"Get in the habit of welcoming your own words. You are making a map of the days you live." - Naomi Shihab Nye
I have been leading writing workshops, both live and online, since 2010. I believe we all carry an innate intelligence for story-gathering and storytelling, and that making these stories manifest into pieces of writing can happen in a gentle, welcoming setting. In this spirit, I guide students through simple, often playful exercises and activities that help strengthen their creative instincts in order to develop a writing practice that sticks. I also work one-on-one with those who need more accountability, feedback, and personal attention with their creative projects. My classes offer the opportunity to let loose and take risks in order to navigate the stories that matter, and at the heart of my teaching and facilitating work is a commitment to telling the truth with compassion and support. Below are my upcoming online classes, which are open to both new and seasoned writers.
Dates: February 13-March 3, 2017
When the blank page feels too big to fill, the best way to fill it is to reduce its real estate. During this course, we're going to keep the writing at the barest minimum - just 3 lines a day - but we'll write for two weeks straight, which will help us develop a rhythm for a practice and a growing commitment to our work.
As we share our writing throughout the course we'll see just how varied the experience can be, and we'll begin to notice the poetic beauty and the small but important stories living around us at any given moment. By narrowing our gaze to 3 lines a day, we'll be practicing both efficiency and depth, honing in on the elementals - those crucial details and ideas that ultimately become the backbone of our larger work. This course gives participants a manageable and dynamic way to begin a writing practice, stay accountable to their writing, and to engage in their creativity with a community of fellow writers who will provide further inspiration.
Class size limited to 20.
Dates: February 28-March 27, 2017
Why do we so often skirt the truth in our relationships, in our work, in our lives, in our selves? Why do we spend so much effort, time, and even our own creativity engaging in the fine art of avoidance? How is it that we have the intelligence and the tools to get to the "real story," but we shove those aside out of fear of "getting too close" or, worse, fear of failing in the attempt?
This online class offers a chance to practice writing from the core, entering into the kind of self-discipline and discernment that opens us up to an exhilarating freedom of expression. During this course, we'll be sifting through our personal narratives and illuminating those moments, details, dilemmas, and feeling-state that arrow into the heart of who we are, what we believe, and how we perceive our world. We will "meet" every other day, and each writing day will be assisted by prompts from poems, books, and other sources. Our communal classroom space will allow us to share our work and interact to more clearly understand our perspectives and convictions, and to learn how to receive and respond to others'.
Class size limited to 15.
Dates: March 21-April 10, 2017
"100 Words" is a practice of purposeful paring down, a bold writing journey in service to the electrifying (and clarifying) power of brevity. I will provide one single-word prompt every morning (you'll get a link each day in your inbox), and we'll gather for 21 days in an online classroom space, sharing our words (up to 100) in supportive, inspired camaraderie. This class will take place on the Ruzuku platform, which allows for easy interaction and feedback.
Dates: April 3-21, 2017
Jeanette Winterson, in her collection "Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery," asks her readers to consider art "as an active force in the world – neither elitist or remote, present to those who want it, affecting even those who don’t."
As a writer and poet, I frequently experience unexpected intersections with physical, tangible objects that transform into visceral, meaningful symbols in my work. I see these intersections as necessarily interruptive - coming into my line of vision and jostling me to really look, swiveling my attention - or objecting to my usual way of seeing - in a way I'd never anticipated. Often, it's the collision with the mundane that transports me away the most, revealing something more substantive than a first glance would indicate. Like an arrow flying into the center of the mulchy heap, an ordinary object can land on the crucial crucible of a thought or idea and separate it from the complexity and confusion we tend to pile on it. In other words, the mundane can shape our work meaningfully; the ordinary can make it transcendent.
Art Objects: Facts, Fictions, and Photos is an exercise in noticing the world around us for its rich narrative potential. During this 3-week course, we'll be infusing our daily journeys with photographic inspiration in order to tell true and fictional stories. We'll learn to see the possibilities that lie in our literal path every single day - discarded, lost, or forgotten objects that we will use as platforms and inspirations for our creative writing. This course will focus on short-form work - poetry, flash fiction, brief essays - and our online classroom space will allow us to upload photos to help support our written work, as well as share in the experiences and discoveries of others.