Spirit of Place: A New Italian Site Luoghi d’Autore: Private World Maps of Famous Authors Features Anaïs Nin

“Regular maps have few surprises: their contour lines reveal where the Andes are, and are reasonably clear. More precious, though, are the unpublished maps we make ourselves, of our city, our place, our daily world, our life; those maps of our private world we use every day; here I was happy, in that place I left my coat behind after a party, that is where I met my love; I cried there once, I was heart sore; but felt better round the corner once I saw the hills of Fife across the Forth, things of that sort, our personal memories, that make the private tapestry of our lives.” ― Alexander McCall SmithLove Over Scotland

As readers of Anaïs Nin know. Anaïs writes effortlessly about her private world maps in her Diaries.

A new site, Luoghi d’Autore writes about this gift in their new blog. We look forward to the upcoming articles on Nin’s experiences in Bali and later, Mexico and Japan.

We relate to the Fez connection. When in Fez staying at Riad 9, we carried Xeroxed copies of her Fez writing and shared with friends we were traveling with-all were enraptured by Nin’s writing and her ability to describe so accurately the labyrinthine nature of the streets we were walking. It was as if she was beside us as a timeless spirit of place guide.

The goal of our new site – Luoghi d’Autore – is to link the world of tourism to the literary  passions of artists known and unknown.  Luoghi d’Autore explores the complex relationship between a place, its landscape, its people, and artists who has chosen a specific destination as  their  ideal place to create a work of art. We believe that the sensitivity of artists provides them  with the ability to describe the spirit of a place. We always look for a connection between a trip  and a literary work, between locales and art. An example is the journey of Anaïs Nin to Bali;  we made the same trip while reading her Diary 7, her article The Spirit of Bali,  and the book A  House in Bali of Colin McPhee (Anaïs Nin loved it); in Sanur we stayed in the same hotel that  Nin had chosen.  It was a very special experience.

We  have  already  published  two  articles  on  her  trip  to  Morocco  (Anaïs  Nin  e  la  magia  del Morocco)and  her  stay in Los Angeles  (Anaïs Nin a Los Angeles:  gli  ultimi anni  raccontati  da Barbara Kraft). We will publish an article about her experiences in Bali and are working on  her trips to Mexico and Japan. We try to discover and describe a place through an artist’s eyes  and to explore the inner world of that artist through the places they visit. The aura of travel is  beautifully  described  by  Anaïs  Nin’s  writing  on  Fez in  Diary  7.  She  writes “The external life  matches or harmonizes with the inner one. Fez did. It matched the dreams, so I was able to unite  them. That is why it is so important to create the outer life to match one’s inner longings, so that  they reach a marriage.”

Emanuela Riverso

Happy Birthday Anaïs!

Anaïs circa 1934 source blog post These Little Words

“I knew a woman lovely in her bones”
Theodore Roethke
from the poem
“I knew A Woman”

born February 21, 1903

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:

Always Your Fan: Interview with Barbara Kraft on Anaïs Nin: Her Last Days

Alerting readers of this blog of a interview with Barbara Kraft we mentioned earlier in the blog, now available on YouTube.

Public Access TV interview Connie Martinson Talks Books

I am in the midst of watching it now, and wanted to share it with fans, who I bet like me, say Nin to rhyme with Tin, enchanting to hear Kraft refer to her as Nin sounds like Neen!

Wonderful interview with author Barbara

Actual You Tube link is below for those who may be frustrated by non link in years to come!


Barbara Kraft Interview: Santa Monica Public Access Station 10/2/2013

Former reporter for Time magazine and contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today and Architectural Digest, whose interviews with leading literary figures Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin and Eugene Ionesco have been published in scholarly journals; classically-trained pianist and author of radio plays and opera libretti, she has written concert program notes for the Music Academy of the West, Pasadena’s Ambassador Auditorium and UCLA’s Center for the Performing Arts; producer and narrator for KCRW’s 2006 documentary Transforming OC, on the opening of the new Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, California

For those blog readers in the Santa Monica area, Barbara Kraft will be interviewed for a half hour over Santa Monica ‘s Public Access station which goes to Time Warner users in Santa Monica tomorrow. She will be discussing her beautiful paperback edition of Anaïs Nin; The Last Days which has just been published by Pegasus Books.

Please remember to purchase the book on Amazon so you can post a review that notes you are an authenticated buyer. Of course it still makes a great gift and even if you have already read the electronic version, think seriously of buying a copy for your local library. Help make this gorgeous paperback a best seller on Amazon so they will consider making an audible version.

Pumpkin Spice Latte for The Soul: Your Soul at a Crossroads

Just a little reminder to  readers of Valerie’ Harm’s book Your Soul at a Crossroads to write a review if you are enjoying it.

I just posted mine and although Amazon has just told me it can’t be posted because I mention the paperback and Kindle version and they can’t take a review mentioning both products (Huh???) so I am putting the entire review here.

I travel a lot and am enjoying this book which I consider a little spa/retreat in a book.I carry it along in my luggage. Although the book can be read without doing the exercises, its fun to take a chapter, read through it, date your entry and then see where you are next time you have a moment to attend to your soul when you are somewhat solo!  Sometimes being in transit (whether going to Bhutan or just down the corner to a little cafe on a day off) with a notebook and book to spark action in one’s life is just what one needs to get a new perspective. This informative, beautifully researched and thoughtfully constructed book, is like a Starbucks for the soul, a “third place” not office or home, that allows one to think about one’s life and relationships, goals and dreams in a new way. A lively addition to a library and a fun gift to a friend facing a big birthday (21, 30, 40, etc!) or someone who has just been hospitalized or has broken a leg as in achieved some success.(I’d give the actual book with a little notebook and pen too) Of course given in a Kindle edition, it’s just four dollars so you can always easily gift yourself for the cost of a pumpkin spice latte! These crossroads in life are important moments that can be remembered. Bet you think you’ll always remember what was happening when your baby took their first baby steps, or you first fell in love or took or left a job however as Everything Changes, each day presents a new  set of cross roads (always four directions) and it’s helpful to have a  reflective record to refer to help you discover that the crossroads of the soul are different. Crossroads is a special book and is appropriate for all ages! it’s a jump start road map to look at the paths one walks  or road map one is using  in one’s life. Stop. Pause. Go.  Red Yellow Green We’re used to stop and go stoplights in our fast paced lives, so this book is a refreshing companion helping us to look at the path we are following with new eyes. Pause a little longer when your are between  the Red and Green of a busy life. Bask a little bit  in the yellow glow of the soul by reading a few pages when the spirit moves you. Or if you are truly on vacation spend a week or ten days at a soul spa/retreat for your spirit with Valerie Harm’s slight but oh so helpful book. SBUX for the SOUL.

On a sadder note, I have been thinking of a wonderful but sad, crosswords of the soul story, I’ll link to it below. This week a soulful story surfaced about  parents whose daughter had text ed in early September about grabbing a Pumpkin Spice Latte. By the next day their eighteen year old daughter had died of an epileptic seizure. The heartbroken parents went to a local Starbucks.

“We tried to think of something that we could do that would be a little bit positive,” her father Jason O’Neill told us in a Skype chat. He and his wife, Alyssa’s mother Sarah, went to their local Starbucks and bought Pumpkin Spice Latte for themselves, as well as the next 40 customers. All they asked of the baristas was that they write #AJO on the cups, and explain to the customers why their drink was free. 

To read the entire Yahoo Story go here.

Parents’ Pumpkin Spice Latte Act of Kindness in Honor of Daughter Goes Viral

Anaïs Nin Last Days: A Memoir by Barbara Kraft is Now in Paperback

A friend is a present you give yourself.

Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
—Anaïs Nin

Anaïs would have loved this elegant presentation of her Last Days by Barbara Kraft.

Please be sure and order from this link on Amazon. Anaïs Nin: The Last Days is a perfect gift to give to a friend, stunning gift wrap is available through Amazon. Those who have followed our web site since we created the beautiful pre-Google spacious (non ad or banner) white page site, Thinking of Anaïs Nin, will recognize the lovely photo by Valerie Harms. Kudos to designer Liz Des Rochers for creating such a gorgeous evocative cover that captures the magic of this luminous book

To order this beautiful paperback version of Last Days please buy on Amazon at this link.

It’a important to purchase through this link if you wish to post a review on Amazon. Your review will have more weight if you are writing a review as an actual buyer of the book.


Los Angeles, CA. “I have chosen to reveal the intimacies of Anaïs Nin’s last days as I  witnessed them so that the story of her death is not lost. Everything comes back in the mind’s eye. Everything comes back in the crucible of the heart. She remains in my psyche all these years later as the most refined and rarified human being I have ever encountered.”

Thus begins Barbara Kraft’s memoir, ANAIS NIN: THE LAST DAYS (Pegasus Books;August 2013; $14.95 U.S.).  With her sometimes loving and sometimes raw prose, Kraft has captured the humanity, mortality, and essence of one of the twentieth century’s most celebrated and yet mysterious literary figures.

Anaïs Nin, noted for her diaries and erotica, was at the height of her fame when she took on Barbara Kraft as a writing student.  Quickly, the two became intimate friends at the moment  when both would encounter tragedy: Nin’s terminal cancer and Kraft’s impending difficult  divorce.  The circumstances created an environment of interdependency: Nin, despite her failing health, supported Kraft’s writing and life decisions, and Kraft became a devoted and untiring part of Nin’s support system during her last two years of life.

As Noel Riley Fitch, author of Anaïs:The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin, writes of Kraft’s book: “An intimate and beautiful portrayal of the final years and painful death of Anaïs Nin … This compelling memoir is honest, critical, and full of perceptive insights into the relationships between Nin and her men.”Of all the young women I’ve worked with you are the one most like me,” Nin told Kraft as she lay dying.”

Kraft describes her initial meeting with Nin in February 1974, writing that Nin was poetry embodied and seemed to ‘glide’ over the rose-colored carpet of her Silver Lake home ‘like a swan skimming the surface of still waters.’ And in December of that year she begins what was to become a chronicle of Nin’s terrible two-year battle with cancer.

“I can’t tell the world about my illness, Barbara, but you can, and I want the world to know. I Because of the overwhelming reality of cancer, Anaïs Nin was stripped down to her bare essence, which Kraft captures expertly. She poignantly records not only Nin’s stubborn grip on life, but also the heroic efforts that Rupert Pole, Nin’s West Coast lover, made to shield her from the inevitable pain, agony, and humiliation associated with the disease. It is a monumental tribute to not only those fighting for their lives, but also the forgotten ones—the caregivers.

As Kraft writes a few days before she died, Anaïs whispered her final dream into my ear… “I dreamed that I had all my dresses and capes laid out on the floor and that we were going to have them copied exactly for you so that when I am well we can go out together as twins…. But someone told me that was foolish because I could not get up and go out and that we could not be The very personal events in this book will resonate with anyone who has gone through terminal disease or knows someone who has. So, like Nin herself, the raw reality of Anaïs Nin: The Last Days becomes symbolic, mythical, and universally inspirational.

Anaïs Nin: The Last Days is available in bookstores and on line at Amazon

Barbara Kraft is the author of  Anaïs Nin: The Last Days (2013) and The Restless Spirit: Journal of a Gemini: The latter was  published in 1976 with a preface by Anaïs Nin, and laudatory comment by  the late Carlos Baker, definitive biographer of Ernest Hemingway and Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature at Princeton.  Kraft has also written several radio plays including a play on the legendary muse of William Butler Yeats, Maud Gonne. The play won an Ohio State Award as “an outstanding example of original radio drama as written and directed by KPFK’s Barbara Kraft.” Kraft has written several libretti including The Dream

Tunnel: A Musical Journey through America, commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (with Kraft as narrator) for the 1976 Bicentennial.   The Los Angeles Times wrote of her libretto for The Innocents: The Witch Trial at Salem “….Barbara Kraft gives vivid, incantatory fragments to vocal quartets of Magistrates, Clergy, two groups of Innocents and a chorus representing the Populace.  Sections of raucous, conflicting (but tightly written cries portrayed a community beset by hysteria.”

A former reporter for Time, and contributor to Washington Post, People, USA Today, and Architectural Digest, Kraft’s work has appeared in The Hudson Review, Michigan Quarterly, Canadian Theatre Review and Columbia Magazine, et al; and among the many radio programs she has hosted and produced is Transforming OC, a two-part documentary for KCRW (the award winning Santa Monica-based NPR station) on the 2006 opening of the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. Kraft is a Registered Reader at the Huntington Library in San Marino and lives and writes in Los Angeles, California. Visit her website.

Contact: Barbara@bkraftpr.com

Inspiration and Memoir: Your Soul at a Crossroads

Valerie Harms, one of the founders of this site, whose photo of Nin graces our first page, has written a new book. Your Soul at a Crossroads.

She is the author of nine books & numerous articles, a creativity counselor, and an independent Jung scholar, she has led writing and depth psychology workshops at centers around the country, plus Canada and Greece. A graduate of Smith College, for seven years she was science editor at the National Audubon Society in NYC. Currently she lives in Bozeman, Montana and edits Distinctly Montana Magazine.

We are providing the link directly to Amazon in the event you wish to write a review. Then purchase your gift copies at your favorite local bookstore!

Your Soul at a Crossroads ~ with steps you can take not to lose it

Published by Magic Circle Press

This book enables readers to confidently choose the right path when up against many choices in their lives. It provides exercises on relationships, work, and health that uncover the spiritual wisdom rooted in the individual’s soul. It offers both inspiration and memoir.

Everyone has difficulties — some inordinately hard — but all essential to their fate. We struggle in relationships, work, health, and with how to live meaningfully. Sometimes we’re high, sometimes low, always in flux, but when we die to one way of life, we are reborn into another. This book aims at helping you find renewal and transcendence after life delivers a blow.

Find the meaning of your life within you, not out there somewhere, by using the techniques that have aided me and others for decades. If you are confused about what your next steps are and you try these exercises, they will give you fresh courage and insights to bring into your life…and world.

Contents cover the essence of timing, dialogue guidelines, examples from the author’s life and others’, dreams, death, and evocative rebirth symbols and myths.

From readers & workshop participants:

“I am simply swept away with admiration for your approach. What you offer is a new paradigm for how I think emotionally. Thank you for your deeply challenging work.”

“Your message is so healing.”

“I just cannot tell you how much you have helped me.”

“Harms’ book was miracle for me!”


Why do you write about using a notebook as former spiritual seekers retreated to caves?
Finding your new path takes time to undergo change and renewal. The notebook is a place for solitude and writing out the exercises with full-bore emotional intensity.

What is depth psychology?
Emphasizing the images, ideas, and intuitions that come to consciousness when the mind is quiet.

What is the purpose of writing a dialogue on paper?
By considering the “other” in a relationship or work project you get out of the circular thinking of one’s own mind. Writing from one heart to another evokes words that may never be spoken. Subtle awarenesses surface from the unconscious.

Name 3 ways to work with dreams:
Find the story, ponder your associations, honor the meaning.

What are some symbols of renewal?
Eggs, seeds, cave as container, fire (heat of emotional pressure that leads to transformation), darkness)

Thank you Marie Popova: For Letting Us Pick Your Brain

My friend Valerie Harms just told me that Publisher’s Weekly has chosen the Graphic Canon Volume 3 as the most beautiful book of the summer. She mentioned that there was a comic graphic about Anaïs Nin.This is the shortened URL for the Publisher’s Weekly piece: http://bit.ly/13tkqnS

Alas in the piece, the comic associated with Nin is in the wrong place.

In searching for a better graphic to use (then just scroll down!) I re-found this amazing blog, which we have have quoted from before. So ever thanks to Marie Popova, whose astounding blog : Brainpickings.org all followers of this blog should instantly follow!and donate to. We just did.

Here is her words about the part of the book of most interest to fans of Nin. (The entire piece, entitled
Graphic Canon 3:From Virginia Woolf to James Joyce Visual Artists Take on The Classics. can be found here.)

“Given my undying love for Anaïs Nin’s diaries and letters, which have been the subject of several Brain Pickings Artist Series original collaborations, I was particularly delighted to find this contribution by Mardou:”

Invincible Anaïs at Nineteen

A friend just sent me this photo of Anaïs this morning from Flavorwire. The fascinating photos of authors when they were teens, included this photo of Anaïs Nin at 19. The photo shown came via People Tribe.

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.” wrote Camus, so let’s all bask in the invincible summer in the nineteen year old face of Nin, who would be blessed in the winter of her days to be remembered with love by a brilliant writer and friend.(Anaïs Nin The Last Days: Barbara Kraft)
Just re-picture her book with this photo below! The translucent writing of Kraft’s memoir deserves a more evocative cover!

“When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.” Looking for Alaska


Anais, Forever Au Currant and Interesting

In today’s New York Times, we read about a young character Ash in a new novel by Meg Wolitzer The Interestings) who argues that Anaïs Nin is God.

She and her brother Goodman disagree vehemently. Gunther Grass is her brother’s pick. Their witty pal Ethan, also one of the group of “interestings” wonders whether umlauts aren’t what make Nin and Grass so special.

Let’s leave it to our German bloggers to put in their own umlauts, as this writer has never been able to figure out how to do an umlaut in Windows! But for those who don’t write (easily put in by hand!)

and umlaut consists of two dots above a vowel in some languages.

So Anaïs is still as current in the minds of young readers as she was in the seventies.