Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cross Post from Airy Fairy

Was revisiting my bloggy blogs today and found this one from 2/11/11 (oo-eeeee-oooo) and thought it also needed to be here in the writing blog. All my blogs are ignored, not only by any readers, but also by me. The only comments I ever get are from pay day loans and penis pump spammers. None the less, I am going to post this anyway, just because.

Who ARE these people?

Yesterday I stepped out of my comfort zone and attended my very first creative writing workshop. This story is not so much about the workshop content, but about events surrounding it.

A little background, because how I got there was a bit circuitous and adds to my overall wonderment of the story.

Through a series of offhand remarks and following up on a "coincidental" conversation with the owners of GPLDG, the company I work for, I am taking a course in Web Design and Development at Phoenix College. It happened very quickly: Conversation at the company Christmas party; affirmation a week later that it wasn't just wine talking; a little on-line research; voila! next thing I know I'm picking up a campus parking sticker and having my student ID picture taken.

School began on January 18. Two weeks into the course, I was passing through the school website to get into my student email account. Before I clicked off the home page something caught my eye. It was this:

New this Spring!
Weekly Creative Writing Workshop
Open to All Students
Thursdays 2:30-3:30pm (starting January 27)
Room ### in the English Department

Writers of all levels exchange feedback on each other's work.
Discuss various writing topics and work with creative writing prompts.
All types of creative writing welcome: poetry, creative non-fiction, short and flash fiction, novel excerpts, play and screenplay scenes.
What to bring: Something to scribble with and something to scribble on. If you would like to workshop a piece of writing, please bring about 5 copies.

Before I even connected that the time was tailor made (my Web class ends at 2:15 on Thursday), and before I even noticed I had already missed the first session, and before I had the chance to think about the fact that I have nothing at all to workshop, I sent an email to Jacquie, the contact listed in the ad. Within minutes I received a reply that I was absolutely welcome to participate. I marveled at my own impetuousness.

I planned to begin immediately, two days later, which would have been only the second workshop session. Unfortunately, on that Thursday, for the first time in months, I had a pressing task at work for which I had to return right after my Web Design class ended. Normally I might have taken that as an omen, but no, it was like I was being led to the writing workshop by some unseen force, so before returning to work, I stopped by to introduce myself to Jacquie and to obtain the weekly writing prompt in order to experiment.

Several days later, in a monthly group meeting with 5 good friends, when it was my turn to talk I spoke about my going-back-to-school experiences with the Design class and then brought up the happy little bonus of the writing group, lamenting that I already had to miss the first one I was supposed to attend. This is a group of very intuitive women, and what three of them said next was something I hadn't even considered. They all felt very strongly that the real reason I happened into going back to school had way more to do with the workshop than the course I'm taking. Additionally, a few days later, while recounting the workshop story to my Mom, also an intuitive, and before I even got to the part about what my friends said, she made the same observation! Well, OK then. All my intuitives are on the same page!

Onward to the next Thursday, the aforementioned yesterday. I finished everything I needed to do at work before I left for my Web Design class. When it ended I made my way down to the workshop space, which is a conference room rather than a classroom, so the seating style was a table in the middle of the room with chairs all around it. I was the first one there but was soon joined by Jacquie, two women, one older and one younger, and one older and two fairly young guys. One of the younger guys sat next to me on my right and immediately turned to me and said, "Hi, I'm Eric." I introduced myself and we shook hands.

The workshop started with the writing prompt. We all spent about 20 minutes writing the first thing that came to us and then we all took turns reading aloud what we had written. I was nervous because they seemed way more experienced and writerly than me, but I took a deep breath and shared. My piece was well received, a huge relief. We spent the remainder of the hour "workshopping" pieces that several of them had brought.

I left feeling pretty jazzed. One reason was because I didn't make a fool of myself and the other was because I was headed to see my FABulous hair stylist, Miguel. It had been over 4 months since my last haircut and this was only my second time visiting his salon since meeting him at the Temple. He works in a really cool space called Trini, right next to my favorite coffee shop, Lola, on Roosevelt.

I'll bet you're wondering if I'm just digressing here. No, I'm not!

So I was at my way overdue hair appointment, seated comfortably in the hair washing chair, Miguel administering a fantastic cranial massage, when another stylist and client walked into the room. The client, a young guy, sat down next to me on my right hand side. Out of the corner of my eye, I see it is Eric, the guy I had just sat next to, and met for the first time only about an hour before in the workshop. We were both just completely amazed at the "coincidence." I mean really, Phoenix is one big ass city, you know? And it's not like Trini and Phoenix College are next door to each other.

As Miguel led me to his chair to cut my hair, I explained how weird this little synchronicity actually was. All of a sudden he said, " I had something like that happen today too!" He woke up early that day, which he said was very unusual for him. He prepared a bowl of cereal and turned on the TV to watch the morning news, something else he said he never does. He watched a report about people waiting in line overnight to be first in line for the release of the new iPhone offered by Verizon. The first person in line was being interviewed, a young woman who had been there since 3:30am. She was wearing a hoody and shivering from the cold, but quite excited, he said. Several hours later when Miguel got to the salon, his first client of the day came in. She was someone he was meeting for the first time. After the introduction was made she excitedly showed him her new iPhone that she was able to obtain that morning. And then she said, "I was even interviewed for the news!" And then Miguel realized that she was the girl he'd seen on TV because he, for some odd reason, couldn't sleep that morning.

After my haircut, I went next door to Lola to wait for Pat who would be joining me shortly after taking the light rail from work. Over coffee I told her all about my exciting day, and in particular, about both my and Miguel's odd synchronistic new person meetings. Pat listened intently and then asked, "Who ARE these people?"

Good question.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Good Advice for Writers (or Any Artist)

I love the Dear Sugar column. And I believe that the advice given in this particular entry is worthy of a place on a blog for writers, even if I only have like 3 people (maybe more like 1.7) who visit once in a while. Maybe some day when I have 5 or 6 readers, someone will go back in the archives and find this and discover some value in Dear Sugar's words.

In particular:
"If you are a writer, it’s the writing that matters and no amount of battery acid in your stomach over who got what for what book they wrote is going to help you in your cause. Your cause is to write a great book and then to write another great book and to keep writing them for as long as you can. That is your only cause. It is not to get a six figure book deal. I’m talking about the difference between art and money; creation and commerce. It’s a beautiful and important thing to be paid to make art. Publishers who deliver our books to readers are a vital part of what we do. But what we do—you and I—is write books. "

Here's the link.

Back soon with some more writing prompts. 'Til then, my loves.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Three Little Words

Quickly, and without much thought, write 15 starts to sentences using only 3 words. These are beginnings of a sentence that you may later use to start a story, poem, letter or whatever you like to write.


On Tuesday Morning ...
My life exploded ...
She whispered nothing ...
When I was ...

This is a jumpstart exercise that will give you a source of "ideas" that you can use to springboard your writing into something else. These are great to keep in a journal that you can open when you feel like writing and need a little nudge.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free Fer All

This post is a blank page!

Post anything you want here. It can be anything from a haiku you created this morning to a short story you wrote 10 years ago. There is no time limit on this, and you can post as many pieces as you want. If you want feedback you can ask for it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Yes, waiting. For someone, anyone, to post something in the comments. You asked for it, you got it, now it's time to get writing.

But as usual, I digress. The writing prompt for today is:

WAITING! Describe a character waiting for something or a situation that involves waiting.

I may need to do two entries for this. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Intro and First Prompt

I accidentally got involved in a writing workshop offered at the school where I am taking a completely unrelated course. In relating this news to some friends, a request was made that I share the weekly writing prompts. Thus, the idea for a shared blog forum was born. As the sidebar description notes, I am always up for suggestions and new ideas. The more people we get to participate, the more fun this will be. So please feel free to share this with anyone you think might get a kick out of it.

Here is the first prompt:

"Sleeping to Dream"
Write about a character waking up from a nightmare. Where is s/he? What was the dream about? What is s/he afraid of?