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#1 of 14 Old 05-02-2005, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I hesitate to post more assignments until I know how folks are doing with the monster one last week.

If you wouldn't mind giving me a little feedback...

How is this writing group going for you? Likes? Dislikes?

Are the assignments challenging, interesting, _________ enough for you?

What has inspired you during this workshop?

Anything else?

Are you ready for more?

~Jesse
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#2 of 14 Old 05-02-2005, 12:16 PM
 
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Jesse, I just want you to know that I was so excited to find this writing group. I was an English/Creative Writing major in college, and I really miss workshopping...having a group to write with...giving and getting feedback. As a working single mom of 4 young kids I obviously do not have time to join a writing group and commit to meetings, etc. I was thrilled to find this group, because now I can write as part of a group and not have to commit to going anywhere!
As for whether or not I'm ready for another assignment, I would have to say no. I have been really immersed with last weeks assignment, and I'm really wanting another week to concentrate solely on what I'm writing right now so that I can try and do it justice! That's just my humble opinion!
Thanks, Jesse!
Nora
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#3 of 14 Old 05-02-2005, 02:43 PM
 
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I think you've done a great job taking over the writing group, Jesse. I like that there are separate feedback and portfolio threads. I like the freewrite thread, especially. The whole setup of the group feels like a bigger, brighter home. Thank you.

Also, the brainstorming assignment was something I found especially fun.

The thing that I am having trouble with, though, is being inspired. My boys are seven and nine, and though it is fun to look back and explore the time of pregnancy and birth, I am not particularly moved to write about it just now. (Is there something wrong with me??) But I am moved to write, about motherhood, marriage, and other things--myself, people I know, etc... Lately, I have been pushing my boundaries beyond the little space I carved out for myself when my children were tiny, and am finding myself in the big world again and so I'm having trouble taking this mental step backward.

So, while I appreciate that the focus of the group is on bringing our children into the world and am enjoying what a beautiful job other mamas are doing writing about it, I am wondering what I should do with myself?

Would you recommend really pushing myself to write about it anyway? I could and maybe I should. Do you plan on having more varied assignments in the future? Or a place for random writings, kind of like the freewrite thread but not necessarily starting from one of the original prompts?

Thank you!
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#4 of 14 Old 05-03-2005, 11:24 AM
 
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i would like to reiterate what lavender said...a bigger brighter home definetly sums up the space you've so wonderfully structured and organized..a place for everything--creatively uncluttered. thank you jesse for your time and energy...i have been writing a lot about birth on my own. and i do see this topic as pertinent for me--but since it is something i have written--i'm not as stimulated...i do enjoy writing about it though because there is sooo much there for both births, so much to explore. personally, i'm broadening my focus to include my birth stories as part of the birth of my whole self--the whole person who is emerging: the mother, artist, daughter, lover, wife, person...the birth of my boys has made me who I am today. i can see that in order to understand myself, i can dig some more to fathom the universe of change that ocurred with the two pregnancies and births. so, for me so the topic doesn't seem "limiting"--i'm expanding the concept--to address issues centered in and around my births, for example, how i felt when my mother wasn't there for me during either pregnancy and what i did about it--addressing these isues as they arise....
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#5 of 14 Old 05-04-2005, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate your thoughtful input! When I was asked to lead this workshop, I had to come up with a plan for our focus (or maybe I wanted that? I can't remember!) and submit a proposal. I am not the group lead forever--when our eight weeks are up, MDC will bring in someone new to fill my spot. I think the idea is all about getting new, fresh perspectives on mothering from a variety of folks.

So if the birthstory isn't for you, please know that the topic will change eventually. I hope you would continue to write and please feel free to tweak the assignements/cumulative project if you desire.

Happy writing, mamas!

Jesse
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#6 of 14 Old 05-04-2005, 09:22 AM
 
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Hi
I think you're doing a terrific job too. I'm so happy to find a place to get a workshop space (for free!) that is structured and supportive and dealing with just what I want to write about right now. My trouble is that I had a really busy week, and while previous week's assignments were manageable time-wise, last week's wasn't, and so I was too overwhelmed to do anything. I think I just need to slow down and work on a little bit at a time. But I promise to start a portfolio soon with something, even if it's small.
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#7 of 14 Old 05-04-2005, 01:25 PM
 
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Hi Jesse,

Yes, this is wonderful and I'm totally loving it -- the structure, everything! I've never had any real guidance before with my writing other than one personal essay class I took in college (where I was a MUSIC major, of all things), so I'm very interested and engaged by what you've offered.

I'm also swamped with life with two little ones and a full-time job outside of my kids. That's part of why I haven't gotten caught up yet. The other part is that I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to be doing with this pack of index cards I bought. I unwrapped them but can't really grasp what it is I'm supposed to be organizing.

Thanks,
Diana
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#8 of 14 Old 05-04-2005, 03:57 PM
 
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After truly getting in there, i realize i that, indeed, i am inspired to work on my birth stories...i still have healing to do...so, yes, this topic does inspire me--i've changed my mind. And have a small divulgence for the group--i just wrote an article about birth/midwifery that included some of my story. well, the piece was rejected. so, of course, i'm feeling a bit rejected as well. but, am recovering with the opportunity to continue writing my story/s in their entirety.

Also, Jesse, i think the amount of work given is good. I especially like the portfolio thread as it gives me a place to put past work on my birth writings as well that needs to be included/addressed. one question I have is about working on both of my birth stories simultaneously. I suppose that I should work on one story at a time--but it is hard not to tie them together. In the birth story that we read as an assignment, the author weaves her past birth in with grey's birth very nicely.
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#9 of 14 Old 05-04-2005, 08:33 PM
 
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I haven't posted much this time around, but I'm still using the work shop............in fact all the writing I've managed to do lately (what little that is) has been these assignments. I just haven't managed to get all of my writing posted. So thank you very much Jesse.
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#10 of 14 Old 05-06-2005, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenfulmama
i do enjoy writing about it though because there is sooo much there for both births, so much to explore. personally, i'm broadening my focus to include my birth stories as part of the birth of my whole self--the whole person who is emerging: the mother, artist, daughter, lover, wife, person...the birth of my boys has made me who I am today. i can see that in order to understand myself, i can dig some more to fathom the universe of change that ocurred with the two pregnancies and births. so, for me so the topic doesn't seem "limiting"--i'm expanding the concept--to address issues centered in and around my births, for example, how i felt when my mother wasn't there for me during either pregnancy and what i did about it--addressing these isues as they arise....
In the best of all possible worlds, we would all be at this stage. This is the stage when we move from reliving the experience to reimagining it. We have almighty Perspective on our side and can change the world with the lessons we have to share.

I would argue this workshop is especially suited for you.

Thanks for being here.

Jesse
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#11 of 14 Old 05-07-2005, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenfulmama
After truly getting in there, i realize i that, indeed, i am inspired to work on my birth stories...i still have healing to do...so, yes, this topic does inspire me--i've changed my mind. And have a small divulgence for the group--i just wrote an article about birth/midwifery that included some of my story. well, the piece was rejected. so, of course, i'm feeling a bit rejected as well. but, am recovering with the opportunity to continue writing my story/s in their entirety.

Also, Jesse, i think the amount of work given is good. I especially like the portfolio thread as it gives me a place to put past work on my birth writings as well that needs to be included/addressed. one question I have is about working on both of my birth stories simultaneously. I suppose that I should work on one story at a time--but it is hard not to tie them together. In the birth story that we read as an assignment, the author weaves her past birth in with grey's birth very nicely.
Sorry, I'm responding post-by-post now and so the last one I wrote to you is a little behind the times. I'm so glad you feel inspired again by your stories. Your stories will find their proper place, I'm sorry they were not chosen for publication. I, too, had work rejected recently and have a rule for myself in writing and in acting: I let myself have a huge pity-party for exactly 24 hours. After that, it's time to move on. I do allow myself to go crazy with the pity and angst. I've howled at the moon, at my husband and at no-name directors and publishers. It feels good to get that stuff out.

As for working on both at the same time, my best advice is to take each bit poco a poco. Little by little. Do justice to each memory. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of material, so just plug away at each bit and if they weave naturally, fine. If not, that's okay as well.

Jesse
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#12 of 14 Old 05-07-2005, 12:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna's mamma
The other part is that I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to be doing with this pack of index cards I bought. I unwrapped them but can't really grasp what it is I'm supposed to be organizing.
The index cards serve several functions:

1. Reminders for subjects you seen or are inspired by while out-and-about.
2. Placeholders/labels for the topics you've brainstormed regarding pregnancy, labor, birth and post-partum.
3. An easy way to move around the ideas you want to write about as you create a timeline of events and add structure to your birthstory.

Does this help?

jesse
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#13 of 14 Old 05-09-2005, 10:47 AM
 
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oh my goodness, thank you, jesse! it feels so nice to have that vindication. rejection does suck, and if the worst that comes from it is howling at the moon and a pity party--well, then, i will try again! i'm onto my third version of this piece...and if this is the price i have to pay to get paid, then i will wear the rejection stamp like a badge of honor. YES! i've been rejected, i'm not a failure, i'm a writer !
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#14 of 14 Old 05-10-2005, 01:05 AM
 
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This writing group has been quite healing for me. It feels good to be able to write, with some direction, about the events leading up to the birth of my daughter. In fact, it is like therapy. Thank you for creating this group and helping to facilitate interesting topics. Sometimes I feel that I cannot do all that you ask...especially creating index cards, making timelines, laundry lists etc. If I have a few minutes to myself I try to just write while here on the computer. I don't have the time with an almost 6 month old to make index cards etc. However, I feel that writing at all is really great. Plus, for me freewriting is very freeing (no pun intended). So, while I think the assignments are sometimes a bit idealistic in regards to amount of time and energy needed,especially for newly postpartum moms, the group as a whole and the ideas and assignments you put out there are stimulating, enjoyable and as I said above, facilitate healing.
Thank you!
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