Monday, October 7, 2013

Writing Sample from the Dorothy Allison Workshop


We did write first thing in the morning with Dorothy Allison. Yep, we did. But I'm not going to put that piece of writing out there into the world. At least not now, not as written. I don't want to.

What did we write about in the morning? Masturbation. Yes, that's right. In a room with sixteen other writers we wrote about the first time. Then we read them out loud.

Perhaps that gives you an idea of the kind of day it was with Dorothy. Though not really. It gives you a sense that you know but if you've never been in a workshop with her, then you don't know. If you've read her books you might have a sense of the style of conversation, the open discussion about writing, the feedback, her style of telling you how it is from her perspective and experience. And you'd be correct.


That's what today was. Sharing our writing, giving and getting feedback, being open to the process of giving and receiving, talking and listening, asking, wondering. Honest.

Then both groups met up in one room, Anna the owner of Writers' Workshoppe - a bookstore and the sponsor of this and many other workshops - said a few words, then Dorothy, then Lidia. I recognized some faces who'd been in the other group from the Memorial Day Lidia Yuknavitch workshop I'd done up there in Port Townsend. Met a couple of other writers, too.

Promises to each other, to Lidia and Dorothy, to ourselves to keep that fire which was lit inside of us going. Knowing that returning home to the rest of our life challenges that. Knowing that I/we want to keep it going and that will take some attention and care. And we made a promise to Lidia and Dorothy to share the spark, the flame, the fire, with one other.

Writing may be a solitary act and it is for community, for sharing. Take one, pass it along. You can do it.

I'll have more to say about the workshop later. I will. But after two days of being in writing workshops, writing, thinking about writing, talking about writing, then the drive home which always takes longer than online maps say it will - I'm tired. And it's time for sleep.

And dreaming.