Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Keep the Weeds, Write Your Life

Some of the most beautiful plants around are weeds. I've got some wonderful weeds in my garden right now.
[That's plural. WeedS. NOT going there...]

Native plants--they usually don't even get a fancy name--they're some kind of weed. I've mentioned my admiration for Ironweed in a previous post, but I happen to be smitten right now with Joe-pye Weed, butterfly weed, and milkweed...all rich in nectar for butterflies, bees & hummingbirds. In fact, the Mexico-bound monarchs have started fluttering by this week, all over Joe-pye...which is towering high & mighty in my front yard, as you can see here.

So what does this have to do with writing? It's about cherishing the weeds maybe--the events or people in your life you'd rather pull up, ignore or throw out. The painful can be comic, you know. That old saw--right what you know or love? I had a writing teacher who said--forget that, write about something you hate, something that frustrates you, drives you nuts. For most of us in grad school, that meant writing about our jobs. I was waiting tables, and I never dreamed all that aggravation, stiffed tables, and frantic, exhausting work could provide such fodder for humor, but ...it did. In the weeds-- that's restraunt talk for waaaay behind on your tables-- was where Cutter, a character from THE GARDEN ANGEL, often found herself.

Which leads me to...a class we're offering at the Writing Room on Sept. 29. It's called "Write Your Life: Memoir and Personal Essay," and it's all about capturing events from your life to use in your writing. Details here for regional folks who are interested:
  • Write Your Life: Memoir and Personal Essay

This two-hour workshop will help you plunge into the personal themes that make your real life stories uniquely yours. We’ll discover how to determine which events from your life can combine to create a memoir that resonates. We’ll discuss how to use some of these events to begin the process of getting your life on the page. We’ll cover craft elements, including voice and structure, and look at some of the ways in which elements of fiction and poetry can enliven your writing.

Date: Tuesday, Sept. 29

Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Instructor: Heather Magruder

Cost: $25; Emrys members $20

Location: Metropolitan Arts Council, 16 Augusta Street, Greenville

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