Twelve Windows: Writing Life's vignettes
*Next session will begin in september 2024*
Led by Sheila Bannon
Opening the windows of memory, you will be guided to view twelve different parts of your life, writing a story from each time. Rather than tell the whole story of your life, you'll be collecting the sparkling gems of memory – those moments that shimmer with significance. The project will culminate with a self-published collection of your writing and a celebratory book reading.
For each class I will offer a writing prompt using poetry, movement, quotes or images. Using the Rogue Writing process, we will write freely, aiming to tap into the fast moving current of memory, imagery and story that are always flowing just beneath the surface. You can choose to write in a story form, poetry, prose or all three!
You will have the opportunity to read your work and receive feedback on what resonates and where there may be space to deepen your story. We won’t be critiquing or editing, just helping each other connect with our authentic voice and story.
We will meet once a month in person (on zoom) experiencing the magic that happens when we share our stories with each other and make the commitment to write together over a period of time.
No writing experience is needed to join, just a desire to explore your stories and put them down in writing!
- One online meeting per month. They will take place on the second Saturday of each month.
- Recordings of the meeting will be available to participants who cannot attend. (of the facilitator only to protect privacy).
- One self-scheduled check-in per month with another participant from the group. This may be as simple as a text message or you may choose to meet on zoom to write together or to share supportive feedback.
- Monthly inspirational video prompt on the fourth Thursday of each month
- The course will require two-three hours/month time commitment outside of our monthly class meeting.
- You will be part of a supportive community of writers guided by Sheila Bannon, teacher of Rogue Writing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I’ve never written anything before?
Beginners are welcome! No particular writing skills are necessary. We all have stories to tell and the process of putting those stories into writing can be a liberating act of self-discovery and connection. Rather than aim for perfection in your writing, aim for telling the truth about the stories only you can tell.
What if I want to write about a single time period of my life?
Instead of twelve windows of time throughout your life, you can choose to delve deeply into one year or chapter of your life. A great example of following the thread of one story is Maggie Smith’s memoir, You Could Make This Place Beautiful. She writes about the year of her divorce, using poetry, songs, playwriting and prose to tell her story. Often narrowing the focus of your story — to a single theme, for instance, or one location, journey, relationship, period of life — will liberate it, creating a solid container to hold your story.
What if nothing extraordinary has happened in my life?
To you, your life may seem ordinary, but to others, your ordinary life is new and fresh, there’s nothing like it! It is the ordinary truths of life that often create the deepest sense of meaning and connection with a reader. Trust that you have something unique and important to offer.
Couldn’t I just do this on my own?
Some people may prefer writing on their own, but I find making a commitment to be part of a writing community provides the support and accountability you may need to get started and continue writing. It tells the world around you that you are serious about making time for yourself, your voice, your stories and your creativity. We long to connect through our stories, and I treasure the relationships that are formed through the vulnerable act of sharing our stories. In this course you will also be writing on your own in between our monthly meeting times, spending as much time as you like adding to and refining your stories.
How will we publish our work?
You will have a few options for self-publishing your writing. You may choose to make a book by hand with your text formatted in a word processing program; you may use an online self-publishing site like WordWright or Canva. The cost for a 50 page book with images is approximately $40-50 per copy. If you want to formally publish your writing I can connect you with a local book publisher. As we get closer to the publishing part of our course I will give more details! Each person will be responsible for covering their own publishing costs.
- Second Saturday of each month: January 13, February 10, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13. August 10, September 14, October 12, November 9, and November 16.
- All meeting times are: 9:30 - 11:00 am PST
- Program fee: $480
- Sliding scale available, email Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange
- Format: online zoom meetings, recorded
- $100 cancellation fee – On or before Jan 12, 2024 by 5:00pm US Pacific Time
- No refunds: Choice of Open credit or scholarship fund donation – January 13- February 10, 2024 (after the second class)
- No refunds and no open credits after February 11th, 2024