Season 2 Episode 28: Liz Gauffreau on The Art of Writing

Welcome to Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

Liz Gauffreau

I am delighted and thrilled that my dear friend,  writer and poet, Elizabeth Gauffreau  and I are bridging the 3,897 kilometers, as the crow flies,  between New Hampshire and Vancouver. 

Liz holds a BA in English/Writing from Old Dominion University and an MA in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She is the Assistant Dean of Curriculum and Assessment at Champlain College Online in Burlington, Vermont.

Her fiction publications include short stories in Adelaide Literary Magazine, The Long Story, Soundings East, Ad Hoc Monadnock, Rio Grande Review, Blueline, Slow Trains, Hospital Drive, and Serving House Journal, among others. Her poetry has appeared in The Writing On The Wall, The Larcom Review, and Natural Bridge.

So, it will not come as a surprise that today’s discussion is on The Art of Writing. So put the kettle on and add to this exciting conversation.

Welcome Liz and thank you for joining the podcast conversation and sharing your insights on writing.


Thank you for joining Liz and me on Tea Toast & Trivia. And a special thank you and shout out to Liz, who continues to inspire me.  You are only an internet click away from  Liz on lizgauffreau.com. It is a place where stories dwell. Until next time, stay safe, be well.


91 Replies to “Season 2 Episode 28: Liz Gauffreau on The Art of Writing”

    1. I am so glad that you joined the conversation. I would love to connect with you on a podcast one day – let me know. Take care and hugs coming to you and Carina!

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  1. Fabulous conversation, Rebecca and Liz — with the bonus of you, Liz, reciting your evocative lighthouse/whittling poem near the end!

    I was impressed with all the eloquent thoughts and advice on writing — how the Internet has changed who is considered a writer, how writing success is defined, respecting a writer’s approach rather than trying to change it, how different people interpret the same writing differently, the importance of a blogging community, etc.!

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    1. Liz is an inspiration to us all. She connects, encourages, and gently challenges us all to expand our horizons. I enjoyed our conversation and look forward to more in the future.

      I remember my decision to create a podcast. I confess I was apprehensive the first time I pressed the publish button, much like the first time that pressed the button on my first blog post. I had just finished reading and listening to the news when I turned to Don and said, “where are the conversations that will feed my soul?” His response – “they are there – you need to find them.”

      So Dave – you have been found along with Liz, Elisabeth, Liz, Sylvia, Irena, Sarah, Frances, Martha, Alisha, Brian, Stephanie, Jean-Jacques. I have been encouraged and thrilled that we are finding ways to send positive, hopeful, compassionate thoughts and messages out into the universe.

      When I was looking into my recent Vincent Van Gogh post, I came across this quote that says it all: “It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.” Vincent Van Gogh

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      1. SO glad you decided to create/host a podcast, Rebecca! To say you’re skilled in that role is a major understatement. 🙂

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      2. Thank you for sharing how Don encouraged you to start podcasting. You’re so fortunate to have him as a partner in this endeavor.

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    1. I am so very glad that you listened in. And I am delighted that we have connected via Dave Astor. I am looking forward to our ongoing conversation and the journey ahead. And I do LOVE your name.

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  2. I can’t even express just how refreshing it is to hear Liz’s candid experiences on this subject. She is a gifted, generous writer and articulate speaker, and I’m so glad to be acquainted with her through you 🙂

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    1. I am so glad that you listened in….

      We live our best life when we connect with kindred spirits. In the end what will be remembered is the friendships made and the love given and received.

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  3. What a wonderful conversation you had with Liz. What an interesting and talented lady she is. I so enjoyed her lighthouse poem at the end. As you know, I’m a big fan of lighthouses in general and have very fond memories of living a stone’s throw away from my favourite one in South Africa.

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    1. I share you love of lighthouses, Sylvia. They are a symbol of hope as well as strength and persistence to me. Someone once wrote (don’t have a clue who he or she was) “Lighthouses don’t get all wobbly when the weather gets rough; they just stand there shining.” Hugs coming your way.

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    2. I’m so glad you enjoyed the lighthouse poem! I really enjoyed writing it. The lighthouse at Two Lights holds a very special place in my heart.

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    1. I am delighted that you listened in, Bette! We belong to an amazing community that thrives on the exchange of knowledge and wisdom. I am honoured that Liz shared her thoughts on TTT.

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  4. An absolute delight to at last be able to put a physical voice to Liz’s considerable writerly voice.
    This conversation bridged the rather tiny north Atlantic & the vast distances between Liz’s written word & my eyes & my ears.
    Thank you both.

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    1. Thank you, Nick for joining the conversation. Liz is an amazing writer, poet and thinker. Her support and encouragement is a source of joy to our community and I’m delighted that she has agreed to share her thoughts. We are planning another podcast soon. I’m looking forward to following your blog and our ongoing conversation.

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      1. I am delighted that you joined the conversation and I’m looking forward to our ongoing dialogue. I enjoyed listening to your voice on the interviews posted on your blog site.

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  5. This is a most interesting pod cast, I learned a lot about Liz and her writing process and the story about Phil was very interesting. It reminded me of a story by Stephen King. His creative writing lecturer gave him a G on a horror short story he wrote and said it was rubbish and that King would never be a writer. A few weeks later Stephen King had that story published for a reasonable sum in a local magazine. He dropped out of that course. I look forward to the poetry sessions. A gorgeous poem by Liz.

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    1. I am delighted that you joined the conversation, Roberta. What a great story about Stephen King – a reminder to stay true to our writing for we are all storytellers in one form or another. I just touched base with Liz about our next conversation – stay tuned. I am also looking forward to our ongoing dialogue. Life is the best when shared with kindred spirits! Many thanks for your comments and visit – very much appreciated.

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    2. Thank you for joining the conversation, Robbie and sharing the story of Stephen King’s writing course experience. I can’t fathom a writing teacher telling a student he would never be a writer. Aside from hurting the student, there is a very good chance the student will prove him wrong. I’m glad you enjoyed “The Light at Two Lights.” My grandparents bought the cottage from the whittler, and his carvings came with the cottage.

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  6. I really enjoyed this conversation with Liz, not least because it was lovely to hear her voice and know how she sounds. And I love the poem.

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    1. I am so glad that you joined the conversation, Mary. I was thrilled that Liz could join me, given her busy schedule. Her support of the writing and blogging community is heartwarming. I have just connected with Liz and plans are in the works for a second podcast – All About Poetry. I see that you are in England. I was headed over your way this coming August, but alas it was not to be in 2020. Now, I have more time to plan my “literary visit.” Thanks for stopping by…

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      1. I look forward to the poetry podcast. Sorry your trip had to be postponed but, as you say, you have more time to plan. I’m in Scotland, not England. Hope you’ll include it on your itinerary 🙂

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      2. Scotland is my second home or at least that is how I feel every time we fly into Glasgow. My son is a bagpiper so we have been following the sound of bagpipes for several years. Plans were for Glasgow, Edinburgh and even up to Orkney and Shetland.

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    2. Thank you, Mary! I’m glad you were able to join us. I’m glad you liked the poem. I still remember how your voice sounded in the video of your poetry reading that you shared.

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  7. Having been a blogging friend of Liz for some time now, I am not at all surprised by her sound thoughts. The palindrome story is wonderful.

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    1. I have read your insightful comments on Liz’s blog! So glad you joined the conversation, Derrick. The palindrome story was a reminder to me to be open to new ideas and possibilities – it makes life so much more vibrant!

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  8. I absolutely loved this! 🙂 The poem at the end was enchanting…especially to hear it read by one with such an expressive and beautiful voice. I love lighthouses and I love the sea. I felt as if I were there, the lines of the poem drawing me nearer to the water…sunlight, sparkling waves, the sense of time standing still. I am so glad I found Liz in the blogging world! And I am so glad she has introduced me to ‘Tea, Toast, and Trivia’.

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    1. And I am thrilled that we are connected. Looking forward to our ongoing dialogue. There are many adventures waiting for our arrival – in books, poetry and life. Many thanks for your visit and your comments. Very very much appreciated.

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    2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the podcast, Linda! To think that I could transport you to a place that means so much to me is so gratifying. I hope to see you again on Tea Toast & Trivia. Rebecca engages in a wide range of topics with such interesting people. If you take a look around the site, look in particular for “The Trio” conversations featuring Rebecca, her sister Sarah, and her mother Frances. They’re always a delight.

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  9. It was so great to hear Liz’s voice and learn so much more about her. I loved the part about Phil and his palindrome, and Liz’s insights into storytelling and the artistic process that came out of that. Wise advice on several levels. And a beautiful poem at the end. An enchanting and fascinating interview, Rebecca, Wishing you both a lovely Friday and weekend. 😀 Be well.

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    1. I am delighted you joined the conversation and shared your insights. Liz reminded me that we are all stories that are unfolding and evolving. When we give voice to our stories through poetry and prose (fiction & non-fiction), we honour our lives and give thanks for the days that have been given. Your visit is very much appreciated. Thank you.

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    2. Thank you so much for listening and commenting, Diana! I appreciate your taking the time. I’m glad you enjoyed the poem; the lighthouse at Two Lights stood very tall in my childhood. Have a good weekend!

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  10. What a great interview Liz! The poem was beautiful and it was great to learn more about your past and writing. You certainly inspired many, myself included.

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    1. Thank you for listening in, Mark. I share your thought that Liz has “inspired many, myself.” We belong to a brilliant and compassionate community. It is good to share the journey with kindred spirits.

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  11. It’s great to hear your voice, Liz, and listen to you talking about writing. Good to hear that you’ve written about your family in so many ways. You commented you visited many lighthouses and I’m glad you chose to read a poem about the lighthouse.
    This is a delightful podcast, Rebecca. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you for joining our discussion, Miriam. Liz has a remarkable gift with words. Her support and encouragement of our writing community is a testament to her commitment to all who venture into the “writing unknown”. I am delighted that we connected – looking forward to the conversation ahead.

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      1. She did, Liz. It’s wonderful that Rebecca is such a great podcasting host. She made you comfortable and felt free to share. Probably you had more things to share than time allowed.
        I was interviewed once and the host emailed me beforehand saying it was informal, so it put me at ease. The questions were spontaneous. I only had a general idea of what the questions might be. It turned out great.

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      2. Oh, that would help, Liz! Mine was live, but I used to think on my feet when I was working and did presentations. I’m sure you did fine without editing.

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      3. Don, my techie, is amazing. My research into podcast has revealed some interesting things. Podcasts are growing exponentially but most have audio problems brought about by internet noise. With everyone on line these days, the noise, clicks & clacks of WIFI can be extensive. Bottom line, many podcasts fail to attract listeners – not because of content but because of the poor audio quality. What we are trying to do is to create an audio that sounds like two people are in the same room. Liz was amazing – I enjoyed our conversation immensely. Looking forward to our next podcast. Thank you Miriam for your great comments and for listening in – so glad you joined us!

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      4. You’re welcome, Rebecca. I agree with you about the distraction of WIFI quality. It was interesting that prior to the podcasting date, The host sent me some tips such as finding a quiet area, avoid the dog barking, someone mowing the lawn, or watching TV. In fact, before I told Hubby about the email, he said he would use headphone to watch TV. When I listened to it afterwards, it sounded okay.

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      1. Thank you, Rebecca and for your follow. I love the header picture on your site, as it reminds me of happy times in Scotland. You have a natural interview style that supports folk to open up. ❤

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      2. I am delighted that we connected and look forward to the many conversations waiting for our arrival. We are on a grand adventure – grateful that I met up with you on the journey.

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  12. Loved this interview. Liz is always so inspiring! I read her poem in North of Oxford this morning and was so taken with it. xo

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and listening in Luanne. I agree – Liz is inspiring and it is a joy to be in a conversation with her

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  13. Wow! What a fabulously wonderful conversation. Now, I rarely spend this amount of time listening to an interview (My mind wanders… fact.) But my God did you girls… oops, ladies pull this off. I was still listening when the music played to the end. It was so good to learn more about Liz’s background and hear both your voices. (I do love American accents lol) I especially enjoyed the recollection of the Phil and the Palindrome and I love your perspective on what makes a successful writer. Anyway… Oh, enjoyed your poem too, Liz. Please send me a link when you come back to talk about poetry so I don’t miss it. Well done both of you! Loved it. 🙂

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    1. I am delighted and thrilled to read your comments this morning. Your feedback is heartwarming and encouraging. Before I started podcasting, I did some research on this venue of communication. Podcasting is growing exponentially – people want to share their ideas and love having conversations. Podcasts are an excellent way to send out information into the “podcast universe.” The main issue is audio sound. While content may be great, the audio sound is very hard to listen to and follow. As you noted, time is critical. That is why I want to keep the podcasts between 10 – 17 minutes (sometimes I go to 20) because very few people have the time to listen for over an hour unless the purpose is for a specific purpose, such as learning. In our reality, keeping life/work/home balance is critical. Time is valuable. I have a fabulous techie (my husband, Don) who continues to look for ways in which to produce an audio that sounds like two people in the conversation are in the same room, which is a wonderful challenge consider the distances that are covered – from Edmonton, Toronto, Quebec, New Jersey, New Hampshire to Scotland and Finland. With everyone on line, bandwidth is being stretched. There are clicks and clacks – noise that can be distracting. TTT is about finding the stories. I’m glad that we connected – looking forward to our ongoing conversation.

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      1. I couldn’t agree more. I loved your post on Hull Minster and tea, but couldn’t comment or reblog it or I would have. It only became recognised as a Minster in 2017. Before that it was always known as Hull Trinity Church. 🙂

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      2. I think that we were there just when the transition happened. The “tea ladies” as my son called them were amazing – welcoming and gracious hosts. I love Hull and hope that I will return on day. Not certain way you could not comment or reblog – I continue to learn….

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      3. Wish we could have joined you. Alas, we were on our way to your side of the world this August, but plans have only be delayed for a moment. This too shall pass!

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  14. Love this conversation, and it really works beautiful as a conversation, not an ‘interview”. Liz, I appreciate your perspective: that each writer must describe what success means to him or her. That’s so important. As you note, selling many books is great, but there are other measurements of success too. I like Anne Lamott’s advice: “Just try to bust yourself gently of the fantasy that publication will heal you, that it will fill the Swiss cheesy holes inside of you. It can’t. It won’t. But writing can.”
    And yes – I had to search the comments because I have now listened to this conversation twice – earlier, I commented – perhaps in the way I have written whole letters and waited for a response, only to realize I only wrote them in my head. So here I go, for real: thank you both for a beautiful, interesting and insightful conversation.

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    1. What marvelous insights, Cynthia. Thank you for adding depth and breadth to this conversation. Liz has opened my perspective on writing, poetry and embracing my personal creativity. We are made from the words we speak, write, think. It is truly a joy to be a part of a compassionate community that thrives on the exchange of knowledge and wisdom. Many thanks come along with my gratitude!

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