Zoe Artemis was of Greek heritage. She had family still in Greece.
When I last spoke with her, she was excited, to the point of being effervescent, about her tours to Greece. She took groups over in the summer, introducing them to places and people that only someone with connections would have.
She had the most compelling web site on her travels and tours. The photos were nothing short of “yummy.” One look and I was ready to get a passport and meet her over there.
Although, I couldn’t go in the years after I spoke with her, I always, in the back of my mind, intended to go at a future time. Someday, somehow….
And so, you’ll remember, when I was gathering my resources for my BlogHer dancing posts, I decided that introducing BlogHers to Zoe would be a perfect tie in to advertise her trips and show BlogHers a new vista.
Zoe in Greece by the water.
But, getting in touch with Zoe again was not meant to be. Zoe died of pancreatic cancer last July, in 2011. I did not know until I went to access her web site and saw saw that it was now a site of Remembrance. As I adapted my shock of Zoe being gone, I decided to reach out to one of the Commenter who had written in her Memories of Zoe Guest Book.
There was an entry by Julie Maloney, “Zoe contacted me this year to work with her in leading a writer’s retreat on the magical island of ALONNISOS in GREECE. We spoke countless times over the phone and this is the way we bonded. When she told me she was ill and would not be able to travel to Greece, I was deeply saddened and I knew I had to meet her in person.
I traveled to Astoria to greet someone whose body was failing but whose spirit was beyond description. Her love for life was apparent. We spoke about the upcoming retreat and I promised to see her as soon as I returned. I visited her 2 days after I landed. Once again, we embraced with such warmth, I knew she owned a piece of my heart. When I left, I said, “You gave me a great gift.”
I am grateful to this amazing woman for showing me the “light” of Alonnisos – for inviting me into her “vision” of how it could be if writers came together on this island. I look forward to honoring her legacy. Zoe, I love you.” –Julie Maloney, Director of WOMEN READING ALOUD
The small island of Alonnisos is a gem of untouched beauty.
Julie Maloney is a bundle of talent. After a career in dance, she is now a writer, author and Director of Women Reading Aloud, or WRA, a writer’s cooperative in New Jersey. Julie is currently arranging the tours to Alonnisos that Zoe inspired.
“WRA is an organization dedicated to the power of the writer’s voice. WRA believes in providing space for artistic growth. Founded in New Jersey in 2003, it offers writing workshops modeled after the Amherst Writers and Artists Method, the Author Series and Work-in-Progress Series, Writing and Yoga Program, conferences and retreats where women writers can explore their “authentic” voices. Founded on the 3-in-1 principle, WOMEN READING ALOUD focuses on the equal value of the writer, the reader, and the listener. All genres are welcome. WRA encourages writers to cherish their own voices, as well as the voices of others, as they travel the writer’s journey.”
From the Women Reading Aloud web site: “Julie Maloney, Director of WRA, will return to the island of Alonnisos to lead a ten day writing retreat. Open to women writers of all levels, writing in all genres, this retreat offers a perfect balance of community and solitude. Stay in the family owned NINNA PENSION, just up the hill from the port. (Visit: www.ninna.gr.) Enjoy the friendly service of Ninna and her family, as well as the hospitality of Edem, the multi-tiered taverna down the road where we will write each morning by the sea, surrounded by the island’s flora. Limited to 12 writers”
When I contacted Julie Maloney a few weeks ago, this year’s Writer’s Retreat to Greece was filled. I just heard from Julie, there is now an opening, if anyone is interested, click here. The tour is limited to twelve participants.
Tomorrow: Meet Julie Maloney