Writer Studio

The Writer's Studio

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Words and Images

Deb Hayden


"All my life I have from time to time gone back to paint, because it gave me a form of delight that words can never give. Perhaps the joy in words goes deeper and is for that reason unconscious. The conscious delight is certainly stronger in paint."- D. H. Lawrence.


Book Art, The Red Book

What better place to hopscotch the boundaries between words and images than in "Book Art." This is a piece exhibited by Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in 2015. When Deb announced that she was about to cut into and shred the recently published and much anticipated Jungian "bible," The Red Book, there were audible gasps all round. Years later, the Declaration of Independence, Post-Neo Con, was to suffer the same fate at her hands. It takes a clear eye and understanding of shibboleths and taboos to create such a cogent metaphor for cultural misbehavior. Read More@

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"Laura" -the manuscript- is as big and elusive an enigma as the heroine herself. The story of the story is nearly as fascinating as the story itself. Begun as a technical challenge between three authors, according to Deb Hayden, it went something like this:

It was a wild, stormy night at the Pelican Inn, Muir Beach, California when over dinner Peter suggested the old English Inn would be a great setting for a mystery novel. Wasn’t it at a similar inn on a dark and stormy night two hundred years ago that Lord Byron suggested to his friends Percy and Mary that they write ghost stories? And didn’t Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley then write her masterpiece, Frankenstein? "Good idea," said Bill. Why don’t the three of us write one together?" Skip forward a few decades: Bill sent Peter and me this email: “When I reached age forty-five I could no longer write a sentence beginning with the word ‘strudel’"—James Joyce.  I responded, “Strudel was the last thing on my mind on a dark and stormy night when I arrived at the Pelican Inn.”  And Peter responded . . .  and we were off and running, many years, thousands of emails back and forth weaving together stories of a dark and stormy night at the Pelican Inn, Muir Beach.

In order to meet the creation of that night, the beautiful Laura, please go to Deb's website. @and read more. You decide whether this should be a novel, a graphic novel, a screenplay or a Netflix series.

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Has syphilis been a hidden player throughout history? Have scores of our most visionary leaders and thinkers been suffering from the brain altering chemistry of its little messengers, the spirochetes? Long dreaded as the gateway to madness and decay, it touches some with temporary bouts of rare, insightful, manic genius. Read more@ as Deb explores the biographies of some of its more famous victims.




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Shakespeare and Company

A vivid narration of what it was like to be an American in Paris in the era of student riots and bohemian-chic poverty. Shakespeare and Co., possibly the most iconic of all independent bookstores, and its quirky owner, George Whitman, are chronicled with the clear-eyed dispassion of a "you had to be there," experience. Read more@

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Long Valley

Deb found herself, the last of her family, to be the inheritor of a ten pound, Seventeenth Century Family Bible. To trace the story of how it came to be in her hands, she started researching her ancestry. With excerpts and memories from her unique childhood in Long Valley, New Jersey, this semi-memoir now resides with the Morris County Historical Society. Read more@


Deborah Hayden

Deb Hayden had the childhood of a water sprite or a tree fairy in a little town in the woods of Maine.

"When I was growing up in Maine, I liked to sit on snow banks with my small camera that shot black and white film. In the summer I wrote stories in a notebook while sitting in my tree house or in a rowboat early in the morning on Lake Damariscotta. Decades later, I have a digital camera and an iPhone and can print vivid color prints in many sizes. I have a MacBook Air with millions of words stored inside. I like to find ways to combine the words and the images."

From this auspicious beginning, she went out into the world and found the coalface of virtually every major cultural shift of our times from youth uprisings in Europe to alternative culture at Esalen in Big Sur, California. There was Greenpeace and Beta testing for Apple way back before it became a thing. She has been a successful businesswoman, a published author, a journalist, a photographer, a painter, and so much more.