An Invitation

Are you interested in memoir writing as a way to heal and to explore the truth and meaning of your life? Are you looking for a safe, warm and nurturing environment in which you can begin to write your story or move your story to the next level?

If you're ready to express the breathings of your heart in the company of women traveling the same path, you are invited to join me for either a class or one-on-one coaching.

Prompts will be provided to help bring your stories to the surface. I'll offer detailed, positive and thorough feedback. Instruction for the improvement of your craft will be presented, as well as encouragement and support in a circle of confidentiality and caring.

You'll be writing every week, and in the class, you'll also give and receive feedback.

If this sounds like something you're ready for, or if you want more information, contact me. The class schedule is listed below.

I look forward to meeting you and helping you move closer to the fulfillment of your writing dreams.

The Teacher

Welcome to Writing the Breathings of Your Heart. I'm Deb Shucka, a fellow writer with a strong belief in the healing power of shared stories.

It seems like I've been teaching and writing my whole life. My three younger brothers were my first (and often unwilling) students, and I recently left a 22-year elementary teaching career in which many of my most satisfactory moments came while coaching my peers and working with student teachers. Some of my earliest memories of being a writer include the joy of filling the pages of locking five-year diaries, discovering the magic and power of rhyming poetry, and having my stories and poems appear in high school publications.

My memoir-writing journey began four years ago in a class I almost didn't take because I wasn't sure whether calling myself a writer would be a lie or not. The class changed my life and helped me set out on a path I continue to travel to this day. I left a nearly completed program to become a principal so that I could focus on writing. Now when someone asks the inevitable question, "What do you do?" - I answer proudly, "I'm a writer." Sometimes I even offer the information for the sheer pleasure of saying it. 

In the months after that first class, I completed my first memoir, GOD HAS NO DAUGHTERS: A Search for Acceptance, Family, and Love. After a number of agent rejections and a series of life insights, I realized the book had served its purpose and set it aside. I have submitted stories from this manuscript for publication in literary journals and most recently had a piece appear in Rose & Thorn.

I'm now in the process of writing the story I'd hoped to tell the first time, tentatively titled DAUGHTER: A Memoir. 

I have studied with a variety of teachers in the last several years. Last fall, while attending a class with a friend (also a teacher by training and heart), we decided we could provide something more effective. The result was Writing the Breathings of Your Heart, and the successful offering of both online and in-person classes last winter, and online classes and one-on-one coaching in the spring. We had students from across the country as well as around the world, including Australia and Bahrain. Some writers were taking their first class ever, while others used the class as a way to move forward on works-in-progress.

Although my partner of last year has been called to follow a different path, I am eager to continue to provide the same personal attention, skilled instruction and safe haven that were the hallmark of our previous endeavors.

Come visit me at my personal blog, Catbird Scout, a place I share my ever-evolving insights about life and connect with other seekers of the truth. 

I enjoy my reading-writing-teaching life in the country with my math-teacher husband, Walt; our precocious Golden Retriever, Toby; and three senior citizen cats.