# 10 BUILDING TOGETHER AN INVISIBLE ARCHITECTURE
By Mary Rakow, Ph.D.
Here is our wonderful Honor Roll. It is very beautiful.
For those unable to make the deadline, perhaps add yours in the Comments section.
Advent began on Sunday, Dec. 3. A holy season for my faith community. I will be
offline until mid-January.
Let us celebrate the power of our words! Their indestructibility and power. Let us
remember to come together with others also committed to something larger than
ourselves. This is our great privilege! This is our joy!
OUR HONOR ROLL,
OUR MONUMENT BUILT OF WORDS
“I realized my lead character had to take dramatic action.” ~Jose
“I’ve had my ups and downs with friend and family-related sickness and death. On a
whim, I entered the SFWC writing contest and made it into the finals!” ~Cindy Foster
“I went to the National Archive and found the immigration file of my great
grandfather Kock Foon, who came to America as an illegal immigrant during the
period of Chinese Exclusion, and now I want to write about my ancestors’ history.” ~Anonymous
“I have not touched you [my writing] and I have tried not to think about you
because it hurts and I’m so disconnected from the hope of writing, but the year is
not over and I’m thinking about you.” ~Lori Q.
“a) Saranac Review published my piece Kenduskeag, b) I wrote a short piece
titled Southview Revisited and c) I edited older pieces and submitted them to
journals. I thought I had not done much this year but reading what I just
wrote makes me feel that I did something.” ~Ada Harigan
“Quiet tiptoes of fear and vulnerability enshrouded my words in a paralyzing
cloak—could one sentence release me?” ~Jeri G.
“I committed The Musician to an indie publisher and spreading the word is on me, but
the response and reviews make it worth all the festivals, the signings, the book clubs.
27 versions. . . Oh, version 28 coming soon as an audiobook.”
~Mike Shaw The Musician, Blue Room Books.
“Returning after a hiatus, I returned to writing on a beloved subject and managed
to get the first draft out to an editor.” ~Anonymous
“I endured some heartache and reclaimed my daily reading time. Those are really
the most important things I did 🙂 ” ~Rafael F.
“Remember This Day, my poetry collection just published by Finishing Line Press,
explores the variations of survival – the struggle to survive, the fear of surviving,
the guilt of surviving.” ~Linda Drattell
“I got the information from my friend Linda Drattell. I’m 14 years old, and in eighth
grade. My sentence: There was not a life vest that could save her from the sea of
sorrows in which she drowned.” ~Quinn Lennon Smith, The Sorrowful Sea of No
“This year I turned 78, and I wrote and revised and submitted my work, rejoiced
over words of praise and unexpected opportunities that fell in my lap, argued
over the revised title of a poem of mine being set to music, and kept slogging
happily through the swamp of my overcommitted but beginning to be recognized
writing life, thanking God for it all.”~Roseanne T. Sullivan
“Perhaps I, too, remembered my dreams because God insisted.” ~Jessica Coblentz
Dust in the Blood: A Theology of Life with Depression
“My efforts have been fragmented this year, however I still have my sight set on
reflecting more in my writing.” ~Ivana
“One thing I did for my writing this year: Constant knocking, locked door picked, I moved to the kitchen table with
everyone circling, and surrendering, found my body is the writing space.” ~ J.C.
“I learned to untangle and love the chaos in my wild heart; bypassing the sabotage, not
allowing it, this time, to creep in my way. I wrote. It really makes it real and I show up
for myself.” Fog is Slow Rain by Chelsea Rose
“I reclaimed my identity as a fantasy author, stopped hiding behind endless
revisions and query letters, and decided to self-publish my YA fantasy
novel, Avalon Lost!” ~Mary Rose Kreeger
“Every morning I visualize my audience reading and internalizing my memoir,
a love letter to the world.” ~Stacy West
Mary Rakow, Ph.D. novelist and freelance editor in the Bay Area, works with local and global clients who seek to publish traditionally, self- or hybrid. She blogs monthly for SFWC about inspiration in the writing process and works in the Free 8-
Minute Editing room at the Conference in February.
A Mentor for PEN USA/West’s Emerging Voices program, Instructor for UCLA
Extension Writers Program, and presenter in workshops for Harvard Club of San Francisco, Rakow is rigorous and encouraging, insightful and kind. A theologian with graduate degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Boston College, Rakow’s debut novel, THE MEMORY ROOM was shortlisted for the Stanford University International Saroyan Prize in Literature, a PEN USA/West Finalist in Fiction and was listed among the Best Books of the West by The Los Angeles Times. She was awarded a $75,000 Lannan Fellowship and given two month-long Lannan Residencies in Marfa, TX.
Mary writes with deep feeling and a questioning faith. Her second novel, THIS IS WHY I CAME earned excellent reviews in The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Commonweal, Christian Century, O Magazine,
Ploughshares. It appeared on reading lists for courses at Princeton and Yale. Interested in the visual arts, Rakow received two residencies at Whale & Star in the studio artist Enrique Martinez Celaya where she was commissioned to write the
first book-length treatment of the artist’s work, MARTINEZ CELAYA, WORKING METHODS.
Mary is a beloved editor and writing coach. Always on the look-out for serious writers, she enjoys working with those just starting out and those with publications and accolades.
For inquiries please visit maryrakow.com
© Mary Rakow, 2024