Sunday, September 4, 2011
See what Develops
I spent some time this morning talking to a student teacher of mine about ice-breaker activities for high school students. A few tried and true things came to mind. It occurred to me, also, that it's possible to combine something enjoyable and that gets students moving around with a traditional diagnostic activity. Just stand back and observe the behavior and then read the responses and you'll have a fairly good idea of who you are dealing with. Of course, it's a bit more complicated than that, but often, the first few days of a class, like other new experiences in this lifetime, can be very revealing.
A therapist I know once told me that often the days where someone says, "things are fine, I really don't have anything pressing to talk about" are when the most significant things surface. Not surprising, it takes time to reflect to see what surfaces. Writing is often like that too. It can start out in one direction and then something takes over. Something rises from the depths and commands attention. That attention quickly turns to direction. From there, it's up to the writer to find form and substance and "take it to the house," as they say.
I've been working on a new short piece of fiction. Been trying to see where this piece will take me as I let it out of my imagination. It's got all the requisite parts, feisty characters, a strong sense of place, dialogue as people truly speak, and, hopefully will say something as any thematic work of fiction will do. It's the plot that's floating on this lake of uncertainty right now.
If I sit back, open all my sensibilities, reflect, respond...it's take shape. In fact, it will take more than one shape. That's one thing I've learned about writing, each piece takes on various shapes...has various incarnations. I seem to be much more open to that process these days than ever before. I seem to come to the task with specific ideas, but ready to abandon anything at any moment, ready to follow, ready to discover.