Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Fall 2010 Writing Room Schedule

Hot off the press, as they say. Actually, before the press...think of this as a preview. A galley.

This year, we are partnering with the
City of Greenville's Parks & Recreation to offer Writing Room classes.

All Writing Room offerings this fall will be at the Bobby Pearse Community Center here, at North Main Park across from the Soda Shop,  904 Townes Street, Greenville, SC 29609-5500 (864) 467-4331. 
Hope to see you there!

Here's  the skinny on the fall Writing Room schedule...registration should be ready soon on the Emrys website:

Monthly Writing Workshops: Out of Your Head and Onto the Pages
These writing workshops, led by various members of the Writing Room faculty, are designed to stimulate creativity and generate ideas for fiction and nonfiction. We’ll use a series of short in-class writing exercises to inspire new work and deepen your writing. Come prepared to write in class, to share your exercises without fear or self-judgment, and above all, have some fun.
All levels, beginner to experienced
Instructor(s): One or more of the Writing Room Faculty
Location: Bobby Pearse Community Center
When: The second Sunday of the month: Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. 12
Time: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $5 cash only. Please pay at the door.


Memoir: Work & the  Story of Your Life
We've all held a variety of jobs, both paid and unpaid, and even if we didn't realize it at the time, we were collecting immersion research material for possible future essays. In this class, we'll use a focused reading of work essay excerpts as jumping-off points for our own work, and start drafting essays about our various work experiences.
All levels, beginner to experienced
Instructor: Joni Tevis
Location: Bobby Pearse Community Center
When: Sunday, October 24
Time: 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Cost: $25; $20 Emrys members
A former park ranger, factory worker, and cemetery-plot-seller, Joni Tevis currently teaches literature and creative writing at Furman University. Her book of lyric essays, The Wet Collection, was published by Milkweed Editions.
Creative Writing 101 Workshop
This six-week workshop provides an excellent overview for beginners or anyone who wants to brush up on the craft and practices of creative writing. We’ll talk about fundamental elements such as point of view, character development, plot, dialogue, voice, imagery and setting. You’ll get a mixture of brief lectures that hit the high-points and weekly writing exercises that let you try your hand at what you’ve just learned. Discussion of published works—short stories, novel and memoir excerpts, and creative nonfiction— will illustrate these concepts. You’ll also have the option to share and discuss each other’s work. At the conclusion of our workshop, you’ll be a more knowledgeable and skilled writer and will have gained a sense of where to move onward with your writing.
Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Instructor: Mindy Friddle
Location: Bobby Pearse Community Center
6-week class
Wednesdays: Nov 3, 10, 17 and Dec. 1, 8, 15
Time: 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Fee: $180; $170 Emrys members
 Mindy Friddle is founder and director of the Writing Room. Her novel, The Garden Angel (St. Martin’s Press/Picador) was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers.” Secret Keepers, her second novel, won the 2009 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Butterfly Watch

The butterflies are migrating...I counted three tiger swallowtails, two black swallowtails, a monarch, and a painted lady.

They love the butterfly bushes of course, but they can't stay away from the joe-pye weed.

 When you think about it--or maybe when you don't think, you just feel-- the butterfly is the most amazing creature.  Those intricately designed thin-as-paper wings-- that carry the creature from flower to flower so it can lap up the sweet nectar with its tongue...and it travels over oceans...miles and miles. I mean, who could make that up?
They say the turtle makes progress only when she sticks her neck out. Figuratively speaking. 
I spotted this turtle on a walk the other day....moved her/him a few yards away to safety.

Not to be outdone by the ethereal aesthetics of butterflies-- turtles are their kind of wow.  Reptilian scaly feet are earthbound but that shell! With its own the butterfly wings' designs.

Monday, August 9, 2010


FILM, I mean.

Do you read a novel with a clear picture of the character in your head-- an actor?

You think....So-and-so would be perfect as  Jake.

Or, I always pictured someone like [Academy-award winning actor A] playing her.

On MyBooktheMovie today you'll find the sterling cast I suggest for SECRET KEEPERS the movie, starting with Emma:

Emma Hanley - Frances Conroy
I’ll never forget Frances Conroy's fascinating role as Ruth, the matriarch on HBO’s Six Feet Under. Both Frances and Emma, as it happens, are redheads and willowy and southern. Frances, born in Georgia, would capture Emma's soft lilt and steely kindness--and her unexpected chance for a late-in-life romance. She’d make Emma her own.
READ MORE including who will play Jake, Dora, Kyle, and Gordon. Oh, and also a suggestion for director.

Thanks, Marshal Zeringue for asking me to cast my movie!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Point of View Reading List

I just wound up my class at Hub City's "Writing in Place," where we focused on point of view. Here is my reading list for exploring point of view, one of the most fascinating and important elements of fiction writing:


First Person POV                                          Second Person POV "you,"
The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald                      Bright Lights, Big City, McInerney
Housekeeping, Robinson                           "How to Become a Writer," Moore
Huckleberry Finn, Twain                            Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, Robbins
Anywhere but Here, Simpson                     If on a winter's night a traveler, Italo Calvino
Lolita, Nabokov

First Person POV, serial
                          Third Person, Objective, [mostly dialogue]
One Foot in Eden, Rash                             “Hills like White Elephants,” Hemingway
The Poisonwood Bible, Kingsolver            “I-900,” Bausch
                                                                     “I-80 Nebraska,” Sayles
First Person POV, plural “we”     
"A Rose for Emily," Faulkner                    Third Person POV, Close
The Virgin Suicides, Eugenides                 Norwood, Portis
Then We Came to the End, Ferris               Rich in Love, Humphreys

                   Third Person, serial
As I lay Dying, Faulkner                        Little Children, Perrotta
The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood               Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Tyler   
                                                                  The Hours, Cunningham
Third Person, Omniscient       
Bleak House, Dickens                            Various Narrative Points of View, alternated
Empire Falls, Russo                               Two Girls, Fat and Thin, Gaitskill
Ragtime, Doctorow                                Machine Dreams, Phillips
Bel Canto, Patchett                                 I was Amelia Earhart, Mendelsohn
Anna Karenina, Tolstoy                         The White Hotel, Thomas
Pride and Prejudice, Austen                 The Plague of Doves, Erdrich
Amy and Isabelle, Strout                       The Bluest Eye, Morrison
Ironweed, Kennedy
“A Good Man is Hard to Find,” O’Connor     
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