Emerging Form
Emerging Form
Episode 11: Working with Emotionally Difficult Topics (with guest Thea Deley)

Episode 11: Working with Emotionally Difficult Topics (with guest Thea Deley)

Engaging in a creative project can be hard enough when the subject matter is fun. But what about when it’s emotionally taxing, too? In this episode, we talk about many techniques for working with topics that make us uneasy—from changing perspective to creating rituals. Then we talk with Thea Deley, speaker, writer and improviser, and ask her two questions: 1) When do you know you are ready to write about something difficult—what is the role of perspective, and 2) How do you navigate stories that might hurt someone? We are interested in your answers to these questions, too!

Episode Notes

Christie’s farewell to David Corcoran on Last Word on Nothing

Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions, by James W. Pennebaker, PhD

Pablo Neruda: Tonight I Can Write

American Psychological Association: Writing to Heal

Harvard Health Publishing: Writing About Emotions May Ease Stress and Trauma

Thea Deley (photo of Thea by Mike Maxwell)

Christie’s ode to Holiday Mathis, “I Know Astrology Is Bullshit, But I Can’t Stop Reading My Horoscope.”


Simple Tools

         —Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

I am so grateful for the rubber spatula,

the way it sits quietly in the drawer

yet is always ready for action—

is game to scrape the walls of the blender

or to fold chocolate chips into cookie dough.

It evens and swirls the frosting on cake

and welcomes the tongue

of a child. In a sharp world,

it knows the value of being blunt;

it knows that to smooth is a gift to the world.

Some people are knives, and

I thank them. Me, I want to belong

to the order of spatulas—those

who blend, who mix, who co-mingle

dissimilars to create a cohesive whole.

I want to spread sweetness, to be a workhorse

for beauty, to stir things up,

to clean things out. I want to be useful,

an instrument of unity, a means, a lever for life.

first published in Braided Way, 2019

Emerging Form
Emerging Form
Emerging Form is a podcast about the creative process in which a journalist (Christie Aschwanden) and a poet (Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer) discuss creative conundrums over wine. Each episode concludes with a game of two questions in which a guest joins in to help answer questions about the week's topic. Season one guests include poets, novelists, journalists, a song writer, a circus performer, a sketch artist and a winemaker.