Theodore Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) said, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.”
Think, work, play, with writing concepts prompted by fantastic folktales, visual and odd visionary angles and contemplations, quotations, verses, and literature. From these, we’ll develop personal collections of narrative and non-narrative writing that guide us toward a comfortable point of view about the realities and truths of who we are.
Each week, we’ll share in printed format from these original collections, with no restrictions beyond the requirements of the prompts you’ve chosen, and no judgment. We’ll also share some written choices in spoken word in Week 6, if possible.
Through this thought-provoking process, we’ll approach both a personal and communal awareness of the playful and cleansing power of language, in keeping with the Jewish proverb: “As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.” Sometimes our musings will be serious, but we’ll all benefit from a little more fantasy and play!
“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.” – Lloyd Alexander, author of the pentalogy, The Chronicles of Prydain.
Week 1: Oh, the Places You Didn’t Want to Go!
Facing the past; using it as food for thought and for writing.
Week 2: Through the Looking Glass
Finding the distortions in and the contortions of our life story; turning the truths and realities into fantastic adventures.
Week 3: The Path of Needles or the Path of Pins: Other Possibilities of Seeing Red
Accepting our choices in life and acknowledging the strengths and tools we can now recognize and carry in our “basket of goodies”.
Week 4: "Here There Be Dragons..."
Being willing to face or step toward darker memories or more dangerous ideas; changing perspective to construct "sense from non-sense," those moments that seemed to have no reason or reasonable outcome. Turning big pains into small boo-boos, and big joys into notable treasures.Being willing to face or step toward darker memories or more dangerous ideas; changing perspective to construct "sense from non-sense," those moments that seemed to have no reason or reasonable outcome.
Week 5: Through the Wrong End of the Telescope
Transforming big pains into small boo-boos, and big joys into notable treasures.
Week 6: Communal Voices
Sharing our voices and our reflections in an online gathering or a conference call.
Writers, spoken-word artists/storytellers, anyone interested in playing with the concept of fact-to-fantasy poetic or narrative sharing and its connection to personal knowledge and growth.
This is an online class. Each week, a new week-long session will open, full of resources, reflections, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Students can expect to spend 3-5 hours per week with these ideas. Students peruse resources and readings. Then, according to their own choices, they’ll answering a discussion question, engage in several writing prompts, and respond to peers’ work. Through our interactions, we create and sustain a welcoming and inspiring community.
A fourth-generation Affrilachian storyteller, Ohio teaching artist, and award-winning author, Lynette (Lyn) Ford has shared programs and workshops on creatively writing, joyfully playing, and developing and sharing narratives for more than thirty years. Lyn’s work is published in several storytelling-in-education resources, and her own books—Affrilachian Tales: Folktales from the African-American Appalachian Tradition; Beyond the Briar Patch: Affrilachian Folktales, Food and Folklore; Hot Wind, Boiling Rain: Scary Stories for Strong Hearts—as well as collaborations with friend and fellow storyteller Sherry Norfolk: Boo-Tickle Tales: Not-So-Scary Stories for Ages 4-9; Speak Peace: Words of Wisdom, Work & Wonder, and Supporting Diversity and Inclusion with Story. Lyn is also a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher, and a great-grandmother.
The Transformative Language Arts Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit firstname.lastname@example.org