17 Mar Crafting Our Initiation Stories — Birth, Death & In-Between
April – May 2019 | 6-week Writing Series
A Memoir Writing Workshop – Every Initiation is also an Invitation
Queen Hennessey wrote, “I am here to die.” And if we are here to die, we are also here to live. If we don’t listen to the experiences of our lives and unfold the truths inside of them, then we have stopped listening to ourselves. Exploring our life stories is about exploring the many initiations that take us into the adventure of being alive.
As storytellers, these events and the many personal births and deaths become the heartbeat of story. Initiations create compelling stories, and drop writers in a place of discovery as we create and relearn how these events contributed to our bigger story.
Braiding the wisdoms we gain through these experiences with humor, insight and even mythology become what I call Story Mortar. They hold our stories together and invite the reader on a journey with you. Life’s many initiations become the trials and magical experiences that remind us who we are and who we are becoming. Our initiation stories – woven together, become a story compass to craft a larger story that matters.
Baptisms, Rituals & Celebrations
In our life we go through many baptisms and trials – these events are initiations and shape the person we become. Some initiations come in the form of life’s many obstacles, and other times they are rituals – marriage, divorce, leaving home or professional recognition. The moments in our lives when we experience a death and rebirth become the scenes to lead us to great stories. Every major event, from the moment we are born to the final moment when we leave our bodies informs the person we become and the bigger story we want to share with the world.
“And I learned that I lived always and everywhere.
I learned that I knew everything,
Only I had forgotten.
I learned that I grew
Only I had overlooked things.”
Now I am back, remembering.”
-African celebration song
Initiation and The Hero’s Journey
When we are writing our memoirs and our stories, we are on a STORYquest – a heroic journey that includes a creative awakening. With the narrative that includes initiations, we can step back and revisit our stories and see the Story Evolution. As a writer and storyteller, you are facing the supreme tests that teaches you and your readers what it is to live fully by traveling fully with you inside of your personal story.
This is an unprecedented time for storytellers and writers. In a sense we are in a collective rite of passage, confronting the details of our personal and spiritual initiations together. By writing and sharing these stories, first in our group, and then with a larger audience, we are changing the world.
You cannot be redeemed without having
undergone the transformation in the initiation process.
— Carl Jung
Explore Initiation Stories through Literature
This course was inspired by my extensive research and publication of STORYquest, Make Your Story a Hero’s Journey. I have selected inspirational excerpts by fiction writers, poets and memoirists – works from literature that will show us the many initiations inside successful stories. Books used for this course include Of Water and the Spirit – Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an Africa Shaman by Malidoma Patrice Some, The Five Invitations – Discovering What Death Can Teach us About Living Fully by Frank Ostaseski and The Second Half of Life, opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom by Angeles Avrien.
sacrament of intimacy, honor
the love, and passion that
brought us all
into the world.
— Eudora Welty
In this writing course you will explore:
Birth & Rebirths
The Burning of Initiation by Fire
Your Dance with Death - Close calls
Love's Surprise Initiations
Falling & Failing into your true self
The initiation through the body
In this course, writers will:
Turn your lessons into compelling stories
Create compelling stories through opening writing prompts
Tap into your Inner Wisdom
Link Life's storm stories to the bigger mysteries
Have your writing influenced by ancient rituals and initiations
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.
Become Part of a Writing Community
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.
As many of you know,
my courses fill quickly and I hate to turn writers away.
If you sign up soon, this will ensure you a spot.
So looking forward to knowing you better.
ONLINE ZOOM ROOM: SUNDAY MORNING
April 28sth – June 2, 2019
10:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m. [PacificTime]
KAUA‘I NORTH SHORE: *WEDNESDAY* EVENING
May 1st — June 12th
6:30 p.m. — 9:00 p.m. [on the north shore of Kaua‘i]
ONLINE ZOOM ROOM: THURSDAY AFTERNOON
May 2nd — June 6th, 2019
4 p.m. — 6:30 p.m. [PacificTime]
One Final Prayer:
“Birth is a beginning and Death a destination;
From childhood to maturity and youth to age,
From innocence to awareness and ignorance to knowing.
From foolishness to discretion and then, perhaps to wisdom.
From weakness to strength or strength to weakness, and back again.
From health to sickness and back, we pray, to health again.
From offense to forgiveness, from loneliness to love.
From joy to gratitude, from pain to compassion.
From grief to understanding, from fear to faith.
From defeat to defeat
Until looking backward or ahead, we see that
Victory lies not at some high place along the way,
But in having made the Journey, stage by stage”
-Yom Kippur Prayer