About 2008, as I gradually withdrew from a forty-year career as a doctor practicing neurology and rehabilitation. I started my journey of writing in a course at Sacramento City College called Writing as a Healing Art, taught by Jan Haag, former editor of Sacramento Magazine. At the time, I didn’t see much need to heal. Jan was the first to see an early version of Strawberry Roan, and insisted my memoir sketches were the most important material I would write.
Any memoir begins when something happens that you will never forget. The emotion tied to the event gives it staying power. My youth had been so different from others, colored with the beauty of New Mexico and misfit moments. Ecstatic joy and crushing embarrassment. The writing let me see for myself how I had navigated a path from a youth with horses and sacred mountains to adulthood and even descendants.
I wanted to share it. If I could get someone else to understand, maybe I would understand as well.
Ah, so that’s how writing heals.