Saturday, August 9, 2014

Always a good prompt

"Be a figure in a famous painting": always a good prompt for a subject to write about.  It was our prompt for the new writing group yesterday.  What a wonderful cast of characters we heard from -- heavily French.  This is a group that, so far, writes simply for fun and no critiques happen-- that bothers one member who would like criticism.  But we are feeling our way and I have some doubts that the group can continue after August.

i wrote as Madame X, painted by John Singer Sargent, an American in a dress that was then scandalous and now seems the epitome of elegance  We heard from a Degas prostitute, a Cassett young lovely, the female part of  Grant Woods' American Gothic, a Renoir dancer, a darling child in a three-child photo, the haggard woman in a Burke-White photo, a modern day woman whose self-portrait the writer actually has in her home. And so it went. Very delightful to be among a group of women willing to do a little research and use  a lot of imagination, create a voice very different from their own.

I've just read in an Oliver Sacks book (he's a neurologist) that occasionally an older person experiences a sudden burst of creativity as if some long time repressions have dissolved.  Some of the members of this group still exhibit the inhibitions but others may be freeing themselves.  I hope I can encourage some of that in the writing classes I teach.  Once in a while I think is actually might be happening.


barbara judge said...

June -- So much literature has come about, over the past decade or so, about identifying older woman as they should be -- creative, active, strong, free, whatever they want to be. This is so heartening to me. Good post -- barbara

June Calender said...

I am lucky and very happy to count as most of my friends older women who are active, creative, thoughtful and, in several cases, generously caring for either parents or spouses who are ailing as they age.

Lynn Guardino said...

I'm so sorry to have missed yesterday's group. But please, don't write us off post Labor Day! We can still find time, if only monthly or we can do something that has to do with writing, somehow, some way, can't we??????