Monday, May 20, 2013
Hawthorne Fellows Update
The Hawthorne Fellows, The Attic Institutes publishing program just released it's first issue. Everyone worked hard, gave each other essential feedback and helped each other create a workable whole. See their good work and enjoy: Issue #8.
5/20/13 editorial staff assignments:
Sandra's editors: Kirsten & Ellen
Kirsten's editors: Ellen & Cynthia
Ellen's editors: Cynthia & Heidi
Cynthia's editors: Heidi & Nicky
Heidi's editors: Nicky & Sandra
Nicky's editors: Sandra & Kirsten
The remaining schedule: 6 - 9 p.m.
June 3 & 24
July 8 & 22
Aug. 2 (TIME TBA)
*To apply for the Fall Fellows (deadline Sept. 25, click here).
Monday, May 13, 2013
Teaching Point: A Moment's Pause
These are the questions that arise again and again for the storyteller. For the memoirist, it's often a vulnerable question because it's about the hidden teaching within, that terrible gift, that awaits an opportunity to spring forward. Life has been lived but what did that life mean to the soul? The story is the answer. And the soul isn't much about trite matters. In my view, the soul is about the most serious matters we must address. Wisdom, balance, insight, surrender, connectedness, love. To get to these matters, we must, in the end, write about our heartbreak. What could be more difficult? We are so fragile. But I also know, we are so strong.
This fine student with good skill will find her way. We all will. We have no choice. We are the storytellers. We bring comfort to the reader in the cold night while fear lurks around in the shadows. We bring comfort, insight, peace and connection. Our stories let others know they are not alone. What better life? What better path?
In this last year, I've seen my memoir/fiction teachings grow to remarkable levels thanks to the faith placed in me by David Biespiel at The Attic. Fifty students a week, a dozen active consults. My own writing takes off, inspired by the writing I take in each week.
This small writing is to send out great thanks to everyone who comes to see me, who puts faith in my guidance and who has the courage to write.
Friday, May 10, 2013
PM Craft Class: Reading Schedule
Extended Class: 6/16
Class 7, May 19
Class 8, May 26: Prompt – workshop
Thursday, May 09, 2013
The Ground Rules of Story: Fit Your Memoir into Classic Story Form
Novels and movies use a basic formula to tell a great story and once you discover this for structure for yourself, your writing life will change. We’ll map out the four-part story structure, study two films as well as one memoir in order to deepen your understanding through experience.
Writers will also be asked to bring a 5-20 pg. layout of their entire book idea, prior to arriving, which will be shared and discussed as part of series of workshopping/brainstorming sessions.
This four day workshop is an annual event on the Oregon Coast and is open to a dozen writers. There will be two days of intensive teaching, from 10-4 with a break for lunch and two days of broken teaching, in the AM and the PM, leaving you time for writing/revision and for resting your mind as you stroll the wide, long beach of Manzanita or hike the narrow, steep trails up Neakahnie Mountain.
DATES: August 16, 17, 18, 19
TIMES: Aug. 16 &; 18, 10-1 & 5-7:30
Aug. 17 & 19 10-4 p.m. (Snacks, tea, coffee provided)
COST: $475.00 *
ADDL DETAILS: You are responsible for your travel and your accommodations. Great places can be recommended, just ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spindrift Sunset Surf Ocean Inn Inn at Manzanita Coast Cabins Sunset Vacation Rentals * THERE ARE NO REFUNDS ON DEPOSITS OR WORKSHOP TUITION ONCE PAID.
Friday, May 03, 2013
Theme & Structure Class
(Summer class - 5 weeks - June 11)
May 21 - Maria and Paul
May 28 - Sophie and Jennifer
Submitting (no more than 20 pgs):
2) Concept as a series of what if questions
4) Character study
5) Description of whole project as an overview
Agenda for discussion:
1) Writer to offer some questions they have about the outline provided
2) Two people in the group will share what the project is about, a summary
3) Answer the questions the writer asked
4) Offer additional helpful insights/discuss
5) Writer to take notes and then ask questions at the end.
AM Spring Craft Class
(Extended Summer Class begins June 10)
Class 9, May 27 – Prompt - Workshop
Books for Class: Tell it Slant by Brenda Miller, Story Engineering by Larry Brooks, Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austin.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Teaching Point: Definition of Terms
In class, I will edit your pages and make all kinds of comments as we go along. Most, you will forget. Why? You are all worked up! It's terrifying to read in front of me and the group. Don't worry. You'll get what you need to get. And, when you go through your pages later, you'll notice a few terms on the page. Here are explanations to help you find your way:
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Teaching Point: Critique
- Don’t use pointlessly critical language: IE
- Don’t be subjective or start talking about your own experience unless there’s a specific reason to, such as an expert knowledge you can add to the work at hand.
- When you give praise, do see if you can add even more to your comment by suggesting another place where the same writing tactics can help the essay. Do provide revision suggestions freely, along with support and encouragement. The other side of the workshop coin from the pick-it-all-apart session is the lovefest, which ultimately disrespects the writer’s ability to bring her work to a higher level, and do him no good.
- Do jot down the scenes, descriptions, and images that stick what you: the “Velcro words and phrases,” as writer and teacher Sheila Bender put it. Put the essay down and make note of the first thing you remember about it. Generally these passages are the ones that not only are the best written, but the most key to what the essay is doing at a deep level.
- Do identify the emotionally tones of the essay and its prose. You may sense the pleasure of a friend’s visit, of a hike, the anxiety of sentences that all begin with, “I think, or “I believe.” Do you get the sense of over formality in a phrase like “I am perturbed”? Do you wonder why the author calls her mother by the definite article, “the mother”? Does it feel somewhat chilly? In all cases, are these feelings ones the author intended to convey, or do they seem unintentional and perhaps working against the movement of the essay?
- Do identify your curiosity. Make note of where specifically you want to know more. Which locations/characters would benefit from more description? Which characters’ voice do you want to hear? Where do you want to know more about the author’s responses and feelings? These curiosities help locate places for expansion.