My name is Patricia Fowler and I am a wife, mom and occupational therapist, living in southern New Hampshire. And there are days, here and there, when I truly believe that I may be a writer. I still feel like a bit of a charlatan, though, when I say it aloud, my voice dropping and getting small at the end, as I say, “Oh. And I am also a …writer.” Upon reading the bios above, I nearly chickened out of the AROHO retreat. I have no formal training. No MFA . No trail guide who has walked with me through the woods of point of view, theme, character or plot. And the closest I have gotten to a push cart is at the grocery store. But when I strain to listen amidst the cacophony-the evil chorus of self doubt that chants little epithets at me all the day long- I know what it is that makes my very being tingle. And that is writing. The more I write, the more I believe in a louder voice within-my own. I hear it calling-up through my chest- urgently. My voice has gotten louder, like it has a little hand perched like a fan to one side, like when you really want someone’s attention and you yell. “Hey! Stop that!” I say. “You ARE a writer! And you have a heart that sees things tender; and an ear that tries to hear and strip away all things trite! C’mon!” it continues. I can see myself down there, way down there in my innards, shaking my head in frustration, getting really pissed off at me. “C’mon!” I say, again from deep inside. “You can make words sting! Or sing! And you can be really funny if you’d just get that stick out of your ass! C’mon! You can do this! Stop standing on the shore, damn it! JUMP IN!” So watch me…full gainer. Or maybe a swan dive. Might be a belly flop. But I am all in.