Hello out there from Marisa! Yesterday I wrote a Facebook post about my resolution to march again this year, if only by myself, and sparked the interest of numerous writers. As it turned out, Writer’s March inventor Sam T. already had plans in the works to get the blog up and going again. I haven’t told her about my decision to take the initiative and add a blog entry today, but here goes.
Sometimes I like to try out my students’ ideas. Someone suggested (using the anonymity of end-of-semester evaluatory forms) that I should continue to give my students new creative assignments once our workshopping was underway and all they were required to write was letters to one another. Okay, so my position is I’m not stopping anyone from going forward with creative endeavors. I just can’t do all that additional grading when my focus is so entirely placed on evaluating workshop essays. Nevertheless, this semester I’m asking my creative writing students to keep an “image journal” — short, tight descriptions of people, places, and objects. One of my teachers back in the day asked her fiction workshop students to do keep such a journal, and by the end of that quarter, I was “seeing” in ways I hadn’t seen before. Ordinary features of my daily life popped and scintillated, pushing forward their extraordinary qualities and demanding to be described!
Later this week, I’ll be writing the assignment for my classes. I may also notify them about this site and ask whether they’d like to participate. Oh, and I’ll try to encourage them not to feel thwarted in their creative pursuits just because we’ve come round to the culmination of our class: the full-fledged ESSAYS!