A friend just emailed part of an article from today’s Writer’s Almanac.  Apparently JAN. 8 is a sacred day for Chilean-born writer Isabel Allende.

In 1981, she got word on this day that her grandfather was dying.  She sat down to write him a letter and it evolved into her first book, The House of Spirits.  Every year since, on January 8, she lights candles, surrounds herself with fresh flowers, burns incense, meditates and starts a new book.

Wow, this really makes a mockery of my triple-shot venti latte and bowl of oatmeal.  And though you’ll never catch me taking the time to light a candle (hell, even find a box of matches), I can say that I appreciate the ritual. I am a firm believer that rituals center us, help us focus and do open our minds to the creative and divine.

But this has left me wondering what others’ rituals are like — whether you are writer, painter or accountant.  So this is the official invitation for you to share yours.  Doesn’t have to be long, just jot something down.

Posted January 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm · 3 comments · Leave a Comment


  1. Leisa Hammett, January 9th, 2010, 12:26 pm

    I wrote my autism momoir (yet, unpublished) after walking in the park each morning. Each day's essay would come to me as I traveled the wooded trail. With this new high school schedule we are on, it's doing about 15 minutes of yoga and several minutes of meditation.
  2. renee yarbrough, January 9th, 2010, 11:11 pm

    This made me laugh so hard! Thanks for taking the time to write things means a lot to me.
  3. Haddad, January 14th, 2010, 10:52 am

    The House of the Spirits is one of my favorite books. I'll commemorate, too, if not a little belatedly.

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Susan Gregg Gilmore