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. 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 three younger brothers were my first (and often unwilling) students, and I recently left a 26-year elementary teaching career in which many of my most satisfactory moments came while coaching my peers and working with student teachers.

I have studied with a variety of writing teachers in the last several years. 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. We offered online classes, in-person classes, and one-on-one coaching. We had students from across the country as well as from 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.

As I explored classes and workshops, I discovered the work of Pat Schneider. I took a number of classes from PDX Writers that followed her practices, and fell in love with the process. I bought Pat's books, read and reread them and began to use her methods in my fifth grade classroom. I also facilitated writing with various groups of writing friends, and knew I wanted more. So in the spring of 2016 I took the A.W.A. Facilitator Training in Malibu, CA. It was a life-changing, and life-affirming time that continues to work its magic at my core. Since that training, I've facilitated two retreats at the Lavender Hill place on Vashon Island. I've also volunteered in a high school creative writing class for the last two years, using A.W.A. as the foundation for my work with seniors.

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 newly retired husband, Walt; our senior citizen Golden Retriever, Toby; and three ornery cats.