her workshops feel. One lesson I have learned from Rosemary is to trust the writing process, to enjoy what I'm doing regardless of what's happening in the marketplace. It's a good lesson for life. I've marked up my copy of Secrets, bent down pages, and copied quotes and exercises (called exorcises by Rosemary) into my journal. As I go back and re-read passages, I draw courage from the stories of women and men in Rosemary's workshops. Put Rosemary Daniell on your shelf with Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg, Julia Cameron, Susan Jeffers, and Martha Beck.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 10, 2006
SECRETS OF THE ZONA ROSA is the thinking woman¿s guide to writing her way into a life of joy and possibility. Nationally-famous yet accessible author Rosemary Daniell shares inspirational stories of Zona Rosa, her renowned writing workshop series, with a deftness that showcases her talent ¿ and the gifts of Zona Rosa members ¿ in flawless detail. Readers who like structure will appreciate Daniell¿s timelines, Book Therapy lists and Pilates on Paper, while those who prefer a more organic approach will love flipping through the chapters for an inspirational quote or anecdote. Daniell¿s direct and witty writing style, as well as her brilliance and candor (in SECRETS and her other seven books), illuminate every line. This book is for you if: 1. You want access to a creative life plan that works 2. You long to take more risks but aren¿t sure how 3. You wish to establish more support networks and friendships 4. You always wanted to write but haven¿t found the time 5. You want to learn how to manage your time in general 6. You¿re a writer (emerging, mid-career or Pulitzer) 7. You¿re interested in the psychology of creativity 8. You¿re a free-spirited academic 9. You love to belly laugh 10. You¿re already clicking on the ¿purchase¿ button. If you love Eve Ensler, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Erica Jong, SECRETS is the next book on your must-read list!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 18, 2006
SECRETS OF THE ZONA ROSA gives new meaning to the term blood sisters. The zany, and often struggling women in Rosemary Daniell¿s `feminine zone¿ writing groups live inside a pink teepee of support, erected by Daniell more than twenty years ago. Their stories serve not only to inspire the fledgling writer, but encourage women everywhere to reach inside themselves and trot out the best possible person for all the world to see. A glimpse at the titles of Daniell¿s exorcises (short writing assignments) ¿What Am I a Genius Of? And Where I¿ll Run Away To and When¿jolt the reader into introspection and creative thinking even if they never write down a word. But for those who desire to learn the skill of writing, sharpen your pencil and take up the challenge of the Zona Rosa Promises. You¿ll be glad you did.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 29, 2006
Secrets of the Zona Rosa is not just a book about writing, it's about womanhood, authenticity, living a purpose-filled life, and not settling. The women in this book are overflowing with with courage--and many have overcome unbelievable challenges. Their stories inspire and ignite me. Daniell's charm and warmth is evident on the page. ~Carol D. O'Dell. Author of MOTHERING MOTHER, Kunati Publishing, January 2007.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 4, 2006
Zona Rosa not only can change women's lives, it changes men's lives as well. Rosemary Daniell, her writing, and her Zona Rosa workshops have been a strong influence on my writing life, helping me to trust my voice, to write clearer, and to tone down my lyrical flourishes into the best ones that communicate rich beauty and metaphor. Her new book, 'Secrets of the Zona Rosa' continues her gift of sharing her insights. As seen by the enthusiasm of anyone who has read her, or attended a Zona Rosa, this book inspired me anew, and I hope it will do the same for others.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.