Do you yearn to reclaim your family’s secrets, lies and legacies?
Do you wish to restore the old stories Granny told at bedtime?
Did Nana whisper half truths of hidden happenings?
In this course I teach a mindful meditation technique, based in science, to extract the tales of dark times, drama, retribution, resolution and love you have secreted away in the recesses of your brain. I believe understanding and employing a little neuroscience and psychology aids writers to reveal lost or forgotten worlds.
Somewhere in your subconscious unconscious you have stored all the stories you ever knew. I designed this course on the way our brains create neural pathways to process the events of our lives and the way we shape narratives.
The technique is based in both the science of the brain and also Buddhist exercises. It is a new approach into the art of writing. Rather than intellectualising the mechanics of storytelling, you learn how to engage your inherent natural storyteller.
I teach you how to switch off from the dross of daily stressors. You learn how to see, then sit with, then own the stories you hold. This is a technique I call the ‘brain balance’. I lead a mindful mediation, often with sage or candles, to help you build neural pathways into the half truths you heard and the stories you collected from many generations. I teach you how to access your store of language, lived experiences, handed down home remedies and how they came to be. You might cry, you might get angry. You learn to write it out in another technique called the ‘free-write’. The free write is a gorgeous tool creatives have enjoyed for centuries to unlock the stream of pure consciousness. We detach from our inner critic, we switch off our internal editors, we release our intellectual wordsmith from our lives in order that the stuff of dreams, fantasies and inherited story may flow onto paper.
This is neither hypnotism nor an opportunity to wallow in the luxury of creative dreaming. This is a course for writers wishing to work hard writing, re-writing, discussing, inventing, re-writing until the life of a grandmother is written.
In a series of timed writing sketches with props such as vintage images, old maps and sparkly bras, you learn to create depth of humanity. You learn to ground her in the earth of a place, with all the language and culture she needs to be real. You learn how to place dialogue on a page, and why. I show you how to weave plot with home remedies, with tension, with colour, with texture in order that story is art.
You learn why we switch off the brilliant writer and step aside to permit Granny the freedom to tell her tale. Her history is yours to shape and share. The wisdoms, perils, trials, tribulations, battles, passions and actions of your Granny are yours to reclaim, restore, re-tell. By giving her voice, you empower her to reveal her secrets. You become the conduit for her memories.
I have found that students who practice my ‘brain-balance technique’, followed by a free write, as part of their daily writing habit have enhanced their creative flow exponentially.
Participants may work on either a real grandmother or a fictitious one.
This is a twelve week course. Workshops are day-long intensive writing challenges with online critique and Skype sessions. Bookings open on September 1st 2018