Susan (Deepam) Wadds offered a session on May 3.
Wadds’ short fiction and poetry have been featured in literary journals and anthologies, including The Blood Pudding, Room, and carte blanche magazines. The first two chapters of her forthcoming novel, What the Living Do, won Lazuli Literary Group’s writing contest, published in Azure’s winter 2017 issue. What the Living Do is scheduled for release by Regal House Publishing in the Spring of 2024.
A graduate of the Humber School for Writers, Wadds is certified in the Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) method of writing workshop facilitation. She offers individual and ongoing workshops & retreats. You can find all the goods here: https://writeyourwayin.ca/
Jump to Christie Turano’s submission.
Jump to Brenda Jacobsen’s submission.
Jump to Tarianne deYonker’s submission.
On Tuesday, May 3, I led a delightful gang of seven writers in a Write Around the World workshop. The writing, as in any AWA workshop I’ve attended or led, was richly textured and courageous. I’m quite certain it’s the magic of the method that brings out such wondrous and honest writing. As Pat Schneider wrote:
“What you are doing is brave. Whether the writing is autobiographical or entirely imagined is irrelevant. To write is to reveal your mind at work. There is no nakedness like that nakedness. To write takes courage. You are a brave person just to attempt it.”
To begin I shared my screen with this quote: Mark Twain didn’t write, “In a single day, New England’s weather changes a billion times.” Rather, he said, “In the spring I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of four-and twenty hours.”
For a Warmup write, I offered the prompt to write from the perspective of no or yes – their choice to choose either or both. 5 minutes. Then we read with no commentary.
In my workshops, I like to follow Sue Reynolds’ method of offering two timed writings before selecting one of them to read for feedback. This gives each writer the additional freedom to write a piece they may not want to share and still have something they feel comfortable sharing.
For the first prompt I chose another Billy Collins poem, “Best of All Nights, Return and Return Again” and suggested they “recall a moment or a time you or your character relives or wishes to experience again.”
The second prompt was a picture from the website Palette Poetry:
I invited them to write either from the painting, or a word or phrase from the image, or they could have a character experiencing something vicariously. Most of the participants then read a selection.
Finally, I offered one more prompt in the form of a picture from Alastair Magnaldo:
For this one I suggested if nothing occurs to them, they could simply begin by describing what they see. Metaphor/dreamscape/memory…
After this last prompt, writers still had two pieces to choose from to read. Everyone read.
It’s always a little sad to say goodbye when such intimacy has developed so quickly. I hope to see all of these brave writers again soon.
Untitled by Christie Turano
I come up to the task sometimes like a geyser and then other times like a trickle of honey – sweet intention without any heft behind it. I am a river flowing and yet I have eddies on my banks and in my path, that keep me busy on my way to the sea. I fill inlets with soft, slow commitments to “yes, I can read the petition” and “yes I will listen to this voice”. I fill coves with pure swirling purpose. Yet sometimes I feel the spurting geyser of my assent does not hold water and I am only blowing air. I am then depleted of energy and my “yes” filters down to a burble.
What I Really Want to Say by Brenda Jacobsen
She said no, the library books are 30 years old and not worth returning to the library.
He said she should return the books because he himself is a librarian and takes great
offense to stolen books.
No. You don’t need dated books that collect dust on the shelves.
I had no idea you held inner leanings towards thievery.
Remember you have three towels from our last stay at a Holiday Inn.
Yes you made your point but those towels are cheap and replaceable. I estimate your
fine will be $312.86. Will that be coming out of your bank account?
The Watchers by Tarianne deYonker
I knew it was happening on the screen. In fact, so many times I had seen them walking in groups, carrying everything in their arms, only I knew it wasn’t everything at all. It was only what they could carry. The screen made it possible for me to see them and to imagine. . . and to feel.
I’m only sorry I am so far away. No, wait a minute. That’s not true at all. I’m glad I’m so far away from the danger I know these walkers are facing. Of course the people of Ukraine, those brave souls caught in the web of war, are anointed for courage in the face of unbelievable suffering and witnesses to horror.
None of us knows how we would be and act and feel in the same circumstances. We on the fringe are watchers of pain and watchers of their courage.
Thank you for joining us for Write Around the World!
For the rest of the summer, watch our blog! We are sharing writing from AWA’s yearly marathon fundraiser, which happened this year all-online throughout the month of May.
We offer this series in appreciation for the incredible community of writers and workshop leaders that sustain us. If you’re inspired and would like to be part of the fundraiser, please donate!