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Red Deer author to bring Gratitude Garden Writeshop to Lacombe

Presented by the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre, Red Deer-based author Miji Campbell is bringing her Gratitude Garden Writeshop to Lacombe on May 4. (Photo submitted)

Red Deer-based author Miji Campbell is bringing her Gratitude Garden Writeshop to Lacombe on May 4.

The event, presented by the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre, runs from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

To register, visit or call 403-588-4386.

Campbell also owns Write Where You Are, a business that offers writing workshops to individuals, schools, community and corporate organizations.

“It’s wonderful for me to step out of my ‘writing’ self and to go and share what I’ve learned with other people,” she explained.

“It also energizes me as a writer.”

As to the Lacombe event, Campbell said the session will provide a chance for participants to write about the folks in their lives who have helped them grow.

Writing experience isn’t necessary — the idea is that Campbell will help to guide participants to explore the “possibilities and power” in their writing.

The genesis for the project surfaced several years ago, during a challenging time in Campbell’s life.

“Gardening season was coming, and I was in my new house with my kids. I thought, I’m going to plant a garden and I’m going to talk to all of the powerful, courageous, and influential women in my life. I asked them which perennial plants were among their favourites, why that was the case, and the story behind them,” she explained.

She would then plant these particular perennials in her garden as a means of honouring these women.

And each time she would look at a flower, she would be reminded of the connection she shared with a certain person.

“It’s a mindfulness kind of practice. The nature of gardening is kind of like that anyways. You are thinking of the stories of people.”

The whole exercise proved a fulfilling experience, and as she started doing more writing workshops, the idea to translate the gardening concept into a literary exercise took root.

“It’s planting the seed of a story,” she said.

“Everything I do with my workshops is always about finding out about the stories that are in us.

“Ultimately, a lot of the techniques that I give people can be taken forward if they want to have more of a writing practice.”

As mentioned, Campbell is a gifted author, having released a memoir called Separation Anxiety a few years back.

In the book, she recounts a stream of key experiences from her childhood through to her adult years — shining a light on events and circumstances that led to an intense struggle with agonizing attacks of anxiety.

But the book does more than explore that painful subject — it’s a story of relationships, of love, of pain, of rejection, and of finding hope. It also delves into Campbell’s relationships with her folks, particularly that of her mother – and how this connection was reshaped on her journey to cope with the at times raging and debilitating levels of anxiety.

It’s also the story of a very connected relationship – a mother and a daughter – that after a certain point had to be, in a sense, separated so both parties could learn better who they really were on their own.

Campbell doesn’t hold back in this self-discovery – and we as readers are the richer for it.

In the meantime, her literary journey continues with a focus on historical fiction.

For more information, visit You can also find Campbell on Facebook at mijicampbellwriter or on Instagram at @mijicampbellwrites.

Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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