15 Sep Ancestral Alchemy: exploring family through memoir
6-week Memoir Writing Exploration | 4 dates to choose from
Our family dynamics imprint us for life, and it’s the foundation for almost every story we write. And our memories of family aren’t set in concrete – they are fluid, like water, creating wisdom transformed from the tide of our childhood memories. Families – even those in our families who have died – their characters are forever evolving and turning into something else we carry forward to create compelling stories. Novelist David Mitchel reminds us that our lives are not our own, from womb to tomb we are bound by others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness we continue to birth our future.
Maria Papova said, “we can never fully unmoor ourselves from those formative affections, for they are woven into the mysterious thread that makes us and our childhood selves on person.”
“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye
and put miles between you,
but at the same time you carry them with you
in your heart, your mind, your stomach,
because you do not just live in a world
but a world lives in you.”
— Frederick Buechner
A call to explore our family stories is also a call to heal
Our ancestors and family seem to call to us to write their stories – they invite us, every day to relook and reframe the way we understand family to expand and deepen our collective place in the world.
Our conflict-ridden world begins in our own hearts, in our own homes and can only be changed and healed through story.
Where are we really going? Always home.”
Three online classes to fit into your schedule / one class Live on Kauai
I often have names for my classes because each class takes on its own energy. This past class our online Tuesday group was the Holy F*ck class, the online Thursday were my Roller Coaster writers and online Sunday morning was our Sacred Word Church. My live on Kauai Wednesday group holds a special place in my heart as writers come up to my burnt red porch toward my thirsty orchids, kick their slippahs off their feet into a Hawaiian pile and enthusiastically choose their seats. Sometimes writers linger in my living room when class is over, in the same way I linger inside their stories throughout the week.
Each group is an intimate group of 8 to 10 writers who work closely together for six weeks.
Inspiration for the Course
Since I learned how to read at three years old, I was most attracted to true stories. I branched out to philosophy, physics, theology and fiction. And in the end, I always come back to memoir – to the web of family, our undeniable roots. When I was young this genre was referred to as autobiographies, and now the genre of memoir is explosive. Because I know for sure we are all on a Hero’s Journey – a course with our personal growth and destiny. Every course I design is inspired by books I have read and my own writing explorations. The authors who have inspired me for memoir are too numerous to mention, but they include Sharon Olds, Maya Angelou, Linda Pastan, Galway Kinnel, Lydia Yuknavitch, Frank McCourt, James Baldwin, Mary Karr and Jeanette Walls. Numerous books in my personal library will be used for this course, including books on Ho’oponopono, the Hawaiin art of forgiveness, books on Epigenetics and Constellation Healing.
“It is not until much later,
as the skin sags and the heart weakens,
that children understand their stories,
and all their accomplishments,
sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers,
stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.”
― Mitch Albom
“A dysfunctional family is any family
with more than one person in it.”
— Mary Karr
In this writing course you will explore:
- Memorable Mothers in Memoir
- The Father’s Indelible Imprint
- Family Love Paradigm
- Exploring family secrets & shame
- Family places – Home, basements, garages & bedrooms
- The child living inside the adult
Experimenting with Craft:
- Using Lists in writing for Impact
- Character Development
- Writing to the Shadow to let in the Light
- Naming – inserting details to bring a piece to life
- The Importance of place & family
ABOUT MY WRITING WORKSHOPS
Syn-creation – Why writing is a communal act
There is a magic that happens with intimate groups of writers creating together. I call it Syncreation – we are all writing on the backs of writers who came before us and influenced by the energy of the writers we are creating beside. When writers of all levels join each other to create (published authors beside someone new to the craft), it is a reminder we all have something to learn from each other. Often I am asked where I learned to write and my answer is simple:
I learned to write from my students.
Our writers call into our online groups from England, Australia, New York and California. They are actors, plumbers, hairdressers and published authors. All the writers, regardless of their background, come to the groups ready to write.
The time to join our writing groups is when you know it’s time to get your story onto the page.
Two and Three part Writing Exercises
In each class we will explore an aspect of family through inspiration in memoir and poetry. This deep dive takes writers deeply into the space of creating. Included in very class are the following:
• Sentence walls to keep you writing
• 2-minute writing warmups on topic
• Carefully chosen inspiration from memoirs and poetry on topic
• Videos, music or art on theme for inspiration
• Thirteen-minute live writing & group sharing
• Belong to a private Facebook group of all writers taking class
• Feedback from writing peers during class and throughout the week on FB
Writing Teacher: Laura Lentz
Author Laura Lentz has taught creative writing workshops online and on the north shore of Kauai for ten years. Her workbook, STORYquest, helps writers turn their story into a Hero’s Journey through 12-weeks of writing prompts and examples out of best selling books. Laura is also a developmental editor and helps writers expand their body of work through unique methods – offering challenging and thought provoking writing prompts inspired by poetry, mythology and segments from literature. Her exploratory writing workshops include Love, Skin and Eros, The Poetry Room, and STORYquest, Make Your Story a Hero’s Journey. Her 6-week workshops are online and on the north shore of Kauai. Workshop students have the unique opportunity to appear in an annual spoken word shows and in Literati Academy’s online magazine exclusively written by Literati Academy’s writing community in LITerari.us, Laura serves on the faculty of The Kauai Writers Conference and is conducting a Master Class for writers who want to write in sacred places on Kauai and allow Kauai’s beauty to influence their work.
Share Your Writing in a Private Facebook Page
Throughout the course, you will have access to up to thirty writers in a private Facebook page who are also taking this course – writing to the same course material. You will share in a private Facebook group, and receive positive feedback from your peers.
Oct. 3rd — Nov. 7th
Nine writers creating together
4:00 p.m. — 6:00-6:30 p.m.
Oct. 8th – Nov. 12th
4:30 p.m. PST — 6:30-7:00 p.m.
Oct. 6th – Nov. 10th
10:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 9th – Nov. 13th