The Practice of Creativity

Posts Tagged ‘Quail Ridge Books

There are lots of discussions about how to use social media as writers, but little discussion about how all our instagramming, tweeting and facebooking impacts our creativity. Come hear me and several other writers discuss this timely topic next Sunday at Quail Ridge Books and add your voice to the mix!

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Last night I had the distinct honor of being featured as an ‘emerging writer’, at Quail Ridge Books, alongside my writing teacher, Marjorie Hudson. The event was called ‘Love and the Lonely Writer’ and it was organized by the Raleigh Review Literary and Arts Magazine. They periodically host the ‘Southern Recitations’ series where they invite an established writer to give a weekend workshop and then host a reading with that writer and an invited ‘emerging’ writer.

There's nothing like seeing a poster, in a bookstore, with your name on it!

There’s nothing like seeing a poster, in a bookstore, with your name on it!

As this was an nontraditional way to spend Valentine’s Day, I wasn’t sure if we would have much of an audience. I just thought of the event as a way to spend time with Marjorie and talk about writing in public (two of my favorite things), and honor anyone that showed up. And, I used it as an opportunity to hone my performance skills (see here for tips about public readings). Although I tried to play down the event in my mind, it was a BIG DEAL. Quail Ridge Books is one of most well-established and respected bookstores in the region. I told friends about it, posted on Facebook and reached out to local writers. And, I said, hey I know this event falls on V-Day, but it would be great if you could stop by. There’s nothing like asking for support when you really need it!

I’m happy to say the turnout was great. We had a packed house. People were so kind and lovely.

Current and former students of mine!

Current and former students of mine!

Marjorie spent some time talking about the importance of developing a writing community. For most of her life, she didn’t have a writing community and she often felt isolated.

I talked about how Marjorie is an exemplar teacher not just because she can teach craft or introduces her students to other writers. She’s an amazing teacher because she helps empower writers to create a vibrant and nurturing community.

I always say that before I met Marjorie, I wrote mostly by myself. I’d take a workshop here and there, read tons of writing books and sporadically joined writing groups. I would occasionally send things out for review. I taught myself many things during that long spell, but my output was slow and more importantly, I was often miserable.

In the five years since meeting Marjorie not only have I become a stronger writer and more widely published, but I actually have so much more joy and enthusiasm for writing. Cultivating a writing community (everything from writing buddies, online writing community, being in a writing group, etc.), has a been a great source of pleasure and support.

Yeah, it was a Marjorie and Michele lovefest!

mm2

 

We both read works. I read ‘Ode to Shari Belafonte in her Calvin Klein Jeans’ recently published in Glint.

Marjorie often uses the method of timed writing to specific prompts. This technique gets to fresh writing that’s kind of ‘shaggy’, but often powerful and can take you to unexpected places. She asked me to read an unrevised poem that came from one of those prompts. I read that and she read a short piece from her novel-in-progress.

I read a love letter to my mother based on one of the columns I wrote for The Chapel Hill News last year. She read some steamy scenes from ‘The Clearing’, a story in her collection Accidental Birds of the Carolinas.

We did Q&A and ended the evening by handing out chocolates and a writing prompt. It’s a fun prompt that you might want to try. Marjorie will post some of the entries on her blog!

 

A writer’s prompt for Valentine’s Day:

Write a letter to someone whose writing you love, or who has encouraged you or helped you with your writing.

If possible, find the person’s address and mail it, snail style.  I will post some of these on my blog—so send me a copy if you’d like to

ktwriters15501@gmail.com

Subject: Valentine

 

 

All in all, one of my best V-Days ever!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger

Author, Academic, Creativity Expert I'm an award winning writer.

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