Tag Archives: conflict

Heart Openers

My friend (and former student) Callie Feyen is teaching the writing portion of a writing-and-yoga class in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She shared with me the worksheets for the first class—Enter, Discover, Journey.  The yoga teacher, she added, will be teaching poses to “open the heart” to complement the writing portion. Sounds like the kind of thing we’d do here in California, and for a lot more than $100 for seven classes.  (Maybe the price is a typo…)  Seriously, though, I love heart openers—the yoga poses, I mean.  Here’s one of the simplest:  Take a block, place it length-wise on its side … Continue reading

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The Moral of Pierre

Most people think of Where the Wild Things Are, appropriately enough.  But this week, hearing on the radio that Maurice Sendak had died at the age of 83, I thought first of Pierre, the petulant child of the eponymous “cautionary tale in five chapters and a prologue.”  Pierre, at 48 pages, was my favorite book as a pre-schooler.  I’m told I carried it everywhere, evidence of which shows itself in the tiny book’s ripped jacket, signatures loose at their sewn bindings, a few spots of discoloration (spilled apple juice?). Pierre made up one of four slim books, each the height … Continue reading

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Here’s the Story…

Meghan Ward’s post this week on her blog, Writerland, got me thinking.  She asks readers about favorite TV shows, names a few of her own, and mentions how good TV can teach “valuable storytelling techniques.” When I was in grad school, one of my fellow TAs showed his Intro to Fiction Writing class an episode of The Brady Bunch to illustrate the importance of conflict, crisis, resolution.  I don’t recall which episode it was – Jan’s allergy to the family dog? Marcia’s getting braces?  Greg’s being grounded after driving when Mike told him not to? – but it doesn’t matter.  … Continue reading

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