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Posts Tagged ‘workshop’

Writing about Firsts…

On July 9th at my Saturday workshop one of our writing exercises was the topic of firsts.  The first of anything is usually a memorable experience and very often marks a change in our lives. 

Sam was the first dog that I can remember having and one that I will always.  It is interesting to note that Sam was not really my first real dog according to my dad.  A few years ago I was at a speaking conference for my book Fig on a Stick and when I was up in Seattle I was able to meet up with my dad and step-mom Lee for dinner.  I was showing my dad pictures of my miniature dachshund Courtney and that is when I heard the story of my “first” dog.  I forget now what he said the name of this dog was, either spooky or midnight, but it was a miniature dachshund that looked just like Courtney!  I had no idea until I heard this story!

Here are a few firsts that may trigger some memories for you to start writing about:

  • kiss
  • love
  • heart ache
  • ride a bike
  • broken bone
  • child born
  • pet
  • car
  • date

Try to write a paragraph for each of these firsts and see what it helps you remember.  If you have some pictures to help refresh your memory try to find them!

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When are you “Home?”

One afternoon when I was driving home from a workshop at Inter Valley Health Plan I heard the most beautiful song on the radio by Christina Perri.  It was called Arms.

Here are the lyrics:

I never thought that you would be the one to hold my heart
But you came around and you knocked me off the ground from the start

You put your arms around me
And I believe that it’s easier for you to let me go
You put your arms around me and I’m home

How many times will you let me change my mind and turn around
I can’t decide if I’ll let you save my life or if I’ll drown

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, ’cause I’m already falling
I’ll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I’m home

The world is coming down on me and I can’t find a reason to be loved
I never wanna leave you but I can’t make you bleed if I’m alone

You put your arms around me
And I believe that it’s easier for you to let me go

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, ’cause I’m already falling
I’ll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I’m home

I tried my best to never let you in to see the truth
And I’ve never opened up
I’ve never truly loved ‘Till you put your arms around me
And I believe that it’s easier for you to let me go

I hope that you see right through my walls
I hope that you catch me, ’cause I’m already falling
I’ll never let a love get so close
You put your arms around me and I’m home

You put your arms around me and I’m home

I love these lyrics because it made me think about when do I feel “home”.  In my workshop a few Saturdays ago,  I talked about the “masks” we wear,  who do we let into our “home” space?  Which of your friends do you feel the most at home with?  Where are the walls that you may have put up, can you see them?  Who holds your heart?  Spend some time journaling about this topic.  Explore and write your feelings.

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Be a gift…

This morning when I was driving home from yoga I saw a great license plate that said simply: Be a gift.  Hmmm, I love that!  Who doesn’t like to receive a gift, but how much better to be the gift!  The picture above is of one of my students Rochelle who is a snowbird.  Meaning she lives part of the time in Palm Desert and part of the year in Seattle.  I have been teaching Rochelle for about two years now and Rochelle is such a gift to me.  Not only does she write beautiful stories and poems, but after every class, she looks me in the eyes and says, “That was wonderful, great material.” (or something along those same lines!) 

I like to call Rochelle my Jewish mother.  She always dresses impeccable and has such great taste.  I know she is a gift to me and my life in so many ways.  I am excited that I will be spending 4 days with her up in Seattle teaching a workshop for her friends and I look forward to seeing her at her home.  So Rochelle, thank you for being such a great example of what it means to be a gift to another person.  You have gifted me with your love and wisdom for two years now and you are a great example of a woman who lives with grace and integrity.  I am so glad you are a part of my world.

Today in your writing list some ways that you can be a gift to others this week.  I have been working on my list and number one on my list is that today I am going to go visit my 93 year old student, Melitas and her “warden” Alba and I will be making them my famous and spectacular homemade Macaroni and Cheese by request.  If you remember the last time I made it for them was on Mother’s Day…can you believe they loved it so much they ate it for 4 or 5 days in a row??? Wow!!  Time to adjust my bow and head over to be a gift!

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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Amherst Writers & Artists

Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.


International Directory of Writing Workshops