Theodore Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) said, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.”
We will play with writing concepts from fantastic folktales, visions and odd visionary angles, quotations, verse, and literature, developing our own collection of narrative and non-narrative writing that guides us toward a comfortable point of view about the realities of who we are.
We’ll share the weekly wordings of our collections, with no restrictions beyond the requirements of each week’s prompts and no judgment, in printed format as well as spoken word if possible.
Through this process, we will approach both a personal and communal awareness of the playful and cleansing power of language, in keeping with the Jewish proverb: “As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.”
Week 1: Oh, the Places You Didn’t Want to Go!
Facing the past; using it as food for thought and for writing.
Week 2: Through the Looking Glass
Finding the distortions in and contortions of our life story; turning them into fantastic adventures.
Week 3: The Path of Needles or the Path of Pins: Other Possibilities of Seeing Red
Accepting our choices in life and acknowledging the strengths and tools we now recognize in our “basket of goodies”
Week 4: "Here There Be Dragons..."
Being willing to step toward or face more dangerous ideas or memories; changing perspective to construct "sense from non-sense," additional moments that seem to have no reason or reasonable outcome.
Week 5: Through the Wrong End of the Telescope
Turning big pains into small boo-boos, and big joys into notable treasures.
Week 6: Communal Voices
Sharing our voices and our reflections in a conference call.
Writers, spoken-word artists/storytellers, anyone interested in playing with the concept of fact-to-fantasy poetic or narrative sharing and its connection to personal knowledge and growth.
This is an online class. Each week, a new week will open full of resources, reflections, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours per week perusing resources and readings, answering a discussion question, engaging in several writing prompts, and responding to peers’ work. From our interactions, we sustain a welcoming and inspiring community together.
Fourth-generation, nationally recognized Affrilachian storyteller and Ohio teaching artist Lynette (Lyn) Ford has shared programs and workshops on telling and writing stories with folks of all ages for more than twenty-five years. Lyn’s work is published in several storytelling-in-education resources, as well as in her award-winning books: Affrilachian Tales; Folktales from the African-American Appalachian Tradition; Beyond the Briar Patch: Affrilachian Folktales, Food and Folklore; Hot Wind, Boiling Rain: Scary Stories for Strong Hearts (2017 Storytelling World Award winner, also a creative-writing resource), and, Boo-Tickle Tales: Not-So-Scary Stories for Ages 4-9, written with storytelling friend, Sherry Norfolk and recently nominated for an Anne Izard Award. Lyn is also a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, and a great-grandmother.
The Transformative Language Arts Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
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