Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Writing Sort of Day....

Writing dominated my day today. Judith and I drove out to Lake Morena today to teach the first of our creative arts council's "Taste of Art" classes. Six kids and several adults showed up for our writing class, while about sixteen kids attended the music class in our own town. Next week we'll switch and have music out east and writing in our own town.

Judith and I took the kids through the idea of "seeing" and describing what we see. We used Julie's "Keen Observation Exercise" from The Writer's Jungle as well as sketching and poetry exercises. Each of the kids went home with a book they made containing their writing exercises, their poems or stories, their drawings, and poems by Judith and Longfellow. Teaching such young kids, most of whom couldn't really physically write yet, was taxing but rewarding. Judith and I both headed home utterly drained.

After a couple hours of resting, Judith and I headed to our town's library for the first meeting for a writers' group. Eight writers attended in all, including a woman from the UK, several teachers, and a scrapbooker. Two are writing novels; three are poets. Two are writing essays/sketches. Three are writing nonfiction. One has written articles for a nearby town's newspaper, while another is the co-editor of our own town's monthly newspaper (Judith). Two are writing children's books. I'm the only blogger thus far. So lots of different writing is being produced, and we'll meet again next month and bring along some writing to share with each other, ten to fifteen minutes each. I'm looking forward to meeting with these seven people next month and sharing my writing with them, looking for some encouragement and constructive criticism, a new experience for me.

So today was all about writing from one end of the spectrum to the other, from teaching the rudiments of writing to six-year-olds to actually sharing my own work with a group of other writers. Next week Judith and I will be teaching writing to a larger and older group of kids (and some adults) in our own town, plus we'll be hearing from our creative arts council's Featured Artist, a writer who has just published a book. Our writing workshop who met tonight will also be attending. So even if I haven't had much time to work on my book this summer, at least I now have to discipline myself enough to have something to share each month at our new writer's workshop. And discipline is exactly what I need right now with my writing....

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