This October course is promisingly titled ‘Wild Writing, Calm Mind’, and our guest teacher is Laurie Wagner who brings Californian intimacy and relentless honesty to our literary efforts. With bouncing curls, penetrating gaze and feisty grin, Laurie challenges us beyond our comfort zone to push our penned limits, to face our deepest misgivings, to break through barriers, and to throw down words onto that daunting blank page.
Cradled within her carefully woven safety net, tears are not unusual as emotions are unleashed and nerves touched. Laurie stimulates us with selected verses and witty techniques: ‘story slices’ encapsulate a spontaneous moment in time, and ‘wild writing’ where the pen does not leave the page for fifteen unguarded minutes, ‘conjuring up stories that are waiting to be written’.
James embodies the power of poetry, though he has lost the blond greying ponytail. The designer stubble, zen clothing and energetic charm remain. “I’m not as nice as you think I am.” But I disagree. He organises a local begging village to sew cotton quilts to educate their children, and his deaf-mute waitress friend joins us all for dinner, gesturing in distress at the fast-moving conversation.