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Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Time is Nigh



“The time has come,”the Walrus said, “to talk of many things...

(Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass)
 

I. Happy New Year to you all! As you are aware I have been conspicuously absent from our blog for a time. It seems Santa had a special surprise for me and gave me a new hip. Surgery went well and I am sneaking back onto my computer a little more every day. I hope all of you had wonderful holidays and are off to productive and exciting new beginnings in 2013. Least you think I missed the New Year’s Eve festivities; I shared a can of squirt cheese, some crackers, and a glass of punch with the wonderful staff at CrowneHealth Care. I was the lucky one because I got to have a pain pill with mine.

II. Crowne Health Care on Navco took excellent care of me and got me back on my feet. A big shout out to all of you!

III. Congratulations to cj on her new book! The cover is perfect and the story is excellent. I had the privilege of being in her critique group and watched the development of Deadly Star. I saw how hard she worked to carve out the perfect sentences with the perfect words. Be sure and get your copy when they are hot off the presses and enjoy this contemporary thriller. It is truly a page turner.
 
IV. Barefoot Writing Academy was born last year and is the name of my creative writing school for adults and children over eight. I’m accepting registrations for spring classes. Here is a brief description of each.

Creative Writing in Fiction (Adults age 18 & up) Excellent class for beginners and those who want to learn more about the craft of writing. This creative writing class explores the genres of fiction and the conventions that define them. Students read a mix of classic and contemporary work. Key concepts addressed include characterization, point of view, setting, dialogue, and narrative to build a story arc. Saturday 2:00 – 4:00. Six weeks. March 9, 2013 – April 13, 2013. $150.00 includes registration fee, class fees, class materials, and textbook. Class size is not limited but requires at least five for the class to make. Shoes are optional.

Connect the Thoughts (5 – 8 grades) Can a lion share a cupcake with an astronaut? As an author, you have the power to decide. Students explore writing as it relates to entertainment. Storyboards are introduced to create stories for animated movies and television, situation comedies, and books. Through writing, students create characters, go on great adventures, and envision surprise story lines along the way. Classes work together to explore the functions of writing and build their writing skills. Wednesday. 3:30 –4:30. Begins March 6 2013 – April 24.

The Happy Dance (8 – 12 grades) This class strengthens writing skills to improve overall academic performance. Through word games, a review of the basic elements of the English language is completed. Students immediately put their knowledge to work building written reports and stories from nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs of their choosing. Key concepts to create successful written projects help students express themselves clearly through strengthened writing skills and critical thinking. In a no-pressure environment, they work both independently and in collaborative projects to have fun and learn the functions of words leading to success in school. Wednesday 4:45 –5:45. Begins March 6, 2013 – April 24.

Explore the Possibilities (8– 12 grades). Flash fiction and other writing exercises stimulate writing maturity and appropriate word usage while developing team-building skills. Questions to stimulate critical thinking and creativity lead discussions: What superpowers would you like to have? Then what? What do you want to do after you graduate from high school? How? What qualities make a good friend? Why? Key concepts in creative writing are addressed: action, characterization, dialogue, and narrative. Wednesday 6:15 –7:15. Begins March 6 2013 – April 24.

Class size is limited to ten students and requires at least five for the class to make. Shoes are optional. Discounts for multiple classes and siblings. Contact me at mahalachurch@gmail.com to register.

V. Stuff and Nonsense Contest The MAC Contest was such a success in 2012 that I’ve decided to continue with a 2013 contest but with some changes. You can read the guidelines at the left of the screen, but the major changes are the new name – Stuff and Nonsense ( I love all things Anglophile), submissions up to 500 words every month, and prose only. I’m really not comfortable judging poetry. For you poets, this gives you the opportunity to test your prowess at prose. I will continue to give you required words or phrases to incorporate into your work. As you can see from my spring classes, I’m celebrating Dr. Seuss this year, so to that end, every month will celebrate some of his work.

VI. Thanks to cj for holding down the fort while I was busy learning to count leg lifts and popping wheelies on my walker!

Mahala


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