[Workshop] FOLDING WORDS: Landscape & Memory

If you’ll be in the Lakes Region the first week of April, come write with me on 4 April 2019, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Meredith Community Center. We will explore the intersection of landscape and memory through creative writing exercises. You’ll be free to use my guided prompts in the genre of your choice, and will be invited to share your results. Follow-up editorial and publication opportunities at Folded Word will be available to you for any short works inspired by the workshop’s prompts.

Registration is $25 and includes a copy of THE MAGIC RECTANGLE by Sandra S. McRae. This workshop is limited to 6 participants, so everyone will get focused attention.

Register at
Brown Paper Ticketshttps://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4100367

This will be the first in a series of workshops held in my hometown and is designed to serve writers of all genres — poetry, fiction, and non-fiction alike. If you’re a writer living in Northern New Hampshire, you know that workshops north of Concord are hard to find. I hope you’ll find my Folding Words series engaging and effective.

If you have any questions about how the Folding Words series will work, please fill out the comment form below. And if evenings don’t work for you, please let me know alternate days of the week and times that are better. I’m happy to schedule a daytime session if there’s enough interest.

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A Fire Not Quite Out

Last night I found out one of my childhood friends has no brain activity, but is still on life support. The news has left me distracted by the flames in our woodstove today: their gradual fade from tall yellow spires with blue arches to low orange bells, their surge back to yellow when my husband opens the damper, their decline into glowing coals once fuel is no longer added. As each log releases its energy to the fire, I wonder where the essence of Kim is — whether her soul is trapped on a hospital bed in Arkansas, or released to a cool Ozark breeze that will carry her home.

English doesn’t work for this. Its insistence on strict linear separation between past, present, and future makes it difficult to remember, let alone write about, someone caught between this world and the next. I’ve been fighting my internal dialog all day, forcing was into is the same way I did when my grandad’s dementia was at its peak. Verbs are loaded. The only safe Kim-words I can share right now are adjectives, nouns, and quotes — but only because I’ve stripped them of timeframe and explanation.

confidante
steady and gentle
“Why buy what you can make?”
church nursery
domestic artist
“That’s just not right.”
honor star
laughter

I’d like to tell you about the time she taught me how to make nuggets from whole chickens. Or the way she tolerated my teenage crush on her brother. But I’m afraid that too much past tense would slip out — the dangerous kind of past tense written with finality. A finality that’s too soon. A finality that isn’t right…won’t be right as long as Kim is.