Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Improv Storytelling & Creative Writing Workshop, March 15, 2014

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Let's tell stories that won't be forgetten.

Let’s tell stories that won’t be forgetten.

Barbara Mayfield’s  Improv Storytelling & Creative Writing Workshop is coming to Santa Fe.

 A Day of Productive Play! Time to get out the way, tune in, and harvest the stories that are waiting to be told. Saturday. March 15th. 2014.

10am – 3:30pm. A creative lunch break from noon til 1:30.

Location: BadDog Design, 901 West San Mateo, Studio D, Santa Fe, New Mexico  87505

Barbara Mayfield:  505-231-4774 ph/txt and/or bmayfieldmedia@gmail.com

Improv storytelling is a way of accessing stories you didn’t even know where there.

Stories are upstream from everything. The Story is where all our joy, heart, power and successes, where all our creative projects, efforts, and enthusiasms originate. Mayfield has drawn from her years of training and experience working in the arts and put together a new workshop for Creatives and for those who think they are not. Barbara Mayfield is a multi-disciplinary award-winning author-actor-comedienne-storyteller-puppeteer. Visit http://ThePowerofPuppets.com.

Would you like to have a new workshop experience? Perfect for writers, storytellers, story-slammers, songwriters, screenwriters of any genre and level, wanna-be’s, and anyone who wants to experience the mystical power of the spontaneous. In a safe supportive environment, of course!

Peggy Pfeiffer, Creative Director of Bad Dog Design, is hosting this event in the Bad Dog Design studio. Some of you may be familiar with her gorgeous, rockin’ design space – an inspiring place in which to be creative.

About the workshop:

What won’t be happening: We won’t be doing any fixing, figuring it out, marketing, planning, publishing, worrying, fretting or struggling. We won’t be doing scary standing-in-front-of-an- audience solo public speaking (not this time anyway).

What will be happening: We’ll relax, listen, take fun and funny risks. Learn new ways to access stories you didn’t even know where there. Explore new creative territory. Work with fabulous prompts. Speak out loud a bit. Write to capture & harvest the goods. Let new stories float in. I’m bringing my bag of tricks from years of theater, improv storytelling and creative writing, to lead you in a creative process that I have found to be thrilling and unstoppable.

Cost is $55. Payment accepted by PayPal (I’ll email you a Paypal invoice). Credit card payments accepted by phone on my new fabulous Square account. Call me up. Or email me about sending a check.

To hold your place, please pay in full before Feb 28th. Space is limited. No refunds, but rain-checks will be issued.

On the Day: Bring a bag lunch and your beverage, or plan to eat at one of the great bistros in the neighborhood. You’ll have an hour and a half because art-making requires fuel, digestion and camaraderie as part of the day. Bring a notebook, and the writing instruments of your choice.

Wear comfy no-stress clothing that you feel good in. I’ll bring everything else.

Contact Barbara with questions, more details and to claim your seat.

bmayfieldmedia@gmail.com           http://ThePowerofPuppets.com

1

Two thousand miles east

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
Giganto yard sale was just part of the dismantling.

Giganto yard sale was just part of the dismantling.

This essay was written in response to Nadine’s most recent prompt: Treasures We Cannot Let Go:

Recently, I moved. Packed up and drove across Interstate 40, two thousand miles to the east.

I dismantled twenty years and twenty-two hundred square feet of house and belongings. Hint: I love my stuff. I do not have any Zen bones in my body. But for this move, I had to seriously let go of a lot of goods.

I sold two refrigerators, two wood stoves, an oven, a front-loading Sears washing machine that they don’t make anymore. Beds, cupboards and bookshelves, a vintage yellow kitchen table given to me by an old friend who had taste. Many rustic outdoor items – a Mexican table, an antique food warmer contraption, a heavy blue bench that has been in my studio since 1981. Four solid oak schoolroom chairs – antiques! -given to me by an old boyfriend in 1985.

I sold half-full gallon cans of my favorite colors of house paint – the colors in my adobe house in the Ponderosa woods, perched on the upward slope of the second largest mesa on earth.

I trimmed my holiday decorations from ten large boxes to six, and let go of my extra Christmas tree stand. Someday, I know I will need it because I have been wanting to have two trees for years. I sorted through my collection of rubberstamps and out of five thousand of them, I found twenty-five I didn’t need or want anymore.

I sold a blender and a juicer, and all my old sets of dishes and two tea kettles, and my five teapots.

I sold my 16’ ladder, my orange wheelbarrow, all my hoes and rakes – even the ones I’d painted in stripes and colors….and five boxes of tiles for mosaic-making. AAARRRGGHHH.

I sold off all my artist stretcher bars! My easel made in Italy that I bought in 1983 when I graduated from the Academy. I gave away and sold off oil paintings I’d done early in my career, that showed my first apartments and gardens, and paintings that featured my first tableware as a married woman. I have a thing for beautiful tableware.

I had a professional closet-raider come in. I traded her a vintage fiesta skirt that never fit me but was given to me by my dearest friend, who lives far away now. Ms. Closet-Raider insisted I consign and give away easily one-third to one-half of my clothing and about a dozen pairs of shoes I wish I’d kept to make shrines out of. And the hats! So many hats – feathers, straw, velvet  – from so many places I’ve been, and I look great in hats, and I looked really good in all of them.

The professional made me go through my cedar chest with the lifetime memory clothes in it, and this is where I drew the line in my own sandy mind. I pretended to agree with her advice and made piles to give away or sell. The satin maternity top my mother made me using a fabric printed with images of Chinese courtesans. All my cowgirl dresses –  small, flowery prints, long to the ankle –  that I bought when I first arrived in Santa Fe from the East. They haven’t fit me since 1997, so, of course, it would be best to let them go – what’s the point? My senior prom dress! White organza, made for me with hand-stitched pearls on the hem and the empire waistline, by a high school mentor (long story). My pink velvet junior prom dress! What’s the point of holding on to these things? They are not even costumes. They don’t fit now and they won’t ever fit me again!! She was so right.

Then we came to The Dress. The most important dress in the world, my world. The dress that is the color of the sea in Bora Bora. The dress I spent the most money on that I had spent on a garment, ever. The dress I bought in Italy, in Venice.

I would not even lie to the professional closet person about it. This dress stays with me. It fit me once; does not fit now; not likely that it will fit me ever again…I do not care!!

I was traveling alone in Europe and I had never travelled alone. I was there on the scholarship money I’d won upon graduation from the well-endowed Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The only string on that prize was that I had to travel for ten weeks anywhere in the world I wanted to go. Everybody should be granted in this way, at least once in a lifetime.

At the time, I was the 31-year-old mother of two young sons. I dropped the boys off at their dad’s house on my way to the airport heading to Paris, first.

I was three weeks into my trip when I spotted the Aqua Dream in a tiny shop on Piazza San Marcos, Venezia, Italia. An angora knit, it fit me like a glove. Long sleeves, a double skirt just to the knees. So incredibly classy, sexy, Italian.

That I bought that dress – and I knew I would buy it the moment I saw it – so beautiful, so expensive, so sensuous – after years of shopping the racks at Goodwill Industries and “don’t be silly” and “where will you wear it” and “what do you need that for” and “later, later, maybe someday”…….. it was a turning point, a landmark.

I’ve worn it a few times. Mostly in the house alone. A few times with a lover. A few times out into the world when I felt very glad to be alive.  If I live long enough to get very frail and I die in one piece, perhaps I can be buried in it.

After the Closet Person left, I waited 3 days, then put all the other life memory clothes back into the cedar chest and the two strong mover guys easily carried it into the truck.

——end——-                                        Copyright 2012  Barbara Mayfield  All rights reserved.

6

Author Blog Hop – “Your Next Big Thing”

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
From one of my new paintings - write a story that has a magical blue bird in it.

From one of my new paintings – write a story that has a magical blue bird in it.


Barbara Mayfield here. Thanks to author NancyKay Wessman for the invitation to join the Author Blog Hop: “What Is Your Next Big Thing?” interview series.

Who will play Mrs. Iptweet in the film????

The question is answered in my post today on my blog.

 

With links to all the author blog hoppers, and to the stars I intend to book for the movie….

Here’s a wonderful article about Mrs. Iptweet on Children’s Retail today.

0

Letters Written, Not Sent

Friday, February 8th, 2013
Prudy about to smack Oscar

Prudy about to smack Oscar

Am Skyping into Writers Group right now, and secretly posting because I have finished writing my piece and am avoiding starting another one.

Hope has brought the Prompt and snacks today. Because of the Skype thing, I do not know what the snacks are, but here is the Prompt:

“Have your character write a letter (or email!!!) they would never send; or they write one not intending to send it, but it is sent. OR a letter that was intended to be sent, but was somehow waylaid and never received.”

Have we not all done that dangerous thing and vented into an email and somehow the send button is pushed??!!! Agony!!! And movies have been made about letters never received.

In my piece today, Prudy has written a letter she will not send to her dad, while sitting in the school cousleor’s office after she smacked Oscar in the head.

Ok. Write your letter now.

1

Spare Time

Friday, January 25th, 2013
Kitchen shelf at my friend Hillary's house. She is so into china.

Kitchen shelf at my friend Hillary’s house. She is so into china figurines.

Susan’s recent prompt at writing group was “SPARE TIME”. So I wrote a list of my characters in the Mrs. Iptweet book and what I imagine are their favorite spare time activities. I think Mrs. Smithee writes letters to her relatives to be opened upon her death.

Now I share one of my very own personal Spare Time things: I love to take pictures of any oddball thing I see. Somehow noticing the quirkiness that happens during the course of an “ordinary” day – as if such a thing existed – reminds me there is no such thing as an ordinary day.

0

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.

0

“What is Your Goal This Year”

Saturday, February 4th, 2012
Double rainbow seen on the way to Santa Fe

Double rainbow seen on the way to Santa Fe

I’m posting this article by C. Hope Clark. I subscribe to her newsletter at FundsforWriters.com – and y’all might like it. This particular article has blown off my socks. Thank you, Hope Clark, from Barbara Mayfield.

“WHAT IS YOUR GOAL THIS YEAR?

Nope, this is not another New Year’s resolution piece.
I simply want you to define, in one sentence, what you
hope to accomplish in 2012 . . . with your writing.

Sounds simple, but many writers can’t do this. They
actually fight it. Focusing on writing might mean they’re
accountable, when many writers want the freedom of no
deadlines or parameters. After all, isn’t that the definition
of an artist? Complete freedom of expression?

The problem is, most people cannot function when they have
no limitations. How do they know when to do something?
When is it due, or late, or accomplished? Then others make
lists, spreadsheets and notes on calendars. Benchmarks and
tallies. And that’s as far as they get.

Pick one project that will represent you well in 2012.
Then center your world around it.

Let’s say . . . write a novel.

When you’re enticed to enter a contest, don’t do it, unless
it’s for a novel. When you see a retreat, don’t go, unless
you go to write the novel. When you attend a conference,
only go to further your novel. When you see a Chicken Soup
that catches your fancy, only do it if you’ve already worked
on your novel for the day.

Nothing gets done unless it’s affiliated with the novel.

What if you write magazine articles?

Quit reading about self-publishing. Quit puttering with
short stories. Put aside the poetry. You are a magazine
writer. It’s what you breathe each day. You have magazine
editors on your Twitter account, and scout for them to
mention their needs. You read magazine blogs leaving
comments in hopes of being recognized by the editor.
You pitch to print, online and blog editors, trying to
break in from any angle.

Focus and diligence. We hear it all the time. But all too
often it’s only after we drop in the bed and take note
of our day, that we realize we let it slip by. We didn’t
touch the novel. We didn’t find a new magazine market.

But we’re multifaceted creatures. Fine. Just keep your
priorities. Don’t play and dabble in other writing until
after you’ve worked. Your 2012 project is your job.

Build a fire under your 2012 project. It’s the only
thing on your horizon. It’s difficult, but if practiced,
by the end of the year, you’ve become an expert and
accomplished enough to be proud of.

Define your 2012 goal. Then use it to define yourself.
Hope”

Read newsletter online at: http://www.fundsforwriters.com/FFW.htm

1

Barbara’s Path to Authorhood – Part 1

Monday, January 16th, 2012
A few juicy writing prompts

A few juicy writing prompts

I moved to New Mexico from Philadelphia in September of 1991. At that time I was a working visual artist  (painter/muralist/set designer) and an amateur actress, with no plan to become a professional writer, author or literary anything. The only “writing” I was doing were loosey-goosey “scripts” on 3×5 index cards for my own sketch comedy shows. I am pretty darn funny when I concentrate and I was frustrated at the lack of good parts for over-25-females in plays, blah, blah, blah. I was occasionally performing these skits on the street – Miss Revlon, The Doll Before Barbie debuted at Montezuma and Guadalupe streets –  in my attempt to fit in to the Santa Fe lifestyle and make some friends in my new town.

Another, more successful, attempt at building a community of friends for myself was to join the Santa Fe Book Arts Group (B.A.G.).

The B.A.G. group was full of Wild Boomer Women. It was great for me because the meetings involved making tremendous messes. We ripped, snipped, wrote, glued, pasted, cut, shredded, glittered, strung, hung, tore apart, mail-arted, hammered, re-assembled, and rubberstamped upon, in archival and non-archival ways, papers, books, journals, you name it, to make luminous wonders of book and paper art.

This is where I met Ursula (Mueller), who is from Austria and who looked very well-behaved but was not and, still, is not. Ursula had a secret and I found it out. After knocking back a half-a-glass of wine at the 1994 holiday B.A.G. party, Ms. U revealed all.

Ursula was living the secret life of an Improvisational Storyteller. There was a clandestine, invitation-only,  improv storytelling group happening in Santa Fe. On Wednesday afternoons. From 3 till 5. As they say nowadays: OMG!

I had taken several improv comedy and acting classes by then and LOVED IT. There is something thrilling about jumping into the abyss and living to tell. Improv storytelling would be a blast, too, I just knew it.

It took a year’s worth of B.A.G. meetings for Ursula and I to get to know each other and for Ursula to decide I was okay enough (as in: a lively creative mind, yet well-behaved) to be invited to join the storyteller group.

The very next Wednesday, I went to the house where the secret storytellers met.

To be continued…..

1