"We All Have Stories To Tell: Memoir-Writing"
My method is the open-minded, open-hearted exploration of some portion of the writer's past. This is not autobiography beginning with "I was born..." We create small sketches, focusing on one specific event, one day or even one moment at a time, digging out vivid details to provide a narrow but clear window into our life. Memory is very selective and subjective; writing helps us discover our own unique version and vision of The Truth. A noted writer once said, "I didn't know what I thought until I saw it on paper," an experience I have every time I sit down to write. This is not just a way of looking back, but also a way of moving forward, to give our life-journeys more purpose and excitement, to provide a gift to others who care about us, and to inject enthusiasm into our days.
"I'm Repeating Myself ... I'm Repeating Myself"
This workshop recognizes the value of recurring themes and motifs. Most writers have a few and they may not always be welcome. But imagine Anne Tyler without oddball siblings or John Irving without bears. I no longer worry about repeating myself because the rich topics that keep sneaking into my work (autumn colors, motherhood, bipolar disorder and pianos, to name a few) help define me as a writer. What might be labeled and dismissed as "obsessions" should instead be used in contructing the bridge from memory to story, experience to art. Writing allows us to rework the same topics in wildly different ways, and my workshop guides participants in exploring this process.
"Writing Sex, Not Smut"
You are not alone if you find it challenging to write sex scenes, and you may wonder about the differences between romance, erotica, and pornography (including "mommy porn"). There's no doubt that The Fifty Shades Triology and its imitators represent a highly marketable genre. In this workshop, however, we will discuss how to make our writing fresher, more realistic, more sensual and, ultimately, sexier than Fifty Shades. In addition to exploring a few love scenes in literature--from meek to bold--I will help you determine YOUR best approach to writing sexual encounters that truly contribute to plot and character development.