When it comes to getting creative, there are few writers that haven’t picked up an exercise or two from Susan Wooldridge’s book poemcrazy. There’s at least one writing group in town that regularly uses that resource in its weekly writing sessions. But, just ask anyone who was in the workshop on Sunday, November 8, and they’ll each say having the author lead the exercises was even better.
“The impact was so much bigger than just reading the book,” said Kathie Hightower, co-founder of the Manzanita Writers’ Series.
In addition to creating a group ‘word pool’, doling out her famous ‘word tickets’ , pages from an old dictionary, and books by other poets, Susan also passed around postcards of paintings and paint chips from a hardware store to inspire participants and trigger new ways of expressing themselves.
“I want you to steal words,” she exclaimed. ”Be a thief!” And that’s just one way she gets writers to get off their regular track. She also exhorted participants to lie. ”Lie to tell the truth,” is how she puts it, again to encourage writers to stretch beyond their usual writing habits. Along with the writing, Susan had the group laughing and dancing.
If you don’t already have poemcrazy, there are still some signed copies at Cloud & Leaf Bookstore in Manzanita. Plus, Susan’s new book Foolsgold: Making Something from Nothing (and freeing your creative process) is also available.