It has come into my awareness that over-analyzing a relationship kills the love. And since that is true for me, I also suspect that over-analyzing the craft of writing kills the stories. I set out to begin this blog with the craft of writing as the focus, a place to share my work and discuss the back stories of my process. I’m very curious about how writers write what they do, and what methods or ideas inspire their stories. However, since my body of work is quite thin, I recognize that I really need to get out of my head in order to write.
And get into my senses.
And come back to life.
This is why Writing Naturally Workshops was the most beneficial experience I’ve had in manifesting my desire to write stories with clarity and feeling. During the month of October, I joined an online workshop hosted by the beautiful writer Corinne Cunningham, who shared her wisdom and practical tools to dispel the dreaded blocks we all face. Here is a sample of my work near the end of the course:
Day Five: Hearing
This morning, our family day. No work for Richard and no sales or orders for me. We
shower and go down to the kitchen to make bacon, eggs, toast and coffee. A plan forms: “let’s
take the kayak out on Lake Brandt!” Richard does the dishes and I gather our gear. In twenty
minutes we are gliding on a breezy fall morning, paddling against the windswept waves toward
a small island. We make up a paddling song to the tune of “Take Me Out To the Ball Game.”
Elliot and Richard try out lines to fit the tune. By the time we reach the island, all I can
hear is the sound of our voices singing together and it feels like a vacation from my childhood,
singing in the back of the car on our way up north to go camping.
“Take me out to the water, take me out to the lake! Rent me a paddle and fanny-pack,
I don’t care if I ever get back,
‘cause it’s stroke, stroke, stroke
in a sunbeam,
if we don’t swim it’s a shame!
For it’s one, two three ducks afloat
in the old, green boat!”
I smile at the memory of Elliot’s voice singing away as we float under those sunbeams.
We hear other sounds, the grumpy “CRAWK!” of a Great Blue Heron who is disrupted from his
fishing spot when we get close. Ducks in flight, beating wings. The spashing sploosh of a fish
jumping. Water smashing and exploding on the front of our craft as we break the waves.
We hear questions from Elliot (because this is a school day, after all!) Questions like, what leaf
is this tree from? And this one, and this one? The trees on the shoreline drop papery
sailors on the calm surface, spinning adrift in a floating parade.
Back at home, the silence of the empty house calls for a nap. We have a large sectional in the
living room, but my favorite place to nap is on a fifty dollar plush loveseat, broken in. At five two,
I can stretch out on it with just my feet dangling. I lay down and Richard comes over, shoving
me to the back side. Soon, he’s snoring away and I’m cramped and my feet are falling asleep
under the weight of his arms, my arms falling asleep under the weight of his legs. Funny how a head can’t sleep at the same time the limbs do.
I must have dozed off because I awoke, numb in the extremities to the sight of Elliot
perched above me on the back of the loveseat, laying like a cat on a tree branch.
I enjoyed the Writing Naturally workshop for many reasons. First, it helped me to be comfortable with my impulses to write. I am a hopeless self-editor. For every sentence that falls out, I immediately want to scratch it away with my pencil. As if the thoughts on the inside are not good enough for the open air. Corinne helped me to be okay with those first impulses, and to work with the good that came through. To learn more about Writing Naturally, and to experience Corinne’s gorgeous writing, you can visit her at http://www.corinnenoelcunningham.com/