CW -- the final stretch

The Creativity Workshop is coming to an official end – and this is where those graduation speech sentiments come into play: the end of something meaningful, but more importantly, the launch pad for something newer, more exciting, bigger. blah blah blah.

Well, yeah…

I belong to a women’s group that meets monthly on the Tuesday night closest to the full moon. Last night we did one of those rituals where you pull a seemingly random card out of a deck, read what the accompanying guidebook says about the card, and make connections to your own life.

We used The Celtic Tree Oracle: A System of Divination. The cards themselves are beautifully rendered – each depicting a different tree that represents a certain mythic concept described more fully in the text.

Sometimes I’m pretty prosaic, so my first thought was, “Oh, good, trees. I’ve been writing about trees.” My first Creativity Workshop story turned out to be a love story – between a house and a tree. My last CW story, Timbre – the one I’m working on right now – focuses on people cutting down trees in a suburban neighborhood. It’s a hate story, I suppose.

I pulled the Ash card. In Celtic cosmology, the Cosmic Ash “connects the three circles of existence… which can be variously interpreted as past, present and future, or as confusion, balance and creative force.”

I’m not so sure yet about balance, but I’ve certainly moved from confusion to creative force – and back again – with my writing in general, and through the challenges of this workshop in particular.

“The Ash can be seen as spanning both microcosm and macrocosm, the little world and the great world… Since the Ash itself carries ‘keys’ (winged fruits), choosing this card is a key to a more universal comprehension of how all things are linked, everything being connected; earthly and spiritual; yourself and the cosmos; lowest and highest. Your deeds form part of a far greater, even endless, chain of events, and your own inner pathways have their reaction in the outer world.”

This resonates with my belief in and respect for the interdependent web of all existence so I’m nodding and smiling while reading/typing the above quote.

But the prosaic kicks in again, and these words stand out in flashing lights for me: Deeds ==> chain of events. Inner pathways ==> reaction in the outer world.

I suppose these are obvious to everyone else, but right here and right now, they are the focusing guideposts I need for completing Timbre and moving forward. What can cutting down a backyard tree set in motion? What can refusing to cut a backyard tree set in motion? Who is affected, and how? How can I entice you, the reader, to care about it?

I see a more nuanced, original story evolving from a fallen tree as part of a cosmic chain of events that reverberates through the universe — or at least through the cul de sac. The story is getting deeper, richer and I can see roots (sorry!) of a larger, interconnected web of — what? deception, possibly, nastiness, most definitely — growing beneath the surface.

So, yes, I will finish this final CW story. And, yes, I will move forward with a tangle of ideas that wiil, I hope, weave themselves into a larger narrative, a bigger universe. NaNoWriMo 2010, can you hear me?

I just looked back at my original intent for this final segment of the Creativity Workshop:

Taking the mythic journey through the heart of darkness, er, suburbia.

I am so there.


[And another shout-out for the fabulous Merrilee Faber for getting this whole inspirational writing workshop rolling. Thank you, and thanks to everyone who slogged along for the journey. It’s been real. :)]

9 comments to CW — the final stretch

  • I so want to read Timbre. I love those sorts of stories.

    The ash card sounds like the world card in Tarot – coming full circle in your journey. Good on you for keeping your focus all through the workshop!

    • Natasha

      Ah, all the more reason to finish it! My few Tarot experiences have not been fabulous, so I’m not familiar with the world card. Definitely full circle, though. Here’s another bit that I didn’t quote in my blog post: “…only continual rebirth as passage is made from circle to circle until the Land of the Blessed is finally reached.”

  • Indeed, you are SO there!

    Congratulations for getting to the final stretch. I admire your stick-to-it powers.

    NaNoWriMo will be a perfect vessel for your untangling your tangle of ideas.

  • I know exactly what you are saying! I have a short story that started out as a quick quirky satire, but the darn thing just kept stewing and revealing layer upon layer until I didn’t know what to do with it anymore. Maybe I’ll explore it during NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure yet. It might end up being a series of short stories. I keep jotting down notes, but it is in no way organized.

    I’m glad the workshop has been fruitful. I think we all learned a thing or two about creativity, writing, and about ourselves. I’m going to write a final summary of my accomplishments and failures sometime this week, but I haven’t started it yet, another writing project has been sucking up my time. Not to mention the distractions.

    Speaking of writing…it’s 7:30! Where did the time go? I better finish making the rounds and get to work.

    • Natasha

      I’m definitely glad I’ve taken part in the workshop. Good learning, fun even — and I was more productive than I would have been without it, even without completing twelve stories.

  • I’m proud of you all who completed the workshop. I made it through the first month’s assignments auditing it, then faded in to the sunset. Looks like it was very worthwhile for both you and DS.
    ::clap, clap – well done::

    • Natasha

      Why, thanks! It was worthwhile — and I think it will be a gift that keeps on giving…. I got lots of ideas that I may want to pursue in NaNoWriMo. I didn’t complete all 12 stories, as was the original goal, but I did write waaay more short stories than I would have without it. Plus, Merrilee had so many great guest posts that I’m sure I’ll go back again and again for inspiration.

  • I can’t believe you continued with that workshop with all the traveling you were doing. Great for you! I’ve been thinking a lot about NaNo. I wrote a post about it that is schedule for Monday. I have no idea what I’m writing about but I can’t wait to start.

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