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Cherrie Moraga One Day Writing Workshop

On Saturday, June 26, 2010,  I attended a Writing Workshop Intensive taught by Cherrie Moraga and  Adelina Anthony.

My sister is a big fan so I went even though I have yet to read Cherrie's This Bridge Called My Back, Loving in the War Years, or The Hungry Woman. There's other books but those are the ones I really want to read.

We did several fun writing exercises. I was relieved that we would have a chance to read and share some of our work. We filled a old conference room. There must have been 30 of us. I counted. Some sat on the floor to listen.

I remember a handful of advice Cherrie gave that I committed to memory.

Only you can you do. So don't worry about someone else trying to steal our work because what makes it special is us. We all have different stories to tell from different perspectives, tones, opinions.

Stay humble. Don't let pride or arrogance keep you stuck thinking that you know it all. Stay humble, stay open. Keep learning. I have no problem with this. I know I'm at ground zero.

What I know from my own life experiences though is that you need some degree of self confidence to make it. I've seen plenty of writers of have a hard time putting themselves out there so for me, I stress the need to have confidence.

Even though she's a published author she mentions she's still learning.

Beware of the applause. I was curious to see what Cherrie's opinion would be of an Open Mics. She said it's good but just don't get to used to the clicks of approval. I can see how the need for the open mic audience approval could become addicting and too easy where editors would need to evaluate one's work more harshly. I think open mics or some form of community sharing can really help a struggling writer gain confidence.

Don't throw anything you write out.

You need to keep reading.

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When was the last time you held a book? What was the last book you read? How was your transition from reading paper backs to reading in digital format? Have you made that switch yet?

This is also from an older draft post. I've since been part of a show, an extraordinary experience I still have to blog about but I'd thought I'd still post these earlier thoughts.

I love writing so just having a story out their in print or online and getting commented on I thought was enough but as I was recently told by an actor, when your story is told on stage its a completely different experience because of the interaction between the actors and the audience.

In this play I definitely felt the chemistry. Now and days and even back in the old days it was so hard to make a motion picture. To tell one of our stories would cost thousands of dollars and an experienced Hollywood budget and staff. At CASA 0101 what you need is an idea and some ganas to make your story into a play. And best of all its a community event with a very grass roots feel.