Finding My Adult Voice
January 1, 2011 § 3 Comments
I’m always asked why I spend the time and money to attend a writing retreat. I can tell you in one word … no, more than one (I’m a writer after all!): Renewed Creative Energy, Silence, and Time.
I never seem to have enough time to think. I’m off on the next issue of the newsletter, the next project, the next writing critique group and what I will read. I need time to create, not just do!
And in order to create I need silence – no phones, no TV, no ‘Tom interruptions’ – although he knows not to speak until I look up from my laptop, he still stands there like a vulture, bless him. (Non-writers don’t always understand the creative process, but if they love us they will work around it! Tom loves me A LOT!)
But even with the silence and cooperation of spouses and other family members, writers need to renew their creative energy. Sometimes I think all of my energy and self is bleeding out, transfusing everyone else. When I need an analogous transfusion I go on retreat.
Last November, as in each November of the past five years, I treated myself to 5 days of writer’s heaven – the Fiction Among Friends Writers Retreat on St. George Island, FL – http://www.fictionamongfriends.com/ . Adrian Fogelin is our workshop leader and mentor and on our last night this year she challenged us to write a sentence by or about a character. The kicker – each sentence had to begin with or feature a different letter of the alphabet. (I believe she looked at me as she added that we were to use a different voice than the one we usually write in.)
I’m so used to writing in a child’s voice that I’ve never found my adult voice – I don’t think! I was stumped. And then a português word popped into my mind (after eight years in Brazil they do that from time to time) – A is for amor.
Amor: I love you, but I’m not sure … what will loving you do to me? Will I survive? (Okay, a bit hokey … and self-centered … but it’s a start!)
Bello: His soul was old and full of beauty – the kind of soul you know God would delight in. (Hmmm … might be a candidate for that “worst first line” contest!)
Diamante: She’s a little rhinestone wishing for a higher calling. (This is getting easier – if not brilliant!)
Estou: I am … I am what? Do I want to know? (Aha!)
Jacaranda: I can’t explain her … not really. All of her best qualities lie hidden in a tangled web too hard to dig through. (I like that one.)
Lyra: The sweetest music touches the heart so softly no one else can hear. (Can’t get away from music! Of course, I cheated a bit on this one – lyra is Portuguese for lyre – a small harp.)
Mar: The sea rolls deep, blue green, undulating in wave upon wave toward the sands – the target of its loving caress and terrifying destruction. (I think I like euphemism!)
Paradiso: He looked for his paradise in every corner, in every country – his quest never ending and ill timed.
Not there yet, but fun! Your turn!
Thanks for the invitation
This was such a wonderful piece of writing–be brave and include the rest of the alphabet–and you truly astounded me with it when you read it aloud to the group. I knEw you were a good writer–but I didn’t know you had this kind of writing in you. Please find more like it and commit it to paper! — Adrian
ML: Enjoyed the (totally unfamiliar but rhythmic)Portugese words; even Bello; a man with a soul that beautiful every woman will want to meet!