wordplayshops

The secret to life, as far as I can see? Play! As children, by learning to play with words and language, we learn to create new realities, perceive in new ways. A pencil becomes a rocket ship, its red eraser end a burst of flames, its tip a sharp nose heading toward space. Adults need…

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Daily Thoughts – June 2, 2016   Let’s be Overcome by the Rich Fresh Wine of June! I found this poem by Marge Piercy recently. I love how full of imagery and life it is. Fecund and wild. This is how I feel in the morning before dawn, watching the sunrise and pondering the day ahead,…

Sharing Dreams

What would the world be like if we were to all share the same dreams, if we all had the same nightly visions? I’m not talking about dreamers being able to interact, but simply experience the same narratives on the same nights. A series of six dreams, alternating light and dark in emotional content. After…

A Thorough Process

How do you maintain the balance between passion and precision in your writing? For me it takes a four-step process. Having a process I can follow, something to rely on when the words refuse to come, when my mind feels numb and sluggish, is essential. The specific process you choose will, of course, be individual to…

My Day in Longhand #4: Dipping Into the Prize Chest

In my work with children and teens, I’ve found extrinsic rewards helpful in promoting a sense of play and excitement. After a session of difficult reading comprehension work, or a barrage of sensory cognitive stimulation for more accurate reading, who wouldn’t want a bit of a reward, a dip into the Prize Chest? For me, writing in the morning, in the predawn…

A Year in Longhand Day 3: Getting Over Myself

    Writing lets me escape the incessant chatter and thinking that goes on inside my head. Once I start writing I usually enter a certain flow, a movement that feels close to the wind, ocean waves, and the roots in the earth. I step out of my own mind and get swept up in a tide….

A Year in Longhand, Day 2: Immerse

  Imagine a scene. Fully inhabit it with all your senses, especially hearing and touch and taste. Close your eyes to put yourself there fully. Breathe deeply and count ten breaths. Slowly. How does your character react? Goose pimples rise on his flesh in the cold night. The howl of the wind reminds him of…

A Year in Longhand: Day 1

This is the first post in my yearlong series of writing explorations geared toward helping myself and other writers engage with the writing craft, adhere to a schedule, and enliven the writing mind. I realized I have many tips and tricks I’ve tried and enjoyed over the years, prompts that have pulled me from the mire when…

Empowering Words

   Playshops: Come play with words in a supportive and creative environment. We practice self-authoring, blending memoir and fiction, poetry and crazy-zany-word-nerdiness in collaborative, exuberant exercises designed to stir the mind. Encouragement Unhinged Brainstorming Discover New Techniques Community and Feedback $25 per two hour class, package discount available Individualized Services: As a learning specialist for over fifteen years,…

Seashore

How can a place so uproarious exert this kind of peace? A billion gallons an instant rumbling ashore reshaping earth wearing away my world in a cacophony of crashes that holds me in a hug of white noise that blurs, polishes and carves out the hollows of my terrestrial life to leave me feeling reborn as I recede.

Where Have all the Explorers Gone?

  A pair of images hangs over my computer. In one, Merlin points to the moon as Arthur curiously searches the sky. Above that is a panoramic photo taken when I was a Writing grad student at CalArts in 1999, the view from the deck outside my apartment where I often stood to gaze out…

Whale Watching

  Yesterday I felt most alone when I was in the crowd of whale watchers out on Bodega Head, scanning the impossibly immense gray and silver sparkling blanket of the Pacific for the elusive  black dorsal fins like tiny broken obsidian teeth jutting up from the surface, nearly invisible. Without binoculars or a scope, you’d…