It was like a taste of heaven seeing the 15 young writers the other day at the workshop in Sacramento, heads bent over their notebooks. They were writing on demand–creating stories from writing prompts that asked them to bridge the gap between memoir and fiction. Becky Levine and I drove up at 6 AM for the week long workshop organized by Verna Dreisbach for her non-profit, Capitol City Young Writers. The fog rolled back to reveal golden hills just before we arrived to blue skies and a quick trip to Starbucks.
As Becky and I talked about it later, it warmed our hearts to be at the workshop where for 4 hours, everyone’s focus and energy was on writing, books, creativity, and imagination. We projected our younger selves into the scene using our imagination, wishing that we’d had this kind of summer morning long ago. I showed them how scenes worked, reading from my book Don’t Call Me Mother, and talked about the Power of Memoir as a way to heal. The kids were brave and shared their work, and later when Becky talked about critique groups, they even got up and role played with smiles and good humor. The lunch afterward was delicious and the ride home went fast as Becky and I talked over the day. Inspired by the creative kids and the workshop, we sorted out plot problems in our novels all the way home!
It was a perfect writerly day for all.