Tag Archives: writing community

talking about writing about sex (a weekend with Dreamspinner!)

IMG_5130Good and gorgeous sunny morning to you. This morning, I’m feeling wildly grateful for the warmth we’ve been enjoying here around the Bay, for the smell of basil and jasmine, for the puppy’s panting next to me. I visited the midwest this weekend, and was reminded that, in the parts of the country where I used to live, spring is only just now arriving – the tree branches are still bare and it’s not even close to time to pack away the winter jacket yet because there’s still the possibility of a serious snow storm. My body can remember that cold, the deep expectation, the near-hopeless-but-still-maybe sort of anticipation, desperate the first wash of red buds on the maple tree. I don’t get that kind of exuberant reaction to spring anymore, since it never quite seems to get to winter here in California (at least not for this Nebraska-Maine girl), and I miss it – though I’m not sure if I miss it enough to move away from the sort of place where you can be in your garden all year round.

This past weekend I went to Chicago and got to write with a larger-than-usual group of experienced and published authors about the challenges and joys of writing about sex! I’m so grateful to Elizabeth North of Dreamspinner Press, who invited me to the Dreamspinner Press Author Weekend to lead a workshop with her writers. Elizabeth created Dreamspinner just six years ago, and now the Press offers a full and fabulously-varied line of MM romance (and a newly-formed off-shoot, Harmony Ink, offers LGBTQ Young Adult fiction). I got to spend a couple of days with the fun and nurtured community of writers that Dreamspinner attracts. These are fantastic and (many of them) prolific writers who turn in good books and, in return, are provided with consistently excellent marketing and sales – what a concept! Continue reading

what a writing community can do

These are the alone days. Did you hear the wind last night? Rumi says the breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you; don’t go back to sleep. But what do the poets say about the tempest at night?

You must ask for what you really want… Rumi says this, too, in the same poem. This means knowing what you really want — and then asking, even when you know with all of your heart that you don’t deserve it. Ask anyway. Write it down in your notebook, put it in the hands of those who love you, share your becoming with the world.

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Today I’m thinking of writing community, about how we shape a community that can hold us when we are struggling — more than that, about how to allow ourselves to be held, to believe that we deserve that. Today I’m thinking about desire and creative emergence and the aftermath of trauma — how trauma keeps on taking from us, years and years after those hands are removed from our bodies. Continue reading

keeping the promises we make to ourselves

good morning this morning. I have the candles lit in the dark inside office space, because I’m up later than I wanted to be and I miss the nighttime writing. How to shift myself back to those early morning hours while also having to be up past 9pm several nights of the week for workshops? Next week is a break week — no workshops while I finish preparing for the spring session — so I could sleep earlier and get up earlier, too. Let’s try it.

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Look out: freewrite is about to ensue. Where can I go with this in twenty minutes? What I miss are the early morning brainstorm writings, when you don’t know what you’re doing there and wonder what possible difference it could make to anyone for you to be making this effort — but you’re making it anyway. Last night I talked with my sweetheart about integrity — I recently read about a definition of integrity which referenced the fact that it grew out of words that mean ‘wholeness.’ She had heard someone define integrity as meaning keeping the promises that we make to ourselves.

If that’s the case, then I’ve been out of my integrity for a long time — or have I? Continue reading

diving deep (and working)

Good morning good morning – it’s rainy here in Oakland, looks like real spring out there. The puppy is watching her corner of the world, her head propped up on the couch arm, and I’ve got tea and just-baked banana cornbread.

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Spring workshops begin in April; you can join us in person or online!

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The first quarter of Dive Deep closes tonight — we’ll have a potluck, talk about the successes and struggles of the last quarter. It’s been a hard three months for many of the writers I’ve been working with: real life has been getting in the way of the creative work we want to bring into the world. And yet folks are still doing the work.

Continue reading

building the empathy muscle

graffiti from Jerusalem: black spray-painted words, "We NEED Peace"Good morning, you and you and you. How is the morning singing where you are? Here it’s the Amtrak whistling through Jack London Square, the rush of cars moving toward rush hour, my neighbor warming up their motorcycle, the long build of the teakettle’s steady hum as it comes to a boil. Just a few birds; the feeder’s empty, and so they’re shunning me until I get them more seed.

I’m resting in the comingle of this song this morning, letting it wash over me. Last night’s Write Whole workshop left me both full and emptied out; we wrote about fear (visit the link to hear Joy Harjo performing the poem we used as a prompt), and we wrote about apologizing for things that weren’t our fault. The writing was vivid, layered, complicated, strong, and the stories were painful and gorgeous and necessary. I carry these stories with me; they live in the space I occupy, they live along the skin of my forearms, they live in the cilia just inside my ears. I learn from these stories; I stretch and open; I ache and celebrate. Every one of us in the room during these writes, we have the opportunity to stretch, to experience another someone’s story. Continue reading

let your inner scriptwriter out to play!

ScriptFrenzy logo: April 1-30, 2011script frenzy logo: Above the image of a typewriter, the words "Stop watching. Start writing. April 1-30"Got an idea for a script — for a movie, a short film, a tv-show, a webseries, or some other sort of media?

Check this out: Next month, April 1-30, join together with thousands of other aspiring scriptwriters, and get those scenes down on the page during Script Frenzy!

The Script Frenzy website says, “Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants take on the challenge of writing 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April. As part of a donation-funded nonprofit, Script Frenzy charges no fee to participate; there are also no valuable prizes awarded or “best” scripts singled out. Every writer who completes the goal of 100 pages is victorious and awe-inspiring and will receive a handsome Script Frenzy Winner’s Certificate and web icon proclaiming this fact.”

100 pages in 30 days — you can do this!