A Message from Lynda Monk, Director, IAJW

I recently had the privilege of meeting, for the first time in person, Ruth Folit, Founder of the IAJW, as well as Sheila Bender, one of our Journal Council members. I was thinking about how our shared passion for journal writing is the catalyst for us meeting one another in this big world!

Onward IAJW! A Personal Note from Ruth Folit, Founder, IAJW

When I was thinking about selling IAJW I knew I wanted to pass it on to the right person – someone younger yet experienced, knowledgeable about the world of journaling, welcoming, and energetic.

I had known Lynda Monk via the internet, first as a member of IAJW who signed up for a course (who I knew that she herself had a website on wellness and journaling), then as a teacher of an online course, and then later as someone who contributed to the IAJW Celebrate Journal Writing! festival as a panelist. I was always impressed by her insightful contributions to discussions and her gentle manner. But as too often in internet friendships, we’d never met in person.

Until recently.

In October, I flew the 3300 miles northwest from the Florida peninsula across the continent to Salt Spring Island just west of Vancouver, where Lynda and her family live. What a magical island and what a lovely family!

Lynda invited me to stay for a week in one of several cottages that she and her husband rent out, called The Moon and Sixpence, after the book by Somerset Maugham. As you may expect, it was whimsical, artistic, cozy and comfortable.

The island was populated with wholesome, genuine, and creative people. And Lynda and her family were that and even more. Peter, Lynda’s husband, is an artist, an entrepreneur, a fabulous cook, and an all around hyper-competent, accommodating, and engaging guy. They have two energetic, curious, and kind middle school boys. I loved getting to know the whole family as I was invited to several delicious dinners at their home across the street from my cottage.

And then, of course, there’s Lynda. Lynda is a gem– a rare person who is supremely kind-hearted, upbeat, energetic and able to connect with people in the most positive, generous, and warm manner.

Lynda was somehow able to juggle family life, working, and making time to spend with me and IAJW Council member Sheila Bender, who made a cameo appearance for two days! We packed the week with fun: attending a book-launch at a stunningly beautiful farm community; tasting samples at a well-run small goat cheese factory; daily hiking in different gorgeous temperate rainforests; visiting local artist’s studios; meeting with some of Lynda’s friends and colleagues; and boating to a nearby island. What a week!

Now back in Sarasota, I’m reflecting on my trip. Somehow my cross-continent intuition was right. I had found the absolute perfect person to carry IAJW forward!