The holiday season brings up so much for us – family, love, loss, and revisiting the sacred.

Every story ever written includes loss, and overwhelming moments of grief, moments when a flower blooms and you say “SO WHAT?”  Hiding our sorrow, or stepping around that part of a story, means you are missing helping the reader understand the whole of your story.  Loss is the most important part of every story, of every human journey.  It’s our unwelcome teacher, who knocks on our door when we least expect it – taking our loved ones, our job, our country, our home – even our self esteem.

To rewrite my title essay of my upcoming essay book Freeing the Turkeys,  I had to go back to the real reason I went to Italy – to stare down death in the starving cats in the coliseum, the cemetry of the Capuchin Friars, and renaissance art, where Jesus was suffering and Mary was grieving.  I became obsessed with images of grief, and it made me return to the memory of the cold winter blizzard, and the icy drive to my lover’s home where all the Christmas lights had been strung and the gifts unwrapped. Whenever there is ritual, or celebration – grief seeps in, which is why the holiday season can be a challenging and fruitful time to create our sacred stories.

Whenever there is singing and celebrating, there is a reminder of a time or without, or our missing family members.

Poetic Form & Craft explored

Poetic techniques and poetic forms show up in all writing, reminding us how to invite the magic in our stories and hoping us find the luminous language associated with loss and suffering. In this four week class we will find the words and techniques to help us bring our stories and poems into sacred language.

Grief is chaotic, and sometimes revisiting loss can feel like adding cliche’s to your work. In the Luminous Language of Grief we will find all the ways to write into loss and sorrow with scene, specificity and metaphor, to personalize the universal experience of loss.

When we lose something or someone important to us, the world comes to an end, only the world does not come to an end. This is why we revisit these moments and write our stories. Writing gives us a container for the loss and the chaos and the sometimes overwhelming beauty and clarity.

As writers, it’s our job to take readers on a whole journey, and to do this successfully, we have to explore the whole of the journey – loss is part of that journey.

We remember that grief is devastating

That’s something we can hold onto.

But what good poems of grief also say is:

life is worth living, and even grief has its beauty.

And that is almost impossible to think of

until it is enacting itself inside of you  

                                   

What a Story is by Laura Lentz

I want to tell you everything,
because I lived it all.
the dark shadows of every monster,
the sweeping light of angel wings.
We are not remaking our story,
We are remaking the world.

In 4-weeks writers will practice shifting from Trauma to Hope to Magic:

WEEK ONE:  SACRED OBJECTS   

A sacred object may be a physical, energetic, spiritual or imagined object – it can be an old watch, or a flip phone that belonged to someone we loved, a cluster of letters, the words fading on a yellow page, or it might be an alter you’ve built for your ancestors that is forever changing as your story of them changes. They help us to stay on the path we have chosen, and to be faithful to it. They give us energy and faith when we need it. Objects help us dive deeper into our story, they welcome us to language, and can be a tool to help funnel, transmit They help us to stay on the path we have chosen, be faithful to it. They give us energy and faith when we need it. In this class we will learn how to bring a sacred object into a story, and create a story around it. It can be a container to hold intent. It tool to help funnel, transmit or transmute energetic intent from and/or to a greater power.

WEEK TWO -PLACE & MEMORY

Places often remind us of a time in our life, or a person, or a younger side of oursevles we have left behind.  Grief can come when walking into a bedroom, a home, an airport or a temple. In this class we will create art around how a place can take help transport us from the past to the present.

WEEK THREE: ODES TO OUR DEPARTED

An ode is a celebration, praise, and often uses repetition and metaphor. In this class we will explore writing an ode to someone we love who is no longer living or no longer in our lives. In this session we will explore grief through celebration.

WEEK FOUR: WRITING A PRAYER OR A BLESSING

In this class we will explore what makes a story or poem a prayer or a blessing, including repetition. Poet Jan Richardson says, “a blessing does not explain away our loss or justify devastation. It does not make light of grief or provide a simple rix for the rending. A blessing and a prayer meet us in the place of our deepest loss, offering us a glimpse of wholeness.”

Writing about loss is an act of healing

 

By participating in this live 4-week class series, you will learn to invite loss and grief into your creative process, to work on craft exercises (odes, metaphor, prayers, place and sacred objects….to take us through the holiday season, a time when all the grief often rise to the surface, reminding us of what came before, and what slipped through oures.  

While in this discovery, you will learn the art of writing by practicing, deeply listening, reading out loud and hearing what is good in your story reflected back to you.

LEARN IN A SMALL, LIVE GROUPS

Each week you will take the class with the same 8-10 writers from all over the world,  writing together and sharing your stories in a 2 hour to 2 1/2 hour class.

Writers work closely together for six weeks, deeply bonding and supporting each other’s creative leaps. Writers who must miss a class may audit another live class on the schedule.

If you have to miss a week, you can audit the class with another live group on another day, or receive the class via Keynote.  Writers learn from the curriculum, but also from the positive  feedback received from other writers.  When we focus on what is good in writing, we develop an ear for inviting more of what is good.

CREATE CONTENT FOR A LARGER BODY OF WORK

This four week course is especially compelling if you are working on a book, blog, poetry or a series of essays.  It’s a wonderful way to explore an event and learn how step by step to be in a deeper discovery for yourself and the readers.

Many of our students have gone on to publication through this process of writing every week, and many of our writers are authors often writing beside writers who are new to the practice. We all learn from each other’s work each week, and this course will help every writer go deeper to gain new perspectives for the sake of healing both the writer and the reader.

INSPIRATION TO REFRAME YOUR STORY

This four week series was developed by me ten years ago for a few of my writers who seemed to need more balance to their stories, so we can transcend the triggering event to offer a deeper perspective. Since then, I have expanded it into a comprehensive workbook – STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey.  This course is a quick way to reframe any story you are writing, any essay or any chapter in a book.

Pre-writing exercises often lead us into a longer write.

After, we share our stories and deeply listen with positive feedback.  Writers become part of a private Facebook writing community with other writers taking the same curriculum.  Throughout the weeks, writers share and comment through the Facebook community..

 

Educator: Laura Lentz, author

Laura Lentz is the author of  STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey and the soon to be published Grace of the World, an anthology to honor earth. Laura is a writing coach and developmental editor, teaching creative writing workshops online and on the north shore of Kauai for ten years. Her workbook helps writers write to every stage of their story inspired by the Hero’s Journey through 12-weeks of writing prompts and examples out of best selling memoirs and poetry. Laura helps writers create content and expand their body of work through unique methods – offering challenging and thought provoking writing prompts inspired by poetry, mythology and segments from literature.

Laura creates the curriculum for the 6-week writing workshops also taught by Guest Teachers.

Laura’s 6-week workshops are online and on the north shore of Kauai. Laura serves on the faculty of The Kauai Writers Conference, Covid willing… 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.

Educator: Robin Gadient

Meet Robin Gadient – Teaching Friday and Saturday

Robin Gadient, teacher of STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey has developed a following as both a writer and a teacher. Robin has been writing in Laura’s writing groups creating poetry and heart opening stories for several series. Sometimes the student becomes the teacher right before your eyes.  Robin graduated from UCSB with a BA in literature. Robin has the uncanny ability to hold space for all writers and respond in a way that creates the needed energy to create her community within a larger community.

Meet Our Guest Panelists – How Grief informs our Stories & Poems

December 9th, Friday 4 p.m. PST

Susan Hahn is a best selling poet, editor, playwright, and novelist and Guggenhem fellow. She earned a BA and MA in psychology from Northwestern University and trained as an art therapist at the Gestalt Institute of Chicago before turning her attention to poetry. Susan is a beautiful essayist, crafting stories that add the magical and mystical and still ground us in the every day. Hahn’s precise, lyrical work, which is described by some critics as neo-confessional, often explores family, sexuality, and loss. Incorporating writing and art into her therapy, she began to write her own work and submitted her first poems to Poetry magazine, where they were accepted. Now she has eleven books, including Losing Beck called “One of the most original works of our time”.  The subjects in her work include love, heartbreak, a mother’s death, and a crisis in faith. 

Susan will be on a panel with Ramond on December 9th
4 p.m. PST / 7 p.m. EST

Raymond Barfield is an author, philosopher and doctor. As a novelist and poet, he explores the bigger questions of the universe as part of his ongoing attempt to understand what, if anything, suffering teaches us about the universe and itself. Raymond’s book Wager: Beauty, Suffering, and Being in the World and The Practice of Medicine as Being in Time are part of his exploration on grief– how to be a good doctor while figuring out how to be a good patient.  Raymond will be sharing his thoughts on how grief informs all our stories.  
On writing, Raymond says, “Lines need to sing, though sometimes they scream like opera, and it works.”
In relationship to death, which he has faced many times with families in palliative care pediatrics, he says “Death is a spiritual experience, not a medical experience. There is nothing in our language that has room for this fundamental leap.”

Raymond will be on a panel with Susan on December 9th
4 p.m. PST / 7 p.m. EST

  

 

Signups for Laura’s groups are full. Groups NOW OPEN w/ Robin Gadient 

Contact Laurawriter@me.com  with any questions

Thursday Online 

with Laura Lentz

AT CAPACITY

– 5 sessions –  

Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22

4pm PDT / 7pm EST
Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Panelists: How Grief Informs our Stories
Sunday Date: TBD

Video available


$190.

Sunday Online w/ Laura Lentz

AT CAPACITY

– 5 sessions –

Nov. 27th

Dec. 4, 11th, 18th

10:30 a.m. PST
Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Panel: How Grief informs our Stories

Sunday Date: TBD

Video available


$190.

Monday Online –

with Laura Lentz 

AT CAPACITY

– 5 sessions

Nov. 28th

December 5th, 12th, 19th

4pm PDT / 7pm EST
Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Panel: How Grief Informs our Stories
Sunday Date: TBD

Video available


$190.

Tuesday Online –

with Laura Lentz

AT CAPACITY

– 5 sessions –

 Nov. 29th,

Dec. 6, 13th, 20th

4pm PDT / 7pm EST
Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Panel: How Grief Informed our Stories
Sunday Date: TBD

Video available


$190.

Wednesday

Kauai & Online 

AT CAPACITY

– 5 sessions –

November 30th

December 7th, 14th, 21st

5:30 pm Hawaii /7:30 pm PST
Class series is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Panel: How Grief Informs our Stories
Sunday Date:  TBD

Video available


$190.

Classes Taught by Robin Gadient 

Saturday Online

with Robin Gadient

2 SPOTS AVAILABLE

– 5 sessions –

10:30 a.m. PST

Dec. 3, 10, 17 24th

Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Panel: How Grief Informs our Stories
Sunday Date: TBD

Video available


$190.

Friday Online 

with Robin Gadient

2 SPOTS AVAILABLE

– 5 sessions –

Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23

11:00 a.m. PST
Class is 2 1/2 hours

Guest Panel: How Grief Informs our Stories
Sunday Date: TBD

Video available


$190.