38Write Peregrination: The August Writing Workshop Launches Tomorrow

38Write—my [new-ish] global writing initiative—is a monthly series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of craft or the writing life (for example, writing kick-butt descriptions), and during each 38-hour adventure, writers connect with me and 38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag and a group Pinterest board. Lots of good work getting done.


Tomorrow—Saturday, August 25—#38Write | Peregrination launches! This is the third-ever writing workshop in the #38Write monthly series, and I can’t wait to see what the writers put forth on the page. Sixteen writers in 8 countries will be walking and writing:

  • Australia
  • Turkey
  • Chile
  • U.S.
  • U.K.
  • France
  • Belgium
  • S. Korea

Since using Pinterest in the workshop worked so beautifully during the July workshop, I’m using it again, and #38Write writers are already pinning on the group #38Write | Peregrination Pinterest board. (Check it out here.)

Looks like we’re ready to go. Walking shoes are polished, and pens all around the world are poised to write. If you’re curious about #38Write, you can check out the conversation among writers this weekend using the Twitter hashtag: #38Write.

Happy writerhead!

#38Write: How Do You Define “Culture”?

#38Write—my [new-ish] global writing initiative—is a monthly series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of craft or the writing life (for example, writing kick-butt descriptions), and during each 38-hour adventure, writers connect with me and #38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag and a group Pinterest board. In the July workshop, we had 16 writers in 9 countries. It’s pretty darn awesome!


In the July #38Write workshop (#38Write | Structure), I asked writers to define culture without using a dictionary, thesaurus, or other reference. I wanted writers to arrive at their own organic definitions of a term that gets tossed around a lot. For many of the writers, I heard the task proved to be much tougher than they originally anticipated. Here’s what some of them came up with; I love these!

(drum roll…)

“An ever-widening pool of thoughts, ideas, dreams and nightmares turned into staggering physical objects, sounds and words that touch us in various ways and give us a taste of the incredible intricacy of the human mind and soul and perhaps, a peek at immortality.” [Maria, U.K.]

 * * *

“Culture is the armor we put on to protect us from the judgment of others while wielding our own. It is the cloak of conformity protecting us from the marginalization brought on by our two greatest faults. Individuality and free will.

“It is corporate speak, one plus one really does equal three. It is the thought police and politics of fear and division. Red vs. Blue, Rich vs. Poor, if you aren’t with us, you’re against us. It is feeding at the media’s buffet of consumption and disposable consumerism. A hedonistic diet that invites us to insert ourselves into the minutia of others while avoiding empathy.

“It is the simmering pot we find ourselves in, awaiting the boil.” [Sean, U.S.]

* * *

“Culture is created by people to include, alienate, frustrate, bamboozle and inspire others. It is indescribable in entirety—spanning language, music, architecture, food, drink, dress, attitude, smiling, grimacing. It enables or disables relationships, both personal and geographical. Culture is something to be drunk and savoured, to taste. It can never be completely digested, as it is ever-changing in itself and your perception of it. It is the stuff of (your) humanity.” [Michelle, France]

* * *

“Culture is a mother. She tells you bedtime stories, explains who you are, why you’re special, what to believe, defines your choices and boundaries. You let go of her skirt and feel lost, listless, unknown. You build your own stories, day by day. You become a mother.” [Jennifer, S. Korea]

 * * *

“I think of culture as the unspoken rules of play. It’s the inside information that gets us a seat at the cool kid’s table in the lunch room. Over time, culture is formed from the whos, whats, whens, and whys that matter most—life’s decoder ring.” [Laura, U.S]

 * * *

“Culture is what you believe you are. It is the sum of what you have learned by being where and when you have been. It is what you have absorbed from those around you. It is what you believe about what you have been told about who you are.

“Culture is those things you do not see. It is the cloud that surrounds you. The fluffy white cloud you can’t see through, the gray cloud that dims your vision, the scattered wispy clouds that throw barely perceptible shadows. Your cloud is the sum of your family’s miasma, your town’s history, and your country’s storyline. It is the mist that surrounds you and every one is unique.

“When your various clouds cross, or your clouds cross those of others, flashing lights, loud booms, and tumult result.” [Kelly, Turkey]

* * *

“Culture is always tied to place. It’s showing a place the way locals see it in a deeper way, insider knowledge versus the way a tourist sees it skimming only the surface.

“It considers the quality of life of its residents, the little guys who make up the fabric of the city’s neighborhoods. People like you and me. Sense of place is an intangible weave of culture (stories, art, memories, beliefs histories) and the tangible physical components of an area: its rivers, woods, monuments, architectural styles, its pathways and its views. Place also embraces our personal relationships and those who think like us, kindred spirits. This attachment to place, this sense of feeling, is derived from the natural environment, but it also includes a mix of natural and cultural features in the landscape.” [Michelle, U.S.]

* * *

“Culture is a society’s folksong of beauty and deformity. It clasps nuances, peculiarities, obscenities and is the overt and hidden essence fine-tuned by breathing in the scenic and ugly pail of humanity. Clouded by human thoughts, its evolution is sorely dependent on random and expected perspective as also geographical thresholds.” [Meena, China]

* * *

“Culture is the derived from the group(s) we are born into and it shapes the way we think, what we say and how we behave in any given situation.” [Diane, U.S.]

* * *

“Imagine a sandwich. Think of a country as that sandwich. Picture the delicious filling that smothers the sandwich’s core and oozes into its every fibre; that binds the sandwich and delivers unique smells, sights, tastes and textures. If a sandwich is a place, then the filling is its culture.” [Russell, Australia]

 

What do you think, readers? How do you define culture?

_________________

If you’re interested in signing up for future #38Write workshops, you can either:

  • send me an email
  • subscribe to the Writerhead blog so that you’ll get the workshop announcement conveniently in your email inbox
  • check back in a week or so for the August workshop announcement (“Classes” page)

 

Mojo Monday: The Next 38Write Workshop Is Open for Registration

It’s Mojo Monday, and as always, I’ve got a little something-something to lift your creative spirits, buoy you up, help you get your mojo on, and nudge (or better yet, catapult) you into writerhead.


Ready to write, folks?

Looking for a unique writing workshop?

Perfect timing…because the next edition of the 38Write writing adventure series—38Write  Structure—is now open for registration. (Click over to the CLASSES page for lots more information about this specific workshop and to sign up.)

WHAT IS 38WRITE?

38Write is a writing adventure workshop designed specifically for place-passionate, culturally curious writers that will get you out of your house—no matter where you live—and into your environs.

Last month, I launched the first 38Write online writing adventure with 38Write | Description, and yowza! It more than exceeded my hopes and expectations. Thirteen writers in 7 countries signed up, set off on their adventures, and wrote some intense, provocative prose.

THE UNIQUE ASPECTS OF 38WRITE

  • Each writing adventure is 38 hours long. It’s a manageable amount of time that fits into anyone’s busy schedule. (Good gracious, no, you will not be writing or adventuring for 38 hours straight. I’m ambitious for you, but not crazy. You will need approximately 2-4 hours to work during the 38-hour period…give or take an hour.)
  • Each writing adventure will focus on one particular aspect of craft or the writing life. You will not be writing an entire essay or short story (but you might accidentally do so). Some adventures will focus on a skill, like writing kick-butt descriptions; others might get you to look at what inspires you or how you move from idea to writing.
  • During each 38-hour period, you’ll be able to connect with me and 38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag. (How cool is that?!)
  • You will get feedback from me. (For more info about me, click here.)
  • Terrific for folks writing fiction, essays, or memoir.
  • Beginners and experienced writers are welcome and encouraged to join.
  • It’s affordable. A single 38Write writing adventure costs only $38 (U.S.).

WHY DID I CREATE 38WRITE?

While living, writing, and teaching writing in Shanghai, I learned (and/or relearned) a number of things:

    1. Each of us has a heck of a lot to learn from folks in other countries (and not usually the things we think we need to learn).
    2. Story is an international conversation that can help us better understand one another.
    3. By helping writers from all over the world to improve their craft, I can play a wee role in facilitating this global conversation.
    4. Writing is recursive. You must practice. (And if I do say so myself, I’m pretty darn good at getting writers to practice.)

IS 38WRITE FOR YOU?

38Write adventures are designed for all place-passionate writers, including expats and repats, globetrotters, armchair travelers, nomads, cultural spelunkers, deeply rooted souls, mapmakers and mapbreakers, wanderers and wayfarers, voyagers, and all writers interested in exploring and writing about their environs.

So, yup, if you’re asking, 38Write is probably for you.

To learn more and sign up for 38Write | Structure, visit CLASSES.

_____

Images: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

38Write: The Top 10 Reasons You Should Take This Writing Workshop

38Write—my new global writing initiative—is a series of online writing adventure workshops for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world. Each writing adventure focuses on one particular aspect of craft or the writing life (for example, writing kick-butt descriptions), and during each 38-hour adventure, you’ll be connecting with me and 38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag. It’s new. It’s different. It’s mad fun! (For more info, click here. To sign up, click here.)


 The Top 10 Reasons YOU Should Take This Writing Adventure Workshop

  1. You will become a stronger writer.
  2. You will be inspired and invigorated.
  3. You will find new stories to tell, whether you’re writing fiction or essays or poetry or memoir or ad copy.
  4. Storytelling connects cultures, bridges gaps, and is a common language.
  5. 38 hours is a short & sweet time commitment that fits into all lives/schedules. You—anyone and everyone—can do this.
  6. You’ve got me at the helm—an author with an MFA degree & 17 years of teaching experience. (More on me here.)
  7. You’ve got crazy me at the helm. Who knows what I’ll ask you to do! Mwah ha ha!
  8. You’ll be connecting and communicating with writers all around the world who share your passion for place & culture, no matter where you live or how far you venture from your home base.
  9. You’ll see things from a new perspective.
  10. It’s going to be mad fun!

Ready to sign up? Great. Just click on over to the Classes page.

 

Introducing…The 38Write Writing Adventure Workshop Series for Place-Passionate Writers

Writers, last week I introduced 38Write, my new global writing initiative. And today…

(drum roll, please…)

…I’m wildly excited to unveil the 38Write writing adventure series for place-passionate, culturally curious writers around the world.

So yes, yes, welcome to 38Write…a series of 38-hour writing adventures, each of which will focus on one particular aspect of craft or the writing life.

The first in the series—38Write | Description—will take place on Saturday, June 2, 2012. You’ll have 38 hours to complete the assignments and send me your strongest piece of writing for feedback. (To sign up and read all the juicy details, visit the CLASSES page of this site.)

38Write is not your run-of-the-mill writing workshop. It’s a writing adventure designed specifically for place-passionate, culturally curious writers that will get you out of your house—no matter where you live—and into your environs.

 

The Unique Aspects of 38Write

  • Each writing adventure is 38 hours long. It’s a manageable amount of time that fits into anyone’s busy schedule. (Good gracious, no, you will not be writing or adventuring for 38 hours straight. I’m ambitious for you, but not crazy. You will need approximately 2-4 hours to work during the 38-hour period…give or take an hour.)
  • Each writing adventure will focus on one particular aspect of craft or the writing life. You will not be writing an entire essay or short story. Some adventures will focus on a skill, like writing kick-butt descriptions; others might get you to look at what inspires you or how you move from idea to writing.
  • During each 38-hour period, you’ll be able to connect with me and 38Write writers around the world via a Twitter hashtag. (How cool is that?!)
  • You will get feedback from me. (For more info about me, click here.)
  • Terrific for folks writing fiction, essays, or memoir.
  • Beginners and experienced writers are welcome.
  • It’s affordable. A single 38Write writing adventure costs only $38 (U.S.).

 

Why Am I Creating 38Write?

While living, writing, and teaching writing in Shanghai, I learned (and/or relearned) a number of things:

    1. Each of us has a heck of a lot to learn from folks in other countries (and not usually the things we think we need to learn).
    2. Story is an international conversation that can help us better understand one another.
    3. By helping writers from all over the world to improve their craft, I can play a wee role in facilitating this global conversation.
    4. Writing is recursive. You must practice. (And if I do say so myself, I’m pretty darn good at getting writers to practice.)

 

Is 38Write For You?

38Write adventures are designed for all place-passionate writers, including expats and repats, globetrotters, armchair travelers, nomads, cultural spelunkers, deeply rooted souls, mapmakers and mapbreakers, wanderers and wayfarers, voyagers, and all writers interested in exploring and writing about their environs.

So, yup, if you’re asking, 38Write is probably for you.

 

To learn more and sign up for 38Write | Description, visit CLASSES.

_____

Camels: Photokanok / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Beach: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Jodhpur: Image: think4photop / FreeDigitalPhotos.net