Monday, 7 September 2009

The life writers

I've been rubbing shoulders with these chicks since moving here, standing beside them at the IGA maybe, or I've pulled up beside them in traffic, or perhaps waited in line behind them at the bottle shop, but until yesterday, I had no idea who they were and that they have led the most amazing lives.

Yesterday was the first workshop in the series I'm doing for the residency and it was great! I had the best time! Teaching people who really want to know something is about as close to heaven as it gets. It's the first time I've taught adults and I am now completely hooked - one of the most rewarding experiences of my teaching career to date. Sure, some of them want to be published - who doesn't? But one young woman just wanted to find out how to write a story.

In my book I describe a storm and imagine that we might lose our roof. As I observed the storm sailing out of our valley, I had no idea that a couple of years later I'd be sitting in a room with a girl whose life it landed on. She lost everything - her house, her business, her health, but worst of all, her resilience. That storm not only shattered her jaw, but her whole sense of self.

She just wants to be able to tell herself her story, to get it down on the page so she doesn't have to carry the weight of it around like rocks in her pockets. And she will too - she's clever and bright and articulate and man, what a story!


  1. nothing like an audience that wants!, to learn, even if they be hacks at the end. At least your efforts are appreciated. Yeah...not much better I reckon. Only done it a couple of time and certainly not on WRITING...thats for sure.

  2. thats gr8 hughsy, i'm glad that worked out.

  3. Well, you're a natural. It must have been written:)