What story have you kept in the cocoon? What would happen if you wrote it out, just for you? In this dual focus course, we’ll consider our heroes, both famous and family, who have inspired us. Using them as inspiration, we’ll write our cocooned core stories. The form that core story eventually takes may be in the form of journal entries, poems, story, fiction, creative non-fiction, or genre of your choice.
All of us have certain stories we have kept close to our hearts. Maybe you have been waiting for the right time and just the right support in order to bring that special story to the page. Are you are poised at a threshold, ready to walk through past fears and experience the unburdening elation that comes with taking such writing action? How exactly do we gather courage for such an endeavor? Let’s start with the women, mentors, and teachers who have come before us.
As a springboard, we will use the poetry collection, November Butterfly and its accompanying prompt PDF, November Butterfly: Thirteen Writing Prompts Based on the Power and Creativity of Iconic Women Designed to Help You Write New Work From Multiple Points of View to get you thinking about your girlhood heroes and family mentors. The prompts focus on various writers and artists facing myriad obstacles and are meant to help you consider:
Who are the lighthouse (inspiring, radiant, light-giving) women you encounter in society?
Who are the lighthouse women you encounter in your family?
Who are the lighthouse women you encounter in your reading history? Which novel character, fairytale heroine or graphic novel protagonist inspires you?
Our answers to these questions are very personal and particular to our life blueprint; you need not choose flashy heroines or big names—all that matters is that this list of mentors somehow inspire you presently or inspired you at a crucial juncture in your past. This is the kind of work we will do together: Grounding you in awareness of your heroes so that you can turn and look fearlessly at your own life and write out the story most pressing on your heart and mind.
This course is broken into two seven week sessions; you need not complete one to complete the other, so you may choose to take both sessions or choose to take a session independently.
Session 1 will draw on poems, poetry movies and prompts based on Marilyn Monroe, Sylvia Plath, Amelia Earhart, Jay DeFeo, The Three Oranges Fairytale, and Lolita. Dates for Session 1: Tuesday September 5 to Tuesday October 17, 2017.
Session 2 will draw on poems, poetry movies, and prompts based on Thumbelina, Ophelia, Jeanne D’Arc, Nefertiti, Mordred, and Guinevere. Dates for Session 2: TBA.
Course will be conducted over a combination of email, private discussion group, and weekly Zoom session (check-in and writing time over live video call). Course fee for Session 1 is $350 and includes:
- a copy of the poetry collection November Butterfly
- a copy of the PDF November Butterfly: Thirteen Writing Prompts Based on the Power and Creativity of Iconic Women Designed to Help You Write New Work From Multiple Points of View
- a string of paper doll cutouts for an introductory exercise
- access to a private discussion forum
- weekly email welcome and prompts
- weekly Zoom call with your instructor and classmates