Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Class

In the first class (last Wednesday night) we jumped into writing and reading out loud. It is daunting and scary to read something you wrote on the fly. You are tempted to make excuses and immediately taint what your readers hear, how you feel. But it is exhilarating when you listen. Not just because you get a view into the emotions and connections that are created by something you wrote. But also, you get to learn and riff off each other. Reflecting back to the writer right then and there and learning from the observations of others. Having someone articulate what you felt is not only validating but educational.

By the second class (yesterday) we found our groove. And the writing has begun to build on itself. One writer picks up the details of another (Ikea plates). Or two writers - prompted by the same word (dishes) - have counter responses to a piece, reading it for our comparison. Writing grows and expands the themes within one writers repertoire and then within the entire group. Finally, beneath the layers that we have written and read away, we found something else - a nugget of anger, a whole bunch of attitude, some crazy dirty character (or two) who makes everyone laugh. There was a whole lotta that and amazement going on last night.

Also Rachel (my writing and now teaching sister) designed a couple writing exercises, ones meant to get us out of the regular mode of narration. They stopped and turned us as we wrote, sending us in whole new directions. And there's an assignment. This week we will choose any section that we read aloud and spend time taking it further. That is up for interpretation - the taking it further part. It shall be fun to see where the words go next.

So often in writing we labor by ourselves. It is by nature a solitary work and so much of it begins and ends with you. YOU need to sit down and do the work, it is YOUR thoughts, ideas and handwriting on the page and finally YOU are the one at risk when you send it out and about in the world. But there is so much energy in writing with others, whether they sit beside you while you put pen to paper, collaborate with you as you write something new, or teach you as they respond to your work.

Soon a few will meet in cyberspace when they are done with an hour of work. YOU can too. Write with us and then discuss books, drafting vs. revising, writers block, loneliness - you name a writers' difficulty du jour and we are bound to hash it out in the practice room. As always find the schedule through the door on the right.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What have I been doing?

I have two big writing things going on at the moment. On the one hand is a "class" essentially about getting your writing exercise. My friend Rachel and I are leading it. It's not about teaching as much as practicing what everybody already knows. Last night we wrote in ten minute sessions, using single words as prompts, and shared what we wrote as we finished. Then reflected back to each other what we heard. Not only was it fun to hear first impressions on our words but there were some amazing writers in the group. How energizing the whole experience was! I'm already excited for next weeks class!

And I have also have been working on a group crit for a co-practiceroomer. We have been meeting on gchat to discuss the first 3rd of her dystopian work in process. There has been a literal floodgate of discussion about her book and the world and the narrator. It has been tons of fun to consider the difficulties of world building, characterization and book openings. Her book is complex and exciting and well done, so as a result we have had much to say about it. At the same time I'm trying to be aware of how overwhelming that would be (she also has a toddler and an infected wisdom tooth). Let's just hope it is not too much to stomach when you are on the receiving end. She is a trouper for letting us discuss and I only hope that these gals will do the same for me when my next novel comes round for the go-round. And I also hope that my book provides as much fodder for discussion!

Meanwhile the practice room has been trucking along. Join us and see how much you can get done in an hour. The next schedule posts on Monday, February 21st. Check it out through that door on your right.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

As per Anita's Holiday Declaration!

2nd Annual Unofficial Post a Photo of Your Work Space Day

Here is my soon to be work space. We are converting the garage into a "studio" for the whole family to use. I will finally have a little corner of this to call my own.

[Photo missing.]

As you may recall, my work space from last year involved an exercise ball. I still mostly sit there, but as of Sunday night my (our) computer refused to boot up. So thanks to my hubby I have been using his work computer below at the cafe tables in our messy triple duty dining area.

I am in fact sitting there right now as I post this.

It is also TPR hour as I post this so I better get to work, as when the hour is up I must have something to say for myself!

I would love to see your workspace too. Let me know in comments if you have posted it on your blog and I will come to check it out.

Oh and here is the usual plug - come check out the schedule and join us in the practice room. Everyone is welcome.