Cross Keys Artists and Writers Workshop Meets Tuesday, May 3rd

The Cross Keys Artists and Writers Workshop will be gathering Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. We are still in the beginning of a 12-session creativity workshop that focuses on what makes one an artist, where creativity comes from, and how to find your muse and get “unstuck” creatively. We are using Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way as our basic text. As we go through the course, we’ll be working on individual projects we bring to the meetings. For me, this will be a perfect opportunity to get unstuck with a screenplay I’ve been trying to finish. Perhaps you have a pet project you’ve been itching to complete, but find yourself hopelessly deadlocked. We encourage you to join us the first and third Tuesday of the month from 6:30 to 8:00.

Cross Keys Artists and Writers Workshop Meets Tuesday, April 19 at 6:30

It is time once again to gather and share, contemplate, consider, comment, and discuss poetry. National Poetry Month appropriately coincides with Spring. A time of new beginnings, fresh starts, thawing out, and becoming aware. Let’s dust off our journals, our notebooks, our favorite anthologies. Let’s dig out those poems we’ve composed and always wanted to share with someone. Our theme for Tuesday evening is What Does It Take to be Creative? Many of us feel creative, but can’t seem to get the thoughts to flow from our minds, down our arms, and out our fingertips.

Our group is in the very beginning of a 12-session creativity workshop that focuses on what makes one an artist, where creativity comes from, and how to find your muse and get “unstuck” creatively. We are using Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way as our basic text. The Artist’s Way movement began more than two decades ago as author Julia Cameron shared her ideas with a few friends in her living room. Today, The Artist’s Way has helped millions of people around the world discover–and recover– their creativity. One of my favorite Julia Cameron quotes is, Mystery is at the heart of creativity. That, and surprise. Creativity – like human life itself – begins in darkness. Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite — it’s getting something down.

Whether you are brand-new to The Artist’s Way or have a bookshelf filled with years of Morning Pages journals, whether you are working on a large artistic project or simply wishing to experience more creativity in your life, you are welcome to join us. Please stop at the library Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 6:30.


April is National Poetry Month

Here we are, half way through National Poetry Month. I like having an excuse to indulge in local, national and international poets. Of particular interest to me are poems that give us a glimpse into the mind of the poet. Here is a wonderfully deep poem written by Edgar Allen Poe. I think you’ll agree that the description he gives of himself seems rather accurate given the subject of his writings.

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were – have not seen
As others saw – I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I lov’d, I lov’d alone.
Then – in my childhood – in the dawn
Of a most stormy life – was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that ‘round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold –
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by –
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

I am also very fond of the poem by David J. Bauman about his father. David was honored by having his poem published in the San Pedro River Review, Vol. 8 No. 1 (Spring 2016)


He was born before spring, on the third day
of the third month of 1993, the year they laid
concrete on Hoover Dam. I’ll never know
how he grew, slab by slab, the cold

copper veins the gradual hardening, the dark
tunnels of blood-boiling heat and poison gas,
the tense diversion of nature’s power, rushing
youth, and the life his parents built on sacrifice

and solid ground. By the time I had arrived
he was tall and solid, with a deep canyon-voice,
he kept in reserve, as behind a stone, a wall
of power, sustaining, intimidating and resolute.

Only now do I begin to know
the vast calm beauty, deep as the Meade,
that rests behind the man, and begin
to fathom what it takes to tame a wild thing.

We have a collection in the library called “Common Wealth.” It contains poems from contemporary poets on Pennsylvania. The collection is edited by Marjorie Maddox, Director of Creative Writing and Professor of English at Lock Haven University, and Jerry Wemple, Associate Professor of English at Bloomsburg University. This poem by Nathaniel Smith reminds me of coasting down the hill from Shikellamy State Park Lookout on my 10-speed at just a few minutes past dusk.

A Hill in Pennsylvania

At the top of the big hill at Gap, I let my motor fall silent and coast.
My dreams and I hiss down to earth like a balloon running out of
hot air; the wind becomes a voice I have not heard since it played
the same octaves years ago on a Jersey beach. I descend at 120
degrees, like a pilot taking aim at the tarmac. Other hills, minutes
ago just freckles on the back of the land, rise on all sides to become
a horizon approaching my windscreen. Regretfully, I slow down for
the ill-placed red light where hill meets valley. The shadows shrink,
panting out a few more moments of life. Advancing dawn finishes
them off as a brush shines a shoe. The excitement is over. From
here, it’s flatness and trucks all the way to Lancaster.

Perhaps you have a favorite poem or two, or might even write your own. The Cross Keys Artists and Writers Group meets the first and third Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 8:00 at the Priestley-Forsyth Memorial Library. We would love for you to join us. Our next meeting is April 19, 2016 at 6:30.

Cross Keys Artists and Writers Guild Meets Tuesday, March 15th

The Cross Keys Artists and Writers Guild will meet Tuesday, March 15, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. We will focus this week on preparing to launch our 12-part creativity workshop. Our text for the workshop will be “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. The book was written to help people with artistic creative recovery. It teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills. The ideas in creative personal development outlined in the book, which were felt to be new at the time of the publication, are said to have become a phenomenon, spawning into many workshops throughout the world. The workshops are based on a 12-session creativity course designed for people to work through and gain artistic inspiration, as outlined in the book. The program is focused on removing artistic blocks and fostering confidence. As we go through the course, we’ll be working on individual projects we bring to the meetings. For me, this will be a perfect opportunity to get unstuck with a screenplay I’ve been trying to finish. Perhaps you have a pet project you’ve been itching to complete, but find yourself hopelessly deadlocked. Our workshop will begin Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.

Creativity Workshop Starts January 5th

The Cross Keys Artists and Writers Guild will begin its creativity workshop on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. This workshop is based on the book The Artist’s Way by National bestselling author Julia Cameron. The goal is to aid in discovering our creative self while overcoming the limiting beliefs and fears that can inhibit the creative process. Julia Cameron has been an active artist for more than three decades. She is the author of over thirty books, fiction and non-fiction, including her bestselling works on the creative process: Walking In This World and Finding Water. A novelist, playwright, songwriter, and poet, she has multiple credits in theater, film, and television. Cameron says there is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life–including us. We are, ourselves, creations. We, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative. This workshop does not teach you to be creative. Rather, it teaches you to let yourself create. In our first session, we will discuss the scope of the book, the basic principles of creativity, and two pivotal tools we can use in the creative process. Feel free to visit Julia Cameron’s website at

Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow, grow.” THE TALMUD

Cross Keys Artists and Writers Guild

We are looking forward to a wonderful new year of art and writing. In addition to sharing and critiquing each other’s prose, fiction, poems, and art, we will be dedicating the first Tuesday of each month to a creativity workshop. We’ll be using the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Exercises and assignments from the book will help us deal with being blocked creatively. Topics will include the “internal editor,” people who have failed to support our work as artists, and thoughts like I’m too old, or I’m not good enough, or I’ll never be accepted as a writer or artist. We’ll also look at fear and anxiety as emotions that tend to block our creativity. We will not be meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 2015. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. Have a happy holiday season. See you in January.

Cross Keys Artists and Writers Guild Will Meet December 3, 2015

The Guild will gather at the Library on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. We will be starting the Introductory Session of our 12-week creativity workshop. The course work is based on Julia Cameron’s best selling book The Artist’s Way. We’ll examine Cameron’s concept of the Great Creator. We’ll discuss how The Artist’s Way is essentially a spiritual path, initiated and practiced through creativity. If you find yourself creatively blocked –and I believe that countless artists often are — it is possible that you can learn to create more freely through use of the tools you will become familiar with in this workshop. There will be no Guild meeting on December 15, 2015 due to the Children’s Program Polar Express needing our space. Our next meeting will be on January 5, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. to start with Week 1: Recovering a Sense of Safety. We will look at how people who are frustrated creatively often shadow other artists. We’ll examine core negative beliefs, creative affirmations, and some creative tasks to be done in session and as homework. If you’re serious about your craft and want to move forward in your creativity, this is the workshop for you. Hope to see you there!


Cross Keys Artist & Writers Guild Meeting

Time sure does fly. It’s time for the Cross Keys Artists & Writers Guild to gather. Our next meeting is Tuesday, November 17, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. We will be exploring poems and other writings about Fall, about gratitude and about giving thanks. Please feel free to bring your work with you to share. We also will be discussing plans to start a creativity workshop in December. The basic text for the workshop will be The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. We look forward to seeing you.

Storytime for Grown-ups with John Moore

Tuesday, October 6th at 7:00 pm

! JLM 10-9-2013 # 43Professional storyteller John L. Moore specializes in presenting dramatic episodes from Pennsylvania’s colonial history. Dressed as a frontiersman, Moore brings people of the wilderness to life by telling their stories with suspense, horror, humor, and colorful anecdotes. He adds to the effect by employing such props as tomahawks, knives, antique axes, drums, cowbells and even sleigh bells.

Based in Northumberland, the storyteller is also an author and freelance writer. Sunbury Press Inc. recently published the eight books in his Frontier Pennsylvania Series, which are all available on The most recent one is Forts, Forests, and Flintlocks. His monthly newspaper column, “History Ahoy,” appears in the Sunday edition of The Daily Item, Sunbury, Pa. Moore has performed for chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution, church groups, historical and genealogical societies, campers at state parks, and heritage festivals.

This season he gave presentations at Frances Slocum State Park (“The Frances Slocum Story”); at Fort Roberdeau (“Life & Death at Fort Roberdeau”), a Blair County park near Altoona; and at the Gutelius House Museum, Mifflinburg. 

Come to the Priestley-Forsyth Memorial Library on Tuesday, October 6th at 7:00 pm to listen to John tell stories from frontier Pennsylvania, including “Murder in the Woods” from his book Bows, Bullets, and Bears.




Art in the Garden with Anaphora

Tuesday, September 1st at 6:30 pm!

It’s Art in the Garden once again with artist Faith Saxton Gallow, and the various writers and creators of the Cross Keys Poetry Society!


Do not let that word scare you! Anaphora is just a repeated phrase or pattern. Anaphora is just our theme for this week. Anaphora is not required to attend Art in the Garden this week–but we’re convinced it will be fun to do!

The device is commonly used for various effects in poetry, lyrics, prose and even political speeches. Here are a couple of quick excerpts from the Poetry Foundation about how anaphora is used in prose and speech for affect.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which uses anaphora not only in its oft-quoted “I have a dream” refrain but throughout, as in this passage:

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina,go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

And. . . 

This is so popular and effective a device for politicians and other persuasive speakers that it’s ripe for parody, as in Homer Simpson’s impassioned speech from the 1994 Simpsons episode “Fear of Flying”:

I want to shake off the dust of this one-horse town. I want to explore the world. I want to watch TV in a different time zone. I want to visit strange, exotic malls. I’m sick of eating hoagies! I want a grinder, a sub, a foot-long hero! I want to live, Marge! Won’t you let me live? Won’t you, please?

Check out more great poetic examples at the Poetry Foundation. Or maybe you could share with us this Tuesday one of your own creation!

Again, that’s this Tuesday, September the 1st at 6:30 (That’s one half hour early since it’s getting dark sooner now).