Tag Archives: my ideal writing weekend

blogathon: my ideal writing weekend, part 4

a street in sardiniaoh boy, i thought i was going to write much more here in my report on my ideal writing weekend, but i was just so absorbed in what happened that i never got around to it. so this will be my last entry. it’s monday evening, and we’ve had an abso-friggin-lutely unforgettable 3 ½ days. we’ll leave for rome tomorrow afternoon.

what were the highlights? i’ve talked so much about the surroundings and the people and the food, let me tell you something about the writing.

we did some great exercises. one was where we were supposed to write a poem in the dust behind the big house. that was very touching. we birthed a poem, saw it come alive – and then disappear again. we each took a bit of the dust with us in a tiny little pouch.

we listened to an old woman tell a story in sardinian. no-one among us spoke sardinian, only a few some italian. we were invited to take notes of what she said and then turn it into a piece of writing. there were twelve of us, and each took a different approach. one turned it into an interview. of course there were short stories and poems of all sorts (one long sonnet stands out) but there was also a recipe, a brochure and a song, complete with music.

every morning we wrote at least one paragraph from our morning entry out loud. we did that in a circle, and the person to our left then took one idea from that paragraph and spun it out further. this was a very gentle and constructive approach to helping us deal with feedback and critiques.

best of all, we formed a strong support group for each other and made some pacts that will make it very difficult for us not to follow up with each other and help each other at least for the next three months. we each made a firm promise to carry out certain actions, and i am absolutely certain we will.

i’m about to go to bed, again, right by that wonderful window with the salty-sweet breeze drifting in from the sea. i am happy.

canadian mental health association

this is an entry for my participation in the 2008 blogathon, a 24-hour marathon of blogging. please support the cause and donate – however much, however little – to the canadian mental health association (vancouver/burnaby branch). to donate, email me or use this URL: www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=d2252. you should be able to get there by clicking the link; if not, just copy and paste the link into your browser. it will take you to the appropriate location at canada helps.

thank you for visiting, reading, commenting and, if you can, donating!

(image by oanababy)

blogathon: my ideal writing weekend, part 3

this little imaginative piece about my ideal writing weekend is an entry for my participation in the 2008 blogathon, a 24-hour marathon of blogging. please support the cause and donate – however much, however little – to the canadian mental health association (vancouver/burnaby branch). to donate, email me or use this URL: www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=d2252. canadian mental health association
you should be able to get there by clicking the link; if not, just copy and paste the link into your browser. it will take you to the appropriate location at canada helps.

thank you for visiting, reading, commenting and, if you can, donating!

post #3 about my ideal writing weekend, which is going to the my ideal writing weekend competition http://absorbingwriting.com/2008/07/writing-competition-my-ideal-writing-weekend/:

yesterday was – oh, just fantastic. or, as the thesaurus says, “so remarkable as to elicit disbelief”. yes, we’re allowed to use the thesaurus. and the dictionary. and whatever else we want. in fact, irina, one of the workshop leaders, looked uncomprehendingly at marta, a lovely 77-year old woman from rhodes island, when marta asked, carefully, what materials we were allowed to use.

“whatever! crossword puzzles, cereal boxes, the bible – whatever inspires you!” apparently, marta had been to other workshops that were full of rules and verbotens. not here!

marta and i became friends right away. on the outside, she looks like a conservative little grandmother, all crochet and lace, but boy, once you get to know her … one of the malcolm X guys was her lover for a while, she ran a plumbing business for ten years, and she grew up the oldest of ten in a poor, alcoholic family in quebec. not a victim, though, marta, no – she’s turned it all into stories, and is ready to polish them. she’s already published three books, “and this time i’m going to do it right!”

the people are wonderful, well, almost all of them. there is one couple that goes on my nerves with all the stuff they already know but you gotta take that in your stride.

the trip to lunch was pretty, how should we say, adventuresome. we almost raced off the cliff at one time. heart attack material. before we had a chance to recuperate from the shock, we had another one – this time we almost collided with a donkey. yes, a donkey! there are still a few here in sardinia. a donkey, whose owner was busy talking on a cell phone. there should be a law: no cell phones on donkeys.

i won’t even talk about the food and the wine. that’s a chapter all by itself. unfortunately, i like EVERYTHING, including the mustazzoli, a delicacy made with almonds, honey and something citrusy which normally only comes out on holidays but i guess they know that we north americans really come for the food even though we say we’re here for the writing, so they make it anyway.

okay, we come for the writing, too. but everything that surrounds us – the food, the tucked-away dreamy mediterranean beauty, the company, the exceptional teachers – everything is so inspiring. we all write like mad, and it comes so easy, the ink flows like wine.

blogathon: my ideal writing weekend, part 2

canadian mental health association

this is an entry for my participation in the 2008 blogathon, a 24-hour marathon of blogging. please support the cause and donate – however much, however little – to the canadian mental health association (vancouver/burnaby branch). to donate, email me or use this URL: www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=d2252. you should be able to get there by clicking the link; if not, just copy and paste the link into your browser. it will take you to the appropriate location at canada helps.

thank you for visiting, reading, commenting and, if you can, donating!

this is my second post about my ideal writing weekend, which i’m entering into the my ideal writing weekend competition. the first instalment is was in my previous post (just look at the top of this post for the link).

so here i stand in a copse of olive trees, looking down into the water. it’s a craggy, steep cliff that forms a quiet little cove.

“blue! the water is so incredibly blue! no, maybe not blue. turquoise. aquamarine? it doesn’t make any sense to give it the name of just one colour. the ocean below is alive, changing from second to second, reflecting the light of the morning sun here one moment, there the next, streaked through with the movement of tiny fish, shifting sand, and undercurrents, warm, cold, from this direction and that … how can i give all of this just one colour?”

this is what i write into my diary. it’s a beautiful diary, and i’m delighted, because that’s important. writing, to me, is a sensual experience. i love the feeling of paper, and what happens when pen (pencil, brush, marker, quill) touches down and starts moving.

as i stand there, leaned against one of the trees, pen in hand, diary in front of me, i’m wondering what’s going to happen during the rest of the day. sure, i have the itinerary right here (i’m getting hungry, so the “traditional sardinian lunch at 12:00” sounds quite seductive to me at this moment) but – who will i meet? what will i write? what ideas will come out of the community of writers and fishermen and waiters? will there be a community?

blogathon: my ideal writing weekend

my ideal writing weekend … mmmmhh …. what a lovely thing to write about …

this is my entry for the my ideal writing weekend contest. (if you’d like to participate, too, just click on the link!)

this is what it looks like:

… so i wake up in the morning, having slept in an incredibly soft bed with linen smelling of wind and sun. i’m sleeping right by open window and a fresh breeze greets me as i slowly clamber out of a lovely dream, a big grin on my face.

the only noises i hear is the wind, a few birds, the ocean, and the distant clatter of breakfast dishes.

how did i get here again, and what day is it? oh, it’s friday, the first day of a long weekend. don’t have to leave until tuesday morning. something about a comfortable car ride here last night. oh yes, now it all comes back to me. i’m at a writing weekend! the hotel here in sardinia where the workshop is held is totally booked up so the organizers had to move it to this place, an old home out in the country. they’ll be taking us to the city any time we want so it looks like i get the best of both worlds!

oh, and the stars last night! haven’t seen that many for ages. so beautiful against the black moonless night, right over calm little waves licking against the cliff along which we were driving (was that really an old butler in an even older but still oh-so-buttery bentley?)

before i pad to the bathroom, i grab my notebook and write down a few words. that’s what the pamphlet said. write something down as soon as you wake up. ok, here we go:

thick walls, old sandstone
hold me up while i fly off.
my pens are my wings.

aaah. haiku is good, any time of the day.

twenty minutes later, i stand by a copse of olive trees, looking down into the water.

(stay tuned for the next instalment)

canadian mental health association

this is an entry for my participation in the 2008 blogathon, a 24-hour marathon of blogging. please support the cause and donate – however much, however little – to the canadian mental health association (vancouver/burnaby branch). to donate, email me or use this URL: www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=d2252. you should be able to get there by clicking the link; if not, just copy and paste the link into your browser. it will take you to the appropriate location at canada helps.

thank you for visiting, reading, commenting and, if you can, donating!