Yoga and Writing – Writing and Yoga

Bring your journal and join us every Sunday from 12-1:30 for Yoga and Writing at Ether & Stone! This playful group of yogis recognizes the many benefits of putting pen to paper and are aware of how yoga can influence writing. Learn to mindfully explore these two practices side by side. Both require dedication. Both reveal valuable gems! All you need is a mat and a page…9050016-e1447540029267

 

July 5th Writers Forum with Deborah Kennedy

Narrating the News Cycle

Current events come to us as prepackaged drama. They have all the stuff of good fiction: memorable characters, high stakes, rich settings. The plot is there and so is the conflict. It’s no wonder, then, that so many writers choose to make use of current events in their short stories in novels. There are clear advantages to writing about real-life scenarios and just as obvious pitfalls. Deborah Kennedy has written several stories based on current events and will share her advice on how to go about crafting compelling fiction that, while inspired by the headlines, goes far beyond the surface story to uncover deeper truths.

D. Kennedy

Deborah E. Kennedy is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her writing has appeared in Salon, Sou’wester, Third Coast Magazine, and The North American Review. She also holds a Master’s in Fiction Writing and English literature from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She lives in Forest Grove. Tornado Weather is her debut.

 

 

Club de lectura y escritura creativa en Hillsboro (Español)

Spanish-language writers – here’s a write-in for you! This is a fabulous opportunity that’s very much needed in Washington County. Please pass the word: June 7th at 6pm at Insomnia, Downtown Hillsboro location.

En este lado de la frontera el día se me va en inglés. A veces en spanglish. A veces en mute. Hay días en los que siento que me he ido desvaneciendo poco a poco. Partículas y expresiones que se me quedaron olvidadas en la mudanza y que se me siguen yendo cada día que pasa. Este grupo surge pues a manera de muro contención, de placebo, de grito de auxilio.

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Pensado para todos los latinos que habitan este lado y que necesiten letras en español. Pongo en la mesa la siguiente propuesta: dividir las sesiones en dos diferentes discusiones, la primera enfocada en la lectura correspondiente y la otra en la lectura de los trabajos generados por los participantes. La mayoría de las lecturas que se proponen se encuentran ya en el mundo virtual, por lo que no será necesario comprar o generar copias. En las ocasiones en las que sí se necesite el PDF, se proporcionará el enlace para comprar dicha obra.

No se necesita tener experiencia previa. Se recomienda enérgicamente asistir a las sesiones con una pluma, un cuaderno y notas sobre la lectura acordada.

Sin costo, gratuito, solamente por las ganas de reunirse

Por el momento no hay lugar fijo, pero este es el meetup con el horario y lugar de las reuniones http://meetu.ps/c/3VLJh/tHz1H/f

Club de lectura y escritura creativa en Hillsboro (Español)

Hillsboro, OR
3 Miembros

En este lado de la frontera el día se me va en inglés. A veces en spanglish. A veces en mute. Hay días en los que siento que me he ido desvaneciendo poco a poco. Partículas y …

Next Meetup

Primera reunión del grupo.

Thursday, Jun 7, 2018, 6:00 PM
2 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

 

Introducing “Hearth,” a back-page, first-person essay for Oregon writers

Hello, Writers! I’m happy repost this from Emily Grosvenor’s blog. Emily was our presenter last September and will return September 2018!

Introducing “Hearth,” a back-page, first-person essay for Oregon writers. Bring your deep relationship to home, a love for everything about nesting, and a funny, thoughtful voice to this new Oregon Home magazine essay section.

In a way, nearly every story is a search for home. A protagonist is forced out of a humdrum, lost existence onto a journey where she must grow and change, seek out great mentors, encounter obstacles, and arrive at that point of contentment, or at the very least, transcendence that comes after the greatest battle of all.

But for many of us, this search for home takes on a physical shape. It resides in how we occupy spaces in the world, in the story we tell ourselves about our lives through our physical homes, whether they be in a city apartment, country farmhouse, filigreed Victorian, or classic Craftsman.

For two decades, Oregon Home magazine has sought to tell stories about how Oregonians build their lives at home.

Make no mistake.

This is no frivolous undertaking.

The history of Oregon has always been about how humans connect to the landscape, envision a life here and then build it.

The search for home is an idea deeply engrained in life here, and that search is something we recognize for what it is: For many of us, creating a home life is nothing less than the greatest work of art we will ever produce.

As a lover of classic first-person form, I want to hear these stories from the people who experience them, which is why, as the editor oOregon Home, I am introducing a classic back-page essay column called “Hearth.”

Think about it this way. Turn off the TV and you’ll remember what the hearth is: The place where we gather to tell the stories that create the meaning in our lives.

I will be answering questions you may have here about this new part of the magazine in the comments. Our first “Hearth” essay, a piece on an obsession with antique lighting by novelist Heather Sharfeddin, will appear in our spring 2018 issue, appearing in early March. I will post more of what I pick here to give you all a better idea of the space as it emerges.

Thank you for reading, and writing!

What I’m looking for:

Length: 750-850 words, payment is $.50/word
Tone: 
Authentic, personal, funny/sad, thoughtful
Style: Voice-driven, first-person, short memoir or essay
Topics: Prescient but timeless. As in, these essays have a contemporary feel and might mention ideas or trends that are interesting to homeowners now, but they retain a timeless connection to that yearning for home. They feature physical homes as opposed to cities, landscapes or regions.
Writers: Who live in Oregon.

What I’m not looking for:
– Stories where nothing is gained or lost or learned
– Stories where homeowners take on something gross (we want readers to turn to this page first!)
– Stories that feel too general, something everybody everywhere has experienced.
– Stories about “This is how I ended up in Oregon.”
– Previously published stories
– Essay pitches. These just don’t work. With essays, you have to read the full thing before you have any idea whether it fits.
– Writing by writers that don’t live in Oregon (sorry!).

How to contact Emily:

The best way to reach me is by writing editor@oregonhomemagazine.com. I respond to every email. If you do not hear back within a week, please ping me again to remind me. Thank you for sending your work my way!

June 7th Writers Forum with Margaret Pinard

Making Stories Come Alive

If you’ve been in the author business for any amount of time, you know that readings and signings can be pretty blah. But if we’re going to the trouble of putting together an event, we want to make it worth our time, right? Margaret Pinard has planned her own three launches and attended numerous festivals and events. She will outline important factors and planning decisions to consider as we brainstorm about how to make our book events special, memorable, and profitable. Think color, think unique locations, think party themes!

pinard

Margaret is a soul from the 19th century who finds it easiest to disguise herself by drinking tea, writing historical fiction, and popping off to the British Isles for ‘research.’
Her favorite books transport the reader to a different time and place, while poking at the unconscious assumptions one holds about one’s place in the world.
Margaret has published two standalone historical novels and two novels in her Remnants series. The third book is due out in 2019. Visit her at http://www.margaretpinard.com.

May 3rd Writers Forum with Carolyn O’Doherty

Every story needs a world in which to take place, whether it’s a suburban kitchen or an imaginary kingdom. In this workshop we’ll talk about the difference between world and setting, how to build a compelling, believable world, and how to seamlessly incorporate world building into your narrative without the dreaded info dump. Bring your favorite writing implement so we can try an exercise (or two!). I’ll also send you home with some additional exercises to apply to your own work.

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Carolyn O’Doherty lives in a much prettier and less dangerous version of Portland than the characters in her new novel, REWIND. When, as a kid, she dreamed up the idea of freezing time, she only considered the benefits: always having the perfect snappy come-back, the right answer on the test, untraceable revenge. It was when she turned the idea into a novel that she delved into the dark side of this potential blessing. Carolyn has an MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast. REWIND was released on April 10th.

Washington County Writers hosts a Writers Forum on the first Thursday of each month except January. Join us at Insomnia Coffee’s downtown location at 317 E Main Street in Hillsboro from 7-8:30pm. Admission is $5.

April 5th Writers Forum with CB Bernard

Routine, Ritual, and John Cheever’s Underwear: Unpacking the Habits of a Writing Life

CB_HEADSHOT

Like any job, writing takes discipline—which means developing and committing to routines. But it’s also an art, which sometimes calls for less-pragmatic rituals. What can we learn from the practices and prayers of those who embraced the madness of the writing life before us?

C.B. Bernard is the author of Chasing Alaska: A Portrait of the Last Frontier Then and Now, a Publishers Weekly and National Geographic Top 10 Pick and finalist for the Oregon Book Award in nonfiction. His fiction and essays have appeared in Catapult, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Bear Deluxe, and elsewhere, and the Utne Reader has excerpted his work. He’s a frequent lecturer at literary festivals and conferences and a former newspaper and magazine journalist, advertising copywriter, and communications specialist. His new book is a novel set in rural Oregon.

Washington County Writers hosts a Writers Forum on the first Thursday of each month except January. Join us at Insomnia Coffee’s downtown location at 317 E Main Street in Hillsboro from 7-8:30pm. Admission is $5.

 

 

 

Do You Like Write-Ins?

Do you like write-ins? Good news! There are several new write-ins around Washington County now, through 9Bridges. All manner and style of writers welcome. Short form, novel, poetry, comic book, screenplay, fiction (pick your genre, or not), nonfiction, journaling, journalism, essay, term paper, dissertation, etc? This is the write-in for you!

These are structured write-ins, which means, in case you have never attended one of those before, that there is a silent writing period for a set time, then a break where everyone is welcome to talk; about what they’re writing about the writing process, or any other topic that might arise. After the break period, there is another writing period, another break period, etc… until the write-in is over. You don’t have to stay the whole time, you don’t even have to show up on time! Just drop in for as long as you like and enjoy the creative atmosphere.

All of these write-ins are held every week, and are available through meetup.com (a free service), but you do not need to join meet up to attend them. The main advantages of using the meetup.com system are to keep thee write-ups you are attending organized and to let the write-in host know ahead of time who will be attending.

Monday Afternoon Write-In (Hillsboro)
12pm-4pm
Insomnia Coffee Co
5389 E Main St, Hillsboro, OR 97123
Format: 1 Hour Writing / 15 Minute Break / Repeat

Monday Evening Write-In (Hillsboro / Tanasbourne)
5pm-9pm
Starbucks Coffee
22075 NE Imbrie Dr, Hillsboro, OR 97124
Format: 25 Minute Writing / 10 Minute Break / Repeat

Tuesday Afternoon Write-In (Beaverton)
12pm-4pm
Jim & Patty’s Coffee
4130 SW 117th Ave, Beaverton, OR 97005
Format: 1 Hour Writing / 15 Minute Break / Repeat

Wednesday Evening Write-In (Tigard)
5pm-9pm
Symposium Coffee
12345 Southwest Main Street, Tigard, OR 97223
Format: 25 Minute Writing / 10 Minute Break / Repeat

There is currently no Aloha Write-In, though the timeslot of Wed 12pm-4pm is set aside for one as soon as a proper venue can be found.

BUILD THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT IN YOUR WRITING – by Lucy Monroe

**NOTE: Lucy Monroe was kind enough to share this post with WCWF. It’s a recap of her presentation on February 1st AND MORE! Thanks, Lucy, for your generousity!**

Why is emotion so important in writing?  Because when we connect with our reader on an emotional level, we engage them and keep them interested.  Even what should be the most fascinating facts ever revealed will lose reader interest when offered with dry rationality and no attempt to connect to feelings those facts could evoke.

emotions

As an example, I have several books on Viking history, two of which share an almost identical structure and table of contents.  One?  Is written to engage the emotions of the reader, telling the history in such a way that I am allowed to picture it in my mind.  The other is not poorly written by any stretch, but took twice as long to get through because I kept getting bored…despite being truly interested in all the topics covered.

Emotion is key.  Let me say that again.

Emotion. Is. Key.

So, how do we use that key to unlock the door to reader engagement?

First, let’s begin with defining what we mean by emotion.  It is not the potential for feeling.  It is not the tragedy or the celebration, it is the feelings either of those two events evoke.

Feelings as defined in Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions that are at their most basic level: Fear, Anger, Sadness, Joy, Disgust, Surprise, Trust & Anticipation.  But Book 2 of Aristotle’s Rhetoric lists those basic emotions as: Anger, Friendship, Fear, Shame, Kindness, Pity, Indignation, Envy, & Love.  You notice that arguably the most powerful, sought after emotion on the planet isn’t even included in the first list, which goes to show that even the “experts” don’t agree, but we still must find a way to reveal these elusive feelings, however we define them.

It’s too easy to fall into the mistake of believing that we create emotion when we create an emotional situation, but until we fully realize that potential for the reader, via our Wit-is-the-salt-of__quotes-by-William-Hazlitt-43-300x300characters, our language and our narrative we’ve only taken readers on half the journey.  In fact, if left there, the only emotions we are likely to engender are frustration, anger and disgust.

Telling a reader to feel an emotion isn’t going to work, not unless we’ve built up emotional language and character reaction so the reader can have an aha…that’s the emotion I feel moment.

So, how do we do this?  How do we build the emotional arc, not just inform the reader it is there?  How do we allow the other end of our writing journey, the people who read what we write…to feel, to experience the story in a way s/he can fully realize the emotional potential of the plot?

It begins with the language we use.  There is a difference between what we might term emotional words and those that are more intellectual in bent.  Take for example, the word accelerate – if you use the term speed up instead, it is more accessible for the reader…allows a sense of emotion not generally associated with accelerate.

This is not to say that intellectual language has no place in our writing.  Of course it does.  Words are our tools and all are at our disposal, but if we want to make readers feel, we use the language to do so.  Additionally might in a certain spot strategically become there’s more, circular => round, container => bag, or bottle, etc., fidelity => faithfulness, pleased => happy, and so on.  Do you see?  Can you feel the difference in these words?

Beyond word choice, what do we do to ensure emotion is forefront in everything we write?

We draw characters that are three-dimensional and fully developed.  We do not write caricatures, or depend on tropes, reader familiarity, or anything else that makes it easy on us but awfully boring for readers. We motivate the actions of our protagonists, antagonists and secondary characters so their actions not only make sense, but are instinctive to the reader.  A past experienced, steeped in some deep emotion is a good place to start, but it is not the end.  Who of us is influenced by a single event in our past without changing, growing, learning?  So, build on that first event, give a reason it still impacts the character, is still driving them to do x, y, & z.

But let’s not forget that for a plot to drive emotion, it must have emotion and that means at this point, we are searching for both an internal and external conflict as vehicle for feelings we want to evoke.  For example, your protagonist may be on a quest to save the princess, but if there isn’t some internal thing driving him (or her), that quest becomes just another uninspired journey through the universe (or Outback, or small town America).  But give an internal conflict, the hero(ine) must save the princess for the sake of all in his/her kingdom, only doing so will destroy the one s/he holds dear.

Answer the why’s of this in a way that allows the reader to feel emotion, to connect with and care for the character and you’ve written a much stronger story.  An emotional story.

Finally, and possibly, probably, the most important element of all to writing emotion?  Write from your heart.  Let your own emotions get involved. Forget marketing studies, trends, editorial feedback that may, or may not come.  Even, for a while, forget the reader on the other end and write what is in your heart to be written.  I pass a promise on to you that the late Kate Duffy made to me on this, the story will be better for it.

Happy writing!

Lucy