Posts Tagged With: Creative space

In Despair

Typewriter IrelandIn despair about your novel?  Come join my pity party.

I have a novel, I have the rough, rough first draft – created during NaNoWriMo.  And I was delighted with it, it was, of course, brilliant and interesting and insightful.

Then I began thinking about it.

  • I thought about it while watching Back to The Future for the 55th time.
  • I thought about it while creating blogs (there is a lovely, deadline based – immediacy to blogging).
  • I thought about it while cleaning the house.

When I   collapse on the couch and choose to watch  Back to the Future again, am I lazy or researching?

When I wander around the house muttering about dust, am I wasting time or considering the complex plot points that are apparently  more complex than necessary, or  am I wasting more time?

When I blog about writing a book, does that count as “real” writing?

Does thinking about the book  count as writing the book?

We all ask these questions as we push and pull and examine our forming plots like ameba under a microscope. Sometimes I think If I leave the little creatures alone in their dish, they will morph into something interesting without help or even further observation on my part.

This is the hope.

When I was younger, I could never understand the idea of an author taking ten years to create their book and story.  Now I get it.

It’s easy to think about my book as it is to make excuses:   I have to teach at night and am too tired to write.  I have to diet and now I’m too hungry to write.  I’m cranky because my brother is visiting from out of town, I’m busy wishing my sibling would return from where he came.  I must let the dog out. I must pick up after the dog.

I’m good at this.

What can we do when we are circling, circling   around our imagined book, not writing but slowing walking a maze, withe the work at the center.  Thinking is good – I’m a big fan of thinking.

But I also know, even as I walk a maze, that walking and thinking are poor substitutes for actually putting something – anything – down on paper.

  • So I sat down and created about a minute of dialogue.
  • Then I sat down and described one scene.
  • Then I realized that the heroine needed to be in more danger.  So I described the danger.

Did writing this blog put off the writing the story?  You bet.

Just wanted you to know you are not the only writer hiding in the shower for 45 minutes or until the hot water runs out waiting for that ultimate moment of inspiration.

We’re all doing it.  And on behalf of all the writers in the shower or cleaning it,  good luck.

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Dr. Burack Featured at Day of the Book

Day of the Book – April 20, 2013

Day of the Book ink well

Day of the Book

                                   JFKU 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA

                       Time: 10-4

The Art of Spiritual Writing   Charles Burack, Ph.D.

Dr. Burack will discuss some of the literary techniques that writers and poets use when portraying spiritual experiences. He will also lead some experiential exercises that will help participants reflect on and write about their own sacred experiences.

Charles Burack, Ph.D., is an award-winning poet, scholar and teacher as well as a widely published writer.  Author of the literary study D. H. Lawrence’s Language of Sacred Experience, and the poetry collection Songs to My Beloved. 

Admission

$35 with lunch

Faculty, staff, alumnae:  $25

Students: $20

Morning events open to the public 10-12

Panel discussion (lunch) 12-1

Literary salon 2-4

For early reservations contact: Catharine at bramkamp@yahoo.com

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Tanya Egan Gibson at Day of the Book

Day of the Book – April 20, 2013

Day of the Book ink well

Day of the Book

                                   JFKU 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA

                       Time: 10-4

Tanya is awesome.  I was so impressed with how much time and energy she gave to the participants at the SF Writer’s Conference.  She has graciously agreed to do the same for us during Day of the Book!

Building a Vibrant Fictional World  – Tanya Egan Gibson

How do you create a fictional world that is unique yet believable, exciting yet grounded? Learn the various ways you can get the details of places right (even without a travel budget), how to make your world exciting, and how to use your world to strengthen both plot and characterization.

Tanya Egan Gibson is the author of the novel How To Buy a Love of Reading (Dutton – 2009), and a freelance editor, consultant, and writing teacher. She has written for such magazines as The WriterParents, and Writer’s Digest, which will publish her latest article, “10 Things Your Freelance Editor Hasn’t Told You–But Should” in its May/June 2013 issue.

Admission

$35 with lunch

Faculty, staff, alumnae:  $25

Students: $20

Morning events open to the public 10-12

Panel discussion (lunch) 12-1

Literary salon 2-4

For early reservations contact: Catharine at bramkamp@yahoo.com

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Fiction as Emotional Autobiography

Day of the Book – April 20, 2013

Day of the Book ink well

Day of the Book

                                   JFKU 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA

                       Time: 10-4

Sounds interesting?  Come and hear Elizabeth Rosner speak during Day of the Book!

Inheriting Identity: Fiction as Emotional Autobiography.   Elizabeth Rosner

Sometimes a novelist’s subject matter isn’t chosen so much as discovered from within.  In this talk, I’ll share my process of finding — and fictionalizing — the complicated and dramatic material inside my family’s history.

Novelist, poet and essayist Elizabeth Rosner is the author of THE SPEED OF LIGHT and BLUE NUDE.  Her prize-winning and national best-selling works of fiction address themes of inherited grief and the redemptive power of storytelling.  Her newest novel ELECTRIC CITY will be published by Counterpoint Press in 2014.

Admission

$35 with lunch

Faculty, staff, alumnae:  $25

Students: $20

Morning events open to the public 10-12

Panel discussion (lunch) 12-1

Literary salon 2-4

For early reservations contact: Catharine at bramkamp@yahoo.com

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Tossing Out 29 Years

A young lady asked Natalie Goldberg, “What do I do? I lost all my journals and now I feel part of me is irretrievably gone.”

Just before I wrote more than I needed toNatalie  sympathized,  she herself had never recovered a dozen paintings she created and lost during a trip to Paris. But remember, Goldberg is a student of Zen, non-attachment.  Her response  was to shrug and suggest that it was really okay that  the journals were gone.  “You aren’t going to ever read them anyway. “ Natalie said.

That single answer, as harsh as it sounds, was the permission I needed to dump years of journals: specifically 1970 − 1999. I was finally able to ask if I really, ever, wanted to  revisit Junior High.  Should I continue to lug the the past from house to house, ever sealed, never read?

Nope.

As I chucked hundreds of pages into the recycling bin, Goldberg’s True Secret To Writing emerged again.  The True Secret it writing is that  it really is just about  the process. Writing is its own best means – not to an end, but rather  to your mind, your next story, your soul.

I don’t meditate for very long (about a minute, I call it speed meditation).  When I walk, I walk fast.  But writing every day?  I’ve been practicing that forever.

In this context, what is produced  is immaterial.  Anything decent is lifted from those pages of beginner words, wild ideas and complaints about the weather and  transferred into another, more permanent, workable file.  The process work is not revisited.

I rescued  5 poems from the 70’s that I thought I could rework in honor of National Poetry Month.  And that was all.

Some writers feel that every word they put to paper is great, deathless prose, but not me.  Everyday writing, journal writing, is about the process, it’s practice writing. And we all  need to practice so when it is time to perform: we’re flawless.

 

You are welcome to re-post this article in your own blog or newsletter – please include this entire statement, “Catharine Bramkamp is a Writing Coach and podcaster, find out if you’re ready to go from  Newbie to Known visit www.yourbookstartshere.com or bramkamp@yahoo.com for a complimentary consultation.”

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Writing as Personal Expression (Day of the Book)

Day of the Book – April 20, 2013

Day of the Book ink well

Day of the Book

                                   JFKU 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA

                       Time: 10-4

Writing and Self-Publishing as Personal Expressions of Liberation and Autonomy.   – K. Tutashinda

During Day of the Book, K Tutashinda focuses on how the Black Arts, Black Power, and Environmental Movements have served as a foundation for the author to use writing and self-publishing as participatory outlets.

K. Tutashinda,D.C., is a Chiropractic Physician, teacher, activist/consultant, and independent scholar. He teaches English in the Mills Upward Bound program and worked with UC Berkeley’s program for twenty-eight years. The author of five books, he owns Imhotep Chiropractic & Wellness Center in Berkeley,CA. and has been in practice since 1989.

Admission

$35 with lunch

Faculty, staff, alumnae:  $25

Students: $20

Morning events open to the public 10-12

Panel discussion (lunch) 12-1

Literary salon 2-4

For early reservations contact: Catharine at bramkamp@yahoo.com

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Michael Somers featured at Day of the Book

Day of the Book – April 20, 2013

Day of the Book ink well

Day of the Book

                                   JFKU 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA

                       Time: 10-4

GALACTIC EXODUS: A Science Fiction Documentary or History of the Future  – Michael Somers

Focusing on the work: Galactic Exodus, we will explore the meaning of science fiction, how does science fiction  express our own socio-political arrangements, intercultural relations, the interplay of freedom and equality.

Michael Somers  is a college professor teaching  A Condensed History of Critical Ideas from a Cosmological Perspective  and authored an award winning, post-apocalyptic science-fiction epic: GALACTIC EXODUS: Counterdance of the Cybergods and Polylogue with Mythokrates).

Admission

$35 with lunch

Faculty, staff, alumnae:  $25

Students: $20

Morning events open to the public 10-12

Panel discussion (lunch) 12-1

Literary salon 2-4

For early reservations contact: Catharine at bramkamp@yahoo.com

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Jump from a Plane, Speak at Day of the Book

Day of the Book – April 20, 2013

Day of the Book ink well

Day of the Book

                                   JFKU 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA

                       Time: 10-4

Jeane Slone has jumped from airplanes, flown upside down and bravely appeared on Newbie Writers Podcast. There is very little she won’t do in the service of her books!

Women in the Air – Jeane Slone

Did you know women flew as spies and bomber pilots in WWII?  Jeane will present the Women Airforce Service Pilots. She will discuss: training, qualifications, how they tried to receive military benefits, 38 WASPs died and never went into combat, the Soviet Night Witches, why black women pilots were not accepted in the program, the WASPs received the gold medal 60 years later.

Jeane Slone is the past Vice President and present board member of the California Redwood Writer’s Club, a member of the Healdsburg Literary Guild, Military Writer’s Society of America, and the Pacific Coast Air Museum. She is a tutor for the Library Literary Program.

Admission

$35 with lunch

Faculty, staff, alumnae:  $25

Students: $20

Morning events open to the public 10-12

Panel discussion (lunch) 12-1

Literary salon 2-4

For early reservations contact: Catharine at bramkamp@yahoo.com

Categories: Newbie Guide Notes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Memoir Expert Speaks at Day of the Book

Day of the Book – April 20, 2013

Day of the Book ink well

Day of the Book

                                   JFKU 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA

                       Time: 10-4

Linda Joy Meyers is one of the premiere experts on memoir, and always delivers great information with heart. I am honored she is speaking for our event.

What’s Your Story? The Heart and Craft of Memoir Writing – Linda Joy Meyers

You have a story you’ve been meaning to tell, and you want to find a way to get started. Where to start is the biggest question memoir writers ask.

Linda Joy Myers, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers, & Co-President of the Women’s National Book Association, SF, is the author of Don’t Call Me Mother—A Daughter’s Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness; The Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, and a new workbook The Journey of Memoir: The Three Stages of Memoir Writing to be released in February, 2013.

Admission

$35 with lunch

Faculty, staff, alumnae:  $25

Students: $20

Morning events open to the public 10-12

Panel discussion (lunch) 12-1

Literary salon 2-4

For early reservations contact: Catharine at bramkamp@yahoo.com

Categories: Newbie Guide Notes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wild Sound

In Celebration of Spring, my poem – The Goblin Market is listed on Wild Sound.

The Goblin Market, by Catharine Bramkamp – Read Poems from all over the world..

Happy first day of spring!

Goblin Market on Wild Sound.ca

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