Not updated for 2020, hope to do so soon!
Writing Your Love Stories
What makes a good, true love story? The setting and characters, the action and dialogue, the prose. And till more important, the narrative arc. Whether if be flash nonfiction, essay, short or long memoir, there needs to be a journey to the epiphany. We will look at examples of contemporary love stories and shape a memory into a page of your love story.
Writing the Personal Essay
There is a growing need to make sense of our lives, hence our thirst for stories of real life, for authenticity. In writing personal essays, the writer explores a life experience and tries to make meaning out of it. In this workshop, we will look at how to craft our real life stories with attention to both narrative elements and poetic elements. We will read excerpts from contemporary writers, and we will write our own short pieces of creative nonfiction--practicing the skills of story teller, poet, and commentator.
Short Shorts and Flash Fiction
Sudden fiction presents a whole world in a few paragraphs or pages. It contains all the elements of the short story, plus the element of surprise. We will read examples of Short Shorts (800 to 2000 words) and Flash Fiction (under 800 words), studying how they work. And we will write our own very short stories, remembering that they are tiny kingdoms all by themselves.
From Journal to Memoir
Journal writing and memoir are both voyages in self-discovery. The writer explores a subject to discover a self and a world. The journal captures memories, deepens awareness, and plans seeds for stories. The memoir, short or long, is the fruit of jounaling. In writing true life stories, the writer discovers, and contributes to, our shared humanity. In this workshop we will look at contemporary examples of journal writing and memoir. From a journal entry, you will write a short piece of memoir.
Keeping Our Own Red Books: Writing to the Soul
"I should advise you to put it all down as beautifully as you can..." C.G.Jung, 1926
In this workshop, after a short introduction to The Red Book, we will look at a few of the dialogues that C.G.Jung had with his soul. We will imagine encountering the soul, describing the setting, looking for images, and writing dialogues. We will examine excerpts from contemporary authors about how they experience the soul. And following the advice of Jung, you will craft short pieces of writing, fragments to be copied into your own red books.
Memoir, A Window into Your Life
Memoir is not autobiography, but a selected facet of a life. By choosing the focus, you open a window into your life. What window are you opening? What is its frame? What parts will you include, and not include? Working with these questions, with examples of contemporary memoirs and guided exercises, you will move forward o n a memoir already started or you will start a new one.
Memoir and Metaphor
Metaphor lets us bring our life experiences into clearer focus. In this workshop we will look at how metaphor has been used in literature and in the specific genre of memoir, reading exerpts from contemporary authors, to see how they use metaphor to illuminate their work. There will be guided writing exercises, including a short piece of memoir.
Making Mosaics of Our Lives
We will look for living images in our dreams, memories, surroundings. Then for the patterns linking them together. We will dialogue with the images and shape them into journal entries, essays, stories, or poems, creating mosaics of our lives.
Writing from Darkness
We will take a few steps along the path of those who have written from darkness, reading exerpts from Hildegard of Bingen, St. John of the Cross, and Ettie Hillesum. Then we will look at how C.G. Jung wrote from darkess in the Red Book. We will see how we can write from our own night.
Writing the Way Home
We will start with a brief introduction to Hestia (Vesta), the keeper of the hearth, with reflections on the longing for home in our fragmented world. We will read excerpts from contemporary authors (Orhan Pamuk, Barbara Kingsolver, Terry Tempest Williams), seeing how they find images that lead them homeward. We will look for our own images and write about them, shaping the pieces into mosaic-like memoirs.