Writing: can you teach it?

Teaching creative writing — it’s fun, it’s nurturing others, it’s encouraging and supporting voices. So many ways to spark and fan the writing urge, and right about now you are planning your first day of teaching… your first term. Here’s support for you: 95 exercises and mini-lectures based on experience of teaching over 29,000 student hours of creative writing.

 

Also  click here to see more at teachingcreativewriting blog

Writing Utopia

Catch a vision on BBC4 TV this Tuesday 9pm Utopia: In Search of the Dream. Amazingly it features haiku and a bit of me and other British Haiku Society poets. Over 3 programmes: Utopia for a fairer world, does utopian vision work, is it an inner state? Guess which is the haiku one. For me utopia could be a week’s writing retreat — already booked for it in Devon, Retreats for You. Meanwhile click here for BBC TV listing. And here for my most recent haiku.

Writing which way?

Which way to go? This really IS a discovery draft. SO wanting to go back and make the scenes meet, connect the narrative flow. So many things to juggle, can’t hold them all in my head at once. But must-must-must go forward. The three glued sheets of timelines are helping but… then I get into one voice or the other. Or one storyline and get so into it that the rest doesn’t matter. But when I pull back the rest does matter. I have just finished a crucial scene: things are getting difficult between J and M. Interesting! So much unknown ahead, coroner etc…

The photo’s from a recent trip to Polperro, Cornwall. Wonderful country, as Poldark fans know.

 

Writing alternative creativity

Cat O’ 9 Teats

When in writing doubt, do something else creative! Try sticky-fingered papiermache. My group of makers, The PapierMachistas, are inspired by the Mexican Linares family. Our work on show this Sunday 2 July, noon, at the Cambrian Community Centre, Richmond, London — YOU are invited. It’s part of ArtHouse artists’ open studios.  This is my Cat o’Nine Teats. This kind of creativity lets me speak without words.

Writing National Day

The view from my window is a city I have never seen before. It had a sunset sky last night of surpassing magnificance, mounds of gold and pearl cloud against pale blue, pink, lavender. We walked the calm streets and found a restaurant with marble tables set with lemon and tomato. I drank prosecco and he drank gin and tonic and the food was perfect fish. We wake this morning, this day, to this city to see a play about a virtuoso pianist who went mad for a while but then got better, at a place called Three Minute Theatre. This is not a fantasy, although I do often dream I am in an unknown city. This is Manchester. #TellYourStory  21 June 2017 National Writing Day @WriteDay

Writing workshop

How do you write about a place you’ve never been to? How do you write about a time you’ve never lived in? Or how do you bring your writing to life? Come and hone your writing skills, and acquire new ones, with Susan Lee Kerr, local author, haiku poet and creative writing tutor. Susan, known to She Voices members, was born in West Virginia, raised in New York, and is now a dedicated Londoner. Her novel, The Extraordinary Dr Epstein, is the true life of an astonishing 19th century immigrant. As his great granddaughter, Susan drew on family tales, fact and imagination to tell the turbulent story that she draws upon in her workshop.

SHE VOICES WOMEN WRITERS welcomes newcomers to this workshop on Saturday morning 17th June 10.30 – 12.30 At Richmond Library, Little Green, Richmond Upon Thames TW9 1QL.

And I thank She Voices for this lovely opportunity!

Writing howl

Oh dear. A sudden wave of boredom. This is not good. Boredom… probably fear, and now I feel panic — I can’t do this! How do I get from X point (missing man identified) to the rest of the solution? It’s not fun anymore… because (1) I know what happened (2) I don’t know how to tell it. Equals: stuck.

Go back and sort out the timeline and smooth the existing writing? Go forward with start of reveals? Obvs: go forward. In writing real scenes with real people I learn things I didn’t know.

Wander though research notes again. Let it get hold of me again.

PS This is a papiermache sculpture I made: Howling Coyote.

Writing 3 voices

Okay! Connections made between characters, the two story points-of-view meet in the draft. Now I have to stop and smooth and put the three voices — T, J & fairytale storytelling into one flow. Then go forward. This is a big turning point in the novel (both writing and reading it!). Do the voices work? When I go from T to J, J feels slow. When I’m with J and go back to T, J feels deep and interesting and T feels shallow or a bit cliché and fast. BUT it IS an adventure to write. I don’t know if it will all fit together. Must work out dates, days, weeks.

Speaking of three — spring tulips here doing their dramatic ballet.