Monday, 20 April 2009

Stone Writing

I said stone, not stoned! Here is a stimulus exercise I love to teach.

Confession: if you have arrived at this blog from my Paxton Publishing Matrix website, it's the one I used on the termly 'sample inside' page. Okay, yah, saving my energies. But tune in next blogweek and you'll find something new. So, the exercise:

Just like collecting postcards to use in class, I love picking up stones or shells when out in nature. In fact, I can't resist -- it's not for teaching, it's for me. So, out walking or in a shop, collect a small boxful of semi-precious stones in their wondrous variety of colours, textures and patterns. You can add stripey, sparkly or textured stones picked up at the seashore and rocky streams. Or run a variation on this, using seashells.

Find a good container, say of rattan or woven grasses for an elemental feel, or of velvet or lacquer, associating with valuable treasures. Proffer the container, letting students choose one of nature’s objects, then contemplate, bubble and write for 10 minutes -- whatever comes to mind.

This usually brings excellent freewheeling results, but some other time you can prompt them if you wish, for instance:

  • Where has this been?

  • What does your stone remind you of?

  • Who found, or who treasures this natural item, and why?

  • If it could talk (or if it had a smell, or if it was once a person)

And now for good news: my Hero's Journey/Writer's Journey class has made healthy numbers in the great enrolment gamble, so ho for a new cohort of heroes starting this week.

Winchester Writer's Conference 3-5 July 2009, and I have a lecture slot. Here's the link, more on it next time.

1 comment:

Paperface said...

I love this blog. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

I wish I were you. I totally covet your job.