Welcome to my site. Thanks for visiting. I’m a poet, author, writing teacher, developmental editor, and coach who believes in the power of writing to heal and transform lives. My expertise is in helping students and clients find their voice on the page and in the world. I am passionate about facilitating artistic expression, and my mission is to heal myself and others through creative work.
“Body-Mind-Spirit: Inspiration for Writers, Dreamers, and Seekers of Health and Happiness,” focuses on the (healthy) writing life, from inspiration to publication, and beyond. I write about health and happiness on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. My intention is to share original, relevant content that informs, awakens, and inspires creativity and growth.
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If you’re new to my site, you might want to start with this popular post: The Only Reason to Do Anything Is for Love.
My Author Bio
I’m the author of Raw: A Midlife Quest for Health and Happiness, a memoir, forthcoming on She Writes Press, May 22, 2018, and Secrets of My Sex, a collection of narrative poems. My poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction appear in Mind,Body,Green; The Sun; Lilith; Calyx; Two Review; Onthebus; Pearl; Literary Mama; and elsewhere. My essay, “Writing Naked: The Benefits of Exposing Yourself Through Memoir” is published in The Magic of Memoir: Inspiration for the Writing Journey. My work has also been anthologized in Grandmothers’ Necklace, and in Writing Our Way Out of The Dark: An Anthology of Literary Acts of Bravery. I’m a featured columnist at SheWrites.com, the world’s largest online community for women writers.
Growing up, I learned a lot about people while lingering around the dining room table and listening—long after the other kids asked to be excused. My mom, who entertained a lot, explained to guests that I, her “baby,” enjoyed “adult conversation.” She was right. I couldn’t get enough of their stories.
Life and books have been excellent teachers. But I’ve also had the privilege of attending some stellar colleges and universities. I studied dance at The Juilliard School, and earned a B.A. in Dance and Literature from Scripps College; an M.F.A. in Film Production, with a Screenwriting emphasis, from The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts; and an M.A. in Spiritual Psychology from The University of Santa Monica (USM).
In 2011, I was awarded a teaching residency at Scripps College, where I created and presented Transformational Creative Practices for Living Your Best Life, a multi-disciplinary program designed to enhance self-awareness, heighten creativity, and inspire personal empowerment & growth.
In my last year of film school, my screenplay, The Emerald Quartet, was a first-round semi-finalist for the Nicholl Fellowship, an international screenwriting competition sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. That same year, a film I co-edited was nominated for an Oscar.
My Movement Background
I‘ve had years of ballet, modern, jazz, and flamenco dance training—as well as choreography and composition. In New York City, when Juilliard was not in session, I studied at The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and American Ballet Theater. I also studied at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and elsewhere on the east coast. In California, I’ve practiced yoga (on and off) for thirty years; studied Moving Theater with Camille Maurine; The Halprin Life/Art Process at the Tamalpa Institute; Jungle Gym at Continuum Studios; Medicine Dance with Fred Sugarman; BodyFreedom with Tarnie Falloon; Vital Danza USA with Jaquelin Levin-Zabare; and Fumbling Toward Ecstasy with Jo Cobbett.
When I’m not facilitating writing and other creative practices for clients and students, or working on my own projects, you can find me meditating at my altar, scribbling in my journal, reading in my hammock (outstanding Mother’s Day gift!), hiking, walking our dog, Katie, dancing indoors and out, or visiting with friends. I also love bodywork, especially massage, Reiki, Craniosacral, and breath work.
I live in Studio City, California, with my husband Jim. We just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary and 35 years living together. We have a grown daughter, who returns on her college breaks to visit our nest—which I prefer to think of as spacious rather than empty.
class you get much more than a teacher, you get a steadfast facilitator who offers calm encouragement and tremendous insight into the entire writing process, which by nature is fraught with insecurity. Her warmth and guidance fosters a place of creativity and unparalleled support, not to mention crazy productivity! I’m thrilled to have Bella in my corner and can’t recommend her highly enough.”
—Melissa Gould, Huffington Post blogger