… our world is shifting in the biggest and smallest of ways, every little movement having a ripple effect on the whole complicated web we call life on earth. I think a lot of us, individually, are shifting right now too, and many of us are contemplating creative changes, career changes, relationship changes, and personal changes that we wouldn’t have given a thought to only two short weeks ago.
‘I’m not happy when I’m writing, but I’m more unhappy when I’m not.‘ So said Fannie Hurst from the source you’ll see in my teachingcreativewriting blog here with scores of freebie writing exercises for writing tutors. It’s an exercise I call Quote-match. What did Stephen King say? How about JK Rowling? Hemingway? You may object to what Agatha Christie said… Alternative, look at this page of this site. Have a happy teaching term!
From kitchen table to bookshop — here’s an exciting chance to get going on your creative writing dream in a fun private writing class in Chiswick, west London. My colleague Diane Chandler, author of Moondance and of The Road to Donetsk is running an introduction to creative writing session. With her, @Blackbird_Bks publisher and author Stephanie Zia. They’ll be using some exercises and ideas from Creative Writing: the Matrix. And if you can’t make the November date, there’s December and January too! #amwriting Kitchen table writing class, click here for info
This cheeky chappy was my other companion on my @retreatsforyou week of toil and bliss last month. Wrestling a finished draft into something better. ‘Slay that dragon,’ said my brother. ‘It’s a carp,’ said I. ‘Slay that carp doesn’t have the same ring to it,’ came the reply. Sounds like our editor-father speaking. Back in residence at my desk, the struggle continues. Looking for crevices and loopholes in the draft whereby to layer and develop characters and incidents = plot = a better story.
Meanwhile, nice boost, extra orders of Creative Writing: the Matrix, 95 exercises, 21 mini-lectures for creative writing teachers. Back to school in full swing. More here.
Pardon me, I didn’t identify the mystic owl lady of the last post. The painter is Remedios Varo, title Creation of the Birds (Creacion de las aves), in the Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City. 1957.
In this post, Utagawa Kuniyoshi in a colour woodblock: Sakata Kaido-maru wrestles with a giant carp. From the British Museum. 1837.
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
Wonderful blue hydrangeas safely potted and surviving heatwave — thank you She Voices of Richmond for your thank you! May your writing flourish.
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
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!
Scene of the crime… that is the Times Crime Club Masterclass last night held way up high. Besides top agent Jane Gregory, top Hodder editor Julia Wisdom, and three super-established authors (Sophie Hannah, Charles Cumming, Henry Sutton) they even arranged a glorious sunset. It’s always good to get a writing boost from those who know. The plot-comes-out-of-character v character-comes-out-of-plot is one to turn over in the mind. And this reminder gave me a huge clue on how to resolve my struggle with Chapter 6: ‘What does the character want? What is in the way?’
Ok, the usual, and then my others: Kinetic, Inner/Visceral, Time. It’s essential to turn students loose on the senses (and to remind ourselves #amwriting). Once you’ve talked about it, spring an exercise on them, like Hyper-Awareness (surprise). Details HERE.