A writer is a writer is a writer! No matter when or how you end up putting pen to paper, or fingers to the keyboard, a writer’s brain is always processing the construction of an opening sentence, the outline of a story, and the final punchline. I have spent a career writing business proposals, technical writing, and procedures. My move to Portugal has opened a door to a more personal creative writing style. I thought I would be more prolific, more frequent, more, more, more in my newsletter updates (The Next Chapter on Substack), but have only been able to squeak out one update a month. My gauge of success, however, is the number of positive and encouraging responses received from family, friends, and new acquaintances. Enjoy the new things in your life...that’s what living is all about! The writing will happen...when it happens!

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Nov 18, 2022Liked by author

Add me to the pile of readers who agree that there can be no writing without living. The writing is the product; the living is the magic. Pen to paper, fingers to keyboard? That's just content. An afternoon at a café enjoying dois galões? That's LIVING.

As always, I continue to look forward to your writing, but please know that I rejoice in your *living*...and your willingness to share it here.

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I write therefore, I am a writer!

And yes, experience is fodder for writing. Without it the writing is dull, dry and boring.

So, my advice to you is, experience on Sistah!

Experience is the point of living!

And I will continue to ponder the pigeon wings in the street :0 (Gatos e Gaivotas.) It´s a gaivota eat pigeon world on the streets of Porto. The gatos are too stealth to be caught in the act.

And animal print overload, hilarious!

Best to you, enjoy the new, good things!

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Hi Shanna! Wonderful news! I'm so happy for you both! You just never know what's around the corner, that's life as they say. This is fantastic and I hope everything is as you expect it to be! Yes, you're still a writer and it's ok by me and all your other followers that your mind has been elsewhere, I bet you're buzzing?! What a Christmas it will be for you! Enjoy!! Hope you write something before Christmas but will totally understand if you are busy!! Sending love and hugs xxx

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Shanna, I wanted to tell you what a gift you have provided. I so enjoyed your newsletter that echoes my thoughts. Portugal is a future dream of mine since visiting there a few years ago...its my escape plan when things get too crazy here.

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I couldn’t be prouder or happier for you!

Ain’t love grand?!?!?😘

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Yup, still a writer. 😁 And congrats!

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You expressed what I think we are all experiencing right now! It's a dance to figure out depending what season you are in. Love this letter, I'd love to recommend it to our readers. <3

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Nov 22, 2022·edited Nov 25, 2022Liked by author

Hi Shanna, once a writer, always a writer; short and nice newsletter this week :)

I have a question if you are still meeting people/short consultation at Setubal for a conversation about the city. I live in Porto and also came from San Diego (I'm Brazilian-American) two years ago and I am considering moving more south, and seriously considering Setubal but I don't know it well.

I will be in Setubal this weekend, and if you are available to meet for a consultation about the city and your impressions living there, I would love to chat. Are you still providing this service? If so, how much that would be and could you let me know your availability? Thank you. Siglia Diniz

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Shanna, I hope you know how much I love to savor and enjoy your words whether written or spoken. My personal reaction to your question is that a writer is a writer even when the pen doesn't hit the paper. I say that from the heart because it feels that I am happily in the same boat with you... and the same weather. We are both happy with our own sweethearts and finding that in order to write, we need to take in life's experiences to have the substance to put down in words.

There's sometime very satisfying about writing a piece, with even the smallest of aha moments that the writing process helps reveal. To me, it's like the walking adventures we have in this beautiful town everyday- if we can just walk a few more step to the corner in front of us, I know we'll find another delightful surprise. You know what? I did the same while reading this latest blog entry of yours. I enjoyed reading the entire path and found me in the process. How sweet of you to recommend my blog!

Until we meet at another corner-could be any minute now,


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I think that for us writers/artists/creative people, it's about the being even more than the doing. You know what I mean? We are writers/artists/creatives not just because of what we make, but because of the way we see the world, the way we think about it and interact with it. Sometimes we put pen to paper/fingers to keyboards, but sometimes we stare off into nothing and gather our thoughts and walk through the world and marvel at it (or recoil from it). Sometimes we make space for ourselves. We call the corners and wait. For the muse, for the moment, for the perfect sentence. In the silence, we are marinating and processing and brewing and musing and wondering and marveling and piecing it all together. But in all the thinking and the wandering and just simply being, we ARE writers still, regardless of our word count. And when the right words finally do arrive, we sit down and we set them free.

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"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect."

--Anaïs Nin

I’m so happy you have a new romantic relationship in your life. New relationships especially enliven tasting life, observing wonders all around, and appreciating the marvelous and the mundane. Keep gathering fodder for writing; and because you are a writer, it will spill over into words. I look forward to that time when the newest batch of fodder is transformed

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