Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pedant Antics

Okay, anuther new category for my teacherly instructorly self: Pedant Antics. Have started teaching the class at The Irish Writers' Centre. Great to be back in the classroom.

We focused the first class on breaking the ice--that frozen water between us and also within. We read a couple of Michael Martone's Contributor's Notes and then each participant wrote her own contributor's note. They were asked to start with where they were born and maybe describe their childhood home(s)--and go from there. This writing prompt and subsequent sharing really worked. For one thing, we learned bits about each other that we might not have after six months of one-on-one chats, which created intimacy and bonding as a class. For e.g. one person grew up across the street from a toilet paper making factory,

another person kept slipping of the forceps when she was born and had such a large head she was carted off for closer investigation.

Also, the writing produced was mostly concrete, specific, and detailed--which can be difficult to achieve. We had a laugh as well as a good few sympathetic sighs. 'Twas good stuff.

We also had a listen to Bob Dylan's 'It's a Hard Rain Gonna Fall' as a starting point for writing.

The Hard Rain Project
has come to Dublin. I thought tying in our creative work with another medium and a local exhibit might help connect the workshop participants with the larger world of creative activity. Don't know if that happened. Didn't get to hear a lot of the resultant writing, because we were out of time. But I wrote as well and found this prompt more difficult. Not sure why. Hard to get away from the song itself. Hard to get lost.

Now I'm preparing the tutorial for next week: Mastering the Masters--Imitating Your Favorite Writers. All ideas for the tutorial welcome!


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