Starry Starry Kite is the dream and brainchild of Elizabeth Castronovo, universally loved and admired for persistence, resilience, and her ability to find joy in simple pleasures.  I celebrate her life and love with every breath.

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Starry Starry Kite is Born

“My sister’s a writer,” Beth told a handful of women talking about writing groups in early 2018.  

She said it with confidence, tinted with the adoration of a younger sister for her elder. We were raised as twins, less than a year apart, but she spoke with assurance, and earned me an invitation to a “real” writing group of published poets, novelists and essayists.

Privately, I considered myself a writer. I journaled my whole life and grew up thinking I was writing. In the final leg of my working life, as an elementary school teacher, I taught young children to write, learned that journaling isn’t all there is to writing, and fell in love with the whole process. I looked forward to retirement when I could devote myself to the story of raising my son. I wrote morning pages and scheduled two hours a day to write, but it was slow-going, hard to concentrate on my own. A million details competed for my attention. 

A writing group was just what I needed, scheduled time to meet in the same location and write side-by-side, parallel play with notebooks and computers. I have never been a loner. Put me on a team, or shoulder to shoulder with at least one other person, and I will tackle any task. I can move mountains as long as I am not working alone. 

Maybe because my earliest memories include my sister always at my side. 

The online journal was Beth’s idea. She called me about a year ago, energized and inspired after listening to a podcast about Glennon Doyle’s blogging success. “I want to tell the truth about living with cancer,” she said. “I don’t know the first thing about websites. You can help me with that, but I am going to write something every day and send it out into the world. It’ll be called Starry Starry Kite.” 

Beth was a gifted writer. Her raw, first draft writing was beautiful, but I also knew the benefit of revision. I cautioned her to move slowly. “How about monthly? That way you can take your time and craft your message.”

We didn’t know then how little time she had.

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Having had many careers: field hockey/lacrosse coach, science teacher, stay-at-home mom, bodyworker, elementary teacher, I am grateful to spend my retirement with the spirit-enriching practices of yoga and writing, the warp and woof of a long life.