Last month's writing workshop was wonderful! We decided at the last minute to do it as a non-residential workshop and to hold it at the Whaletown Institute. We had a full house, and it was intensive, like a writers' boot camp. We focused on the foundations of story: what triggers a story, and how do we bring it to life on the page. We worked extensively with character, location, voice, point of view, and authorial stance--what John Gardiner calls "psychic distance," or the level of intimacy a writer maintains in relation to his or her characters. It was so much fun, in fact, that I've decided to do more workshops, and so the next one will be in Vancouver, on October 17 - 18, in association with the Hollyhock Foundation. The title of the workshop is "A Way With Words" and this one will focus on meditation and writing, and the ways these two contemplative practices enhance one another.
Fiction, but also literature in general, trains us in empathy by requiring us to inhabit another's experience. To read literature successfully, we have be willing to enter our characters' minds and skin, to see with their eyes and to feel with their hearts. This is the prerequisite of the writer's work, too, and I'm particularly interested in exploring how traditional Buddhist meditation practices can support our experiences as writers and readers.
You can read more about the workshop in the What's New section of this site, or at the Hollyhock website. To register, please contact Hollyhock at 800-933-6339, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's a pdf poster of the event: WayWithWords
I hope you will come!