Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Writing Workshops

I can't help myself. I'm starting another writing workshop here in Chico, nine hours from my home. And the people who are coming tonight are SO excited. Why? Because many people want to write, but they don't know where to start. I want to help them get started, because there is, in my world, just a handful of things that transcend the pleasure of writing. And so, we will draw from Janet Burroway's book Writing Fiction and throw out such subjects from her page 11, such as: from the first seven years of your life, make a list of events, people, your self, inner life, characteristic things. Or, Burroway tells us that a tenth century Japanese courtesan had the following list of Things that she used: Things I wish had never been said. Red things. Things more embarrassing than nudity. Things to put off as long as possible. Things to die for. Acid things. Things that last only a day. These subjects start the fire. Our imaginations can fan the flames and result in a wonderful story -- real or fiction. It doesn't matter, as long as we're dropping it on the page, word after word after word.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

My Pushy Muse

Work is a four letter word and an excuse not to write, but it pays the bills. Not working is more fun, but is more the challenge, because my writing muse taps her foot, arms crossed, waiting in the corner, no make that, waiting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear: write, damn it, write.
She's not patient, my muse. She taketh away the right to procrastination and giveth harsh criticisms for all the many ways I can avoid the hard stuff: putting one word and then another and then another on the page, word by word, bird by bird, until the work is done and has to be redone and redone and redone (OY) until it's as right as it's going to get, and even then we want to fiddle with it some more, now don't we?
Enough. She's no longer whispering. She's shouting. IT'S TIME TO WRITE NOW!