Archive for May, 2012

Neil Gaiman – Inspiration

Monday, May 21st, 2012

 

Green Hair

Green Hair

http://bookriot.com/2012/05/18/neil-gaimans-commencement-address-at-the-university-of-the-arts/

I share this link from BookRiot.com  – for those of us who make art. It’s just a few minutes long, he has a sexy English accent, and you will be newly thrilled and committed to being the artist you are.

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Somatic Workshops for Women and Writers – Taos & Santa Fe

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
Body-Mind = Somatic Education

Body-Mind = Somatic Education

This whole Somatics thing is really something.

First of all, it’s taken me weeks to get what Somatics means.

Briefly and in my own words it means: tapping in and accessing the wisdom, power and knowing of one’s BodyMindSpirit. Emphasis on BODY.

I really like this work for both health, peace of mind and creativity reasons. I attended a workshop in Taos, NM 2 weeks ago. Taos is just up the road from me, I am so glad to say.

In Taos, Robyn McCulloch is doing what she calls Women Generating Workshops. Powerful stuff! Fun and fascinating! The focus is women-only and generating one’s heart-directed vision.

In Santa Fe, writer, poet, coach Renee Gregorio is running group and individual Somatic Education for Writers sessions. http://www.reneegregorio.com. I’ve worked with both Renee and Robyn. I recommend them.

All I can say is wowee zowee. Tuning in to BodyMind is the new Black.

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Carl Sagan and book magic

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
Oh this is so heartening to me.   Carl Sagan on the magic of books

Carl Sagan on the magic of books

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Character Development Prompt

Monday, May 14th, 2012

“If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.”
― Anne Lamott

Character Development

Novelist Elizabeth George describes in Write Away, (Harper Collins, 2004) how she creates characters. For part of her process, she uses a prompt sheet. She posts the prompt sheet in the vicinity of her computer to glance at as she free writes about the character. She does not fill in the prompt sheet. She writes:
“Single-word descriptions will never stimulate the right side of anyone’s brain, and it’s only through getting into the right side of the brain that I know I can be in full creative mode, allowing my stream-of-consciousness writing to tell me what each character is like. But I use the prompt sheet to remind me of things I might forget. I generally don’t use every one of the categories on the sheet, by the way. They’re merely devices to keep me going in my rapid, free-writing analysis about the character, like a psychiatrist, autobiographer, and analyst, you’ll remember.”

“Allow yourself the freedom of writing from the top of your head. Clear your mind right on the page if necessary. But give your characters a chance to tell you what part they’re going to play in your novel. Believe me. They will.”

CHARACTER PROMPT SHEET (E. George)

Name
Age
Height
Weight/build
Birthplace
Color hair/eyes
Physical peculiarities
Educational background
Sexuality
Best friend
Enemies
Family (mother, father, siblings, etc.)
Core need:
Pathological maneuver
Ambition in life
Gestures when talking
Gait
Strongest character trait
Weakest character trait
Laughs or jeers at
Philosophy
Political leaning
Hobbies
What others notice first about him/her
What character does alone
One-line characterization (actual line from a narrative)
Will the reader like/dislike character
Does he/she change in story? How
Significant event that molded the character
Significant event that illustrates the character’s personality

Ms. George follows this list with an example from her work. Her analysis runs to eight pages and was written about a main character “long before she put in an appearance on the pages of my rough draft.”

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GLIMPSES

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Pam Houston did a book signing recently at the fabulous independent Santa Fe bookseller, Collected Works, for her new title, ‘Contents May Have Shifted’. She had lots of interesting tidbits to share, not least of which being recognized in hot tub-full monty at Ten Thousand Waves, a local’s favorite spa in the mountains-definitely the downside of fame!

Her writing advice was less splashy but still evocative to the aspiring scribe: reflect on life glimpses you get from time to time (no pun intended), the moments when you go, huh, or huh? or wow, or whatever makes you pause. It could be a crazy stranger, a strange comment or a strung-out friend. A cloud formation. Anything.

For our most recent class prompt, I borrowed from Pam, suggesting we write about one glimpse or make a list to write about later, whichever inspired us. If anything, this exercise helps us take note of the little moments that we may otherwise overlook on a busy day, moments rich with possibility to make our stories ring true with authentic detail.

 

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