Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category
The tiny house is on its way to its new home in Madison, Wisconsin. I miss it so!
Portland Writing Intensive with Ariel Gore
Ariel is teaching her first in-person workshop in ages… and it’s in Portland, Oregon…
May 18 – 21, 4 to 7 pm
I was at a loss after finishing my MFA program… But after eight years of infrequent publishing and no time to write, I found an alternative that works for me. Three years ago I hooked up with Ariel Gore’s online Literary Kitchen workshops and finally found a group that was the right fit for me: writers not full of privilege (and themselves) who offer honest criticism and support at the same time, and whose work I truly enjoy reading. And that infrequent publishing? It’s not so infrequent anymore.
—Margaret Garcia, Poets & Writers
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Tell Me a Story….Then Write it Down
Draw from the art of oral storytelling to enhance your written work / Learn to perform your stories with ease at public readings.
Taught by Moe Bowstern
March 3 – April 21
Right here online in the Literary Kitchen! Moe rarely teaches online. This is a great opportunity.
Jazz up your storytelling by taking this 8-week course with Moe Bowstern, longtime Fisher Poet, editor of Xtra Tuf zine and story developer for various puppet show extravaganzas, most recently Paper Eclipse Puppet Company.
We’ll spend the weeks heading into spring honing the vernacular language of oral storytelling, with the goal of transforming told tales into written stories while preserving the vitality of the storyteller’s art.
With quick writes and regular assignments, Moe will help you find your voice and the truth of your story.
For those interested, we’ll also devote class time to taking the developed work from the written page onto the stage for performance.
You can read and listen to Moe Bowstern’s stories right here: http://www.inthetote.com/moe-bowstern.html
The cost for the 8-week class is $275. A $75 deposit holds your spot. Sign up early as class-size in strictly limited!
“The honest story, the true story (fact or fiction) is a gift offered. It’s a hand held out. ‘Hello, this is who I am, you and I both live here.‘ I like the way Moe holds her hand out, and I like her voice. It’s quiet, kind and funny, and it rings true. And the stories she tells take me to the damndest places! This world she and I and you live in, it’s always bigger and weirder than we could possibly know if we didn’t have our story-tellers.”
–Ursula K. LeGuin
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Lit Star Training
The Original Literary Kitchen Online Writing Workshop
Taught by Ariel Gore
April 12 – June 10
A new session of Lit Star Training — the 8-week+ writing course taught by Ariel Gore — starts April 12th. Writers in Lit Star Training spend at least a few hours each week on their writing and online critiques. You can log in any time of the day or night. Writers in the group are new and seasoned, wanting to work on memoir or fiction. The class works as well for those writing to weekly assignments (with no big projects in mind) and for people who are starting or working on existing book projects.
The class is $285 — a $90 deposit will hold your spot. You can pay the deposit right here:
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Ariel Gore is a fabulous workshop facilitator; I’ve been taking classes from her since 2001. In each of the workshops, she brings together a diverse group of writers with varying degrees of competency; and, whether the writer is seasoned or a beginner, she understands exactly where each person is coming from and she meets them there. Not only did I find my unique voice, I learned how to be a thoughtful listener and how to provide insightful critique. I would recommend her workshops to anyone interested in memoir and the art of a good story.
—Lani Jo Leigh
Ariel’s workshops jumpstarted my psyche. I’m back into looking at the world as a writer instead of as a would-be writer. I have her to thank for that. Workshops are almost at your own pace. Always encouraging. She has a knack for assembling a great group of writers together every time.
—Margaret Elysia Garcia
Ariel Gore’s writing workshop pushed me past the borders of my creativity and into an exciting unknown place of writing within myself. If you’ve ever put to pen to paper and wondered what you were really capable of Ariel’s workshop will take you there.
I thoroughly enjoy Ariel’s workshops. Writers from a variety of backgrounds gather together, bringing in work with all kinds of themes, and as each piece is workshopped, Ariel’s ear for the crucial aspects of great storytelling kicks right in. Her feedback is thoughtful, insightful, precise, and multilayered.
When I started writing with Ariel I had zero idea how to write for audience. In work shopping with her, I have found my voice and with practice have found different ways to formulate story. I have learned how to incorporate dialogue and am so much more confident with my work. I recommend this workshop to all aspiring, practicing, and practiced writers.
Or Why I’m Re-Launching a Paper Magazine When Everyone’s Crying that Print is Dead
I like the internet as much as the next blogger. I don’t think online media is making us any dumber than we already are. But the internet will never replace print media for me. I love the look of print. I love the feel of print. I love the smell of print. And I’m irritated by exaggerated reports about the death of print.
Brainless print publications that were only in business to chase advertising dollars might be dying a long-overdue death, but if I have anything to say about it, print itself lives.
I started my first print zine, Hip Mama, when I was in college. I passed it along a few years ago, but when I heard that the new publishers were on the brink of going completely digital, I dropped my other projects and decided to reclaim my magazine.
Because print’s not dead to me. None of us needs more screen time. We need tactile, homemade media we can hold in our hands–the kind of media that allows for rumination and slow-sprouting inspiration, not just quick comments and e-fights.
No, print’s not dead. To me, print will always mean life. Yep, I love print. Let me count the ways.
Print Gets Your Hands Dirty.
I’ve never had a traditional 9 to 5 job, but I’ve been working all of my life. I earned my first paychecks by folding and delivering the San Francisco Chronicle in the dark hours of morning. I landed the job when I was eight years old. And for the next six years, my hands were black with the ink of news and self-reliance.
Print Lets Me Unplug My Ego.
When I’m reading a great story online, I sometimes “share” it before I’ve even gotten to the end. My “friends”–many of whom I’ve never met–”like” it while I’m still reading. By the time I get to the last line I’ve already got a couple of comments complimenting me on my fine taste in stories. This makes me feel important and well-connected. Now, what was that great story about?
Print is Intimate.
All media is communication. But reading black marks on a page is the most intimate form of communication that exists. Social media never really mitigates my existential loneliness. But somehow even alone in a candle-lit cave in Tibet, if I’m reading the words of a dead feminist poet, there can be no isolation.
Print Remembers Where it Came From.
I have a lot of my mother’s books. I have some of my grandmother’s books. I even have a few of my great-grandmother’s books. I love it when I stumble on a particular passage that one of them has underlined. Sometime I recognize their shaky handwritten notes in the margins. My mother tended to underline in black. My grandmother preferred red. My great-grandmother used a pencil, but I’ll never erase her words.
Print Gets Warped and Dog-Eared.
A few years back, I edited and published an anthology called Portland Queer. I had it printed and bound old-school by at the local anarchist Eberhardt Press in Portland. It wouldn’t have cost me anything more to produce a digital edition, but I didn’t bother. The first printing of Portland Queer sold out within a few weeks. The collection won a LAMBDA Literary Award. But nothing filled my heart with quite the same pride as seeing a bathtub-warped and dog-eared copy of the book in someone’s bathroom in faraway Santa Fe. Yes, you can read print while you soak in the tub. (Trust me, it’s a very poor idea to take your iPhone into the bathtub).
Print is Sexy.
When my girlfriend’s in bed with her reading glasses on and a book in her hands– that’s sexy. When she’s sitting there squinting at her iPhone, well–not so much–then I just think she’s having an emotional affair on Facebook.
Print Survives the Apocalypse.
I was raised among hippies who perpetually insisted that the shit was about to hit the fan, man, the grid was going down, and civilization would soon collapse into unplugged utopian chaos. My apocalypse survival pack includes a Haruki Murakami book, a copy of the latest Lucky Peach magazine, and a mini letterpress set for emergency zine-making. When the world as we know it ends and we’re all refugees trudging toward an unknown future, I won’t be carrying my laptop.
Print Keeps Our Secrets.
If I read something online, my reading is tracked and tallied by the Big Brother internet brain that targets my tastes and sends ads chasing me from Google to Youtube and back again. But unless I order it from Amazon, hardly anyone can guess what I’m reading in print. And stealthy education, it turns out, is what books were invented for. Up until the third or fourth century A.D., Europeans had to unroll their books to read them. Scrolls evolved into folded pages. Eventually folded pages became gathered pages–what we now call books. Why books instead of scrolls? Early rebel Christians found them smaller and therefore more convenient when it came to keeping spiritual texts hidden from Roman authorities. Plans for the revolution will not go viral.
Print Lives. And Keeps on Living.
This isn’t the first time print media has been declared dead. Back in the ’60s, people without imagination were sure television spelled the end of print. My old journalism professor, Clay Felker, responded by reinventing the American magazine–not with short, ultra-visual media that imitated TV, but with long-narrative and novelistic-style writing that added layers of emotional depth to traditional reporting. He had no problem with the internet. He appreciated online media’s ability to focus on psychographic communities over demographic communities. But new media didn’t mean the death of the old–to each its own narrative style.
Print Doesn’t Get Jealous.
Now, before anyone accuses me of being a purist or a luddite, let me say again that I don’t hate the internet. Lucky for me, print doesn’t care if I watch TV or waste a night reading the Buzzfeed. In fact, I’m relying on new-fangled online crowdfunding at Kickstarter to make sure print lives. Click to it: http://kck.st/13xMuVp See? Print didn’t mind that at all.
Inga Muscio’s online summer writing class is already half full. Sign up today!
Blocks and Traumas: Jamming Through, Moving On and Getting Back into Your Groove
8-week Summer Class with Inga Muscio
Class starts June 1 & runs through July 30…
Dealing with a happy life-changing event (birth, graduation, marriage, falling in love) can be just as unsettling to your life as a sad one (death, depression, violence, a break up). I designed this class because whenever one life’s little jackass interruptions comes my way, I had a tendency to reel and freak out, thus taking me even further away from whatever centering and productive creative project I am working on. I came to realize that life’s little jackass interruptions are not the problem. The problem was my way of dealing. So I developed a system to keep my creative patterns intact, no matter what.
Most people do not think happy events are problematic, but they are. Anything that significantly alters Life As You Knew It creates upheaval, and upheaval does not generally serve creativity. That is, it does once the dust settles, but how can you facilitate the dust settling? This class will help you figure that one out.
Negative events obviously impact your creative flow, as do emotional blocks. Writing is a great way to get back into stride and move through the sadness, grief or depression, but when it takes a pile driver to get you out of bed, writing seems an a faraway dream from pixie-dust lands.
This class isn’t just for writers. Whether you’re working on a long-term writing project or haven’t written since your book report days, we’re gonna work out a system to help you get back, and stay in, a nice groove.
Class size is strictly limited, so please sign up early!
Class cost: $275
$75 deposit saves your spot
Inga Muscio is the author of Rose: Love in Violent Times, Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil, and Cunt: A Declaration of Independence.
Greetings & Happy Almost-Spring,
It’s time to sign up for the Springtime online writing workshops taught by Ariel Gore.
A new session of Lit Star Training — the 8-week writing course taught by Ariel Gore — starts March 16th and runs through mid-May. Writers in Lit Star Training spend at least a few hours each week on their writing and online critiques. You can log in any time of the day or night. Writers in the group are new and seasoned, wanting to work on memoir or fiction. The class works as well for those writing to weekly assignments (with no big projects in mind) and for people who are starting or working on existing book projects.
The class is $275 — a $90 deposit will hold your spot. You can pay the deposit right here:
And this year we’re offering the spring intensive taught by Ariel Gore in late May. You’ll get 12 assignment in 12 days May 20th to 31st. The intensives allow you to generate lots of new material quickly and are great for jump starting your creative brain or a new project.
The intensive costs $145. You can pay right here: