Sunday, March 27, 2011

Embraced by Writing

I've sent this to my local writers' group but thought maybe there are others of you who would appreciate the links and suggestions. Enjoy!

Progress and Publishing
  1. I have been submitting work for publication. I had an article accepted for the Guest Column in the April edition of City Light News and will have a second smaller article in the May edition. 
  2. If you have a manuscript, I hope you will consider submitting it to the Word Alive contest. There is no entry fee. One of our own Calgary writers won this contest a few years ago. It is well worth the effort! 
  3. If you would like to take a class, the Alexandra Writers’ Society spring session is coming. For a course listing click here.

Local Meetings

Last month, during our February gathering, we reviewed the children’s story submitted by Kathy and a creative non-fiction piece from Joyce. Sue took us through a discussion on our writing goals and we tried several writing exercises, including one where we use our personal history to help us expand our characterizations in stories. Very intriguing. For a copy of the writing prompt, send me an email request.

The previous meeting in January, we watched a stimulating TED talk by BrenĂ© Brown called “The Power of Vulnerability.” You might find it helpful to think through the same things we discussed after watching it: how BrenĂ©’s research results relates to what we are or are not willing to put on the page In our writing, how we connect with others, our willingness to be vulnerable in print. I hope you will find the video helpful as you consider the same questions.

Have you heard of Ekphrastic writing? It is a type of writing that comments upon another art form, like a poem about a photograph or a novel about a film.  Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is a prime example of this type of writing, since the entire poem concerns the appearance and meaning of an ancient piece of pottery. Another more extensive version could be Henri Nouwen’s work, “The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming” - a contemplative booklet based on his encounter with Rembrandt’s painting.

Ekphrastic Writing Exercise

Find a work of art (sculpture, painting, photograph, etc.) either on the internet, or better yet, in a gallery. Spend time looking at it, meditating on it, thinking about it and write a response to it. There are no rules. This is about two different types of art having a conversation with each other.  Anything that surfaces from viewing the visual art. If you need examples, there are poetic examples here. However, you do not have to write in poem form. Essay, prose, even take a journalistic or a comedic approach. Whatever gets you to the page. Have fun with it. Would you be willing to share about the experience by commenting here? What worked? What was a barrier? What did you like about this exercise?

If you are in the Calgary area and would like to discuss this with us at our next meeting, it is scheduled for April 7, 7-9 pm. Send me an email for directions.

Enjoy, and happy writing!

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