"I am trying to check my habits of seeing, to counter them for the sake of greater freshness. I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I'm doing." - John Cage

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

November skies and January workshops


That's the November sky clouding up across Lake Tahoe. How quickly I am preparing myself for winter again. I gathered up the brown-purple leaves from the Chokecherry trees in my backyard that covered the stonework like discarded drafts. I tipped the flower containers sideways along the fence, just in case they will succeed in their second chance next spring. I planted all perennials in the garden this summer, even the containers. About half grow will grow back, mint and lemon-thyme and chive, as the snow melts in springtime. Using dull, rusted clippers I cut back the Water Birch branches that crowded my shoveling all last winter in front of the studio door. And I bought my Nordic pass for myself and Towhee. 

I'm grateful for this past year, as invisibly as it flew past us. More on the opportunities and accomplishments, personally and professionally, in December's posts.  

I even added new lights to my living room and front porch to allay the darkness of being buried for months. So whether writers are zooming into workshop or joining the community in a circle around the fire warming my home, we'll be able to read what we write.

So I'm ready for what comes next.  Tangled Roots Writing will offer a new line-up of workshops in 2024,  beginning with the next 6 week series of Monday Night Creative Writing Workshop on January 8th. This series meets for 6 Monday nights and is the kick in the ass you need to jump start your writing life. 

Here are the dates: January 8, 15, 29 and February 5, 12, 19. We meet on Zoom and in-person, your choice 6:30 - 8 pm. In a supportive and intellectually curious writing community you will generate new writing, develop a work in progress, begin a new project!


Monday, November 13, 2023

From memoir to autobiographical fiction: another writing prompt


“Memoir is the report to others from foreign territory, the territory of the writer, of the self, of an I.” - Bill Roorbach, Writing Life Stories
This writing prompt is adapted from our second workshop in the Monday night creative writing workshop series.
Writing prompt: Make a list of moments when you were faced with a choice or making a decision that would change the direction of your life. Make another list of moments in your life when you were aware of a ticking clock, or limited time frame, or looming deadline. 
Choose one of these moments to write about, beginning with a description of an image, a picture in your mind, that captures that moment. Imagine your writing is a report to others from the foreign country of your own life, your own body. The territory of your self is foreign to others, and so the details that you add will help the reader connect and imagine.
Want to write fiction? Let your imagination range beyond what happened to try writing autobiographical fiction. Allow your story to venture into the realm of imagination, fiction, other possibilities.