27 Dec Love: a memoir writing exploration(because every story is a love story)
Love – because every story is a Love Story
During these historically unprecedented times, writing loss and compassion, kindness and expansiveness into our stories is more important now than ever. Slowing down enough to add the ingredients of love creates a story that opens our hearts and connects with the whole self of the reader.
Inside love is all the ingredients of a heart opening story, because love is a Hero’s Journey, the ultimate human quest, filled with hope and trouble and grief and joy.
Love stories brought most of us into this world – you became part of someone else’s dream in a moment, through a come-cry or a signature on a contract, you were born into a family. This world you came into imprinted you, and the language of love began it’s deep hum into your being-ness.
Throughout your life, your desires and your approach to love came from this deep well, from the cupped hands that brought you into this world.
Love’s Shadow, Love’s Light
Love follows us around like a shadow, casting both its light and darkness. Birth stories are not always about an actual birth, but a rebirth. Love is not always about passion and sex, though sometimes it is… it’s also about a home, a collection of art, a friendship, a parent, a child. Great love stories never read like a romance novel, they are usually messy, unkempt like the room of a teenager, whether it’s a partner, a child, a friendship or place.
Every beginning of every story starts with a desire – that’s the most critical part of a Hero’s Journey -, and desire is a critical piece of the puzzle of love.
Let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart
and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer
for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise on your lips.”
― Kahlil Gibran
Guest Teacher – To be Announced!
Guest authors come into each class series as a bonus to writers, exploring a topic explored in the class. guest author for Love series to be announced.
Our life stories become a beautiful mythology
When we tell our same stories over and over, those stories grow like a beautiful strong plant, the roots of the stories going deeper with every retelling. And something else happens, those stories become a powerful mythology, where the magic shines out of words and paragraphs, swirling around the reader like owls or fireflies, filled with symbology and magic.
Alchemy in story adds layers for the reader;
alchemy is critical aspect of love.
Six online classes and one Kauai class
(online optional for Kauai students each week, due to Covid)
The writers who have participated in my classes for the last ten years are influenced every week by poetic form. In a short period of time available to inspire writers, I read themed poetry and excerpts out of memoirs. And all my writers, through this practice of creating and deeply listening, begin to bring poetic form into their work.
Writers who must miss a class may audit another live class on the schedule.
Each group is an intimate group of 8 to 10 writers who work closely together for six weeks.
Inspiration for the Course came from a Sex Writing Class
Nine years ago, I began teaching a Sex Writing Workshop – teaching writers how to incorporate sexuality into stories, because sexuality is a bridge to the human of all of us. The writing prompts opened our writers to create many stories that were more about connection and love. From this class, my Love class was birthed. Inspiration for this class comes from my library of 50 to 60 books on love and sexuality, memoirs, poetry anthologies and philosophy books. I tap into great love affairs, which include friendships, parents and children and even love for a place for a home. This course has evolved over the years into an essential exploration of including love into all our stories. – the messy, the beautiful, the sexual, the non sexual. Compassion, empathy and kindness become the most important elements to great, teachable stories, and to every Hero’s Journey.
For What Binds Us
by Jane Hirshfield
There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half
rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they’ve been set down
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.
And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
than the simple, untested surface before.
There’s a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,
as all flesh,
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest
when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend
Writing topics During 6-week course
- the Beginning, (Desire)
- Breaking apart
- Letting Go
Techniques explored in this class include:
- The senses
- The Body
- Homeric conventions
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.
2021 – a Breakout Year for Story
In each class we will explore examples for each topic through excerpts from literature, poetry and student work. Though we will play with techniques, this is a course to help you create content for memoir, poetry, essays and blogs. This is an invitation to the writer who knows it is time to write and create a body of work in 2021, or step up your weekly practice. In this class, writers will explore new ways of accessing language into your story, while creating work that can a foundation of work to be published.
“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting
to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. The key for writers is to look at that
shoreline again, with context and wisdom,
guiding the reader to the next shoreline, and the next
Included in classes are the following:
• 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
Two bonus Saturday morning talks with authors and writing teachers Judy Bridges and Alice LaPlante
Writing Teacher: Laura Lentz
Laura Lentz is the author of STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey. 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 turn their story into a 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. Her exploratory writing workshops include Love, Skin and Eros, The Poetry Room, and The Grace of the World, soon to become an anthology of the best of her student work publishing easy 2021. The book os essays is a love letter to earth.
Laura’s 6-week workshops are online and on the north shore of Kauai. 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 ninety writers in a private Facebook page who are also taking the same course – writing to the same course material. You will share in a private Facebook group, and receive positive feedback from your peers. This is a supportive creative writing group, commenting and reading throughout the course.
Weekly classes are limited to nine writers creating together.
Bonus classes are one class with all students taking the same course.
Bonus classes will be recorded for students who can’t make the schedule.
Meet Robin Gadient
Robin Gadient, teacher of STORYquest, the Writer, the Hero, the Journey is continuing teaching the Love writing course, because love is such an important part of the Hero’s Journey. 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 Beth Dyer
Beth Dyer has joined our writing community, teaching a Saturday morning class for our Love series. Beth has taught middle school students writing, world literature, and art. As a lifetime lover of literature and writing, Beth designed curriculum and taught workshops UC Santa Cruz. Beth’s passion for teaching is now turned to our writing community, where she will create a safe and inclusive environment to write and share. Beth lives in Santa Cruz, CA where she raised her daughter and son. She has two grandsons and recently welcomed her first great-granddaughter. Beth holds three teaching credentials and has an MA in Teacher Leadership from San Jose State University.