In the Victorian comfort of Her Majesteas, on Day 1, Saturday, you will write, write, write. And write some more. I will introduce you to some superb exercises for both your imagination and your writing craft. There will be tea and cake. There will be lunch. There will be tea and cake again. But mainly there will be writing. The exercises are short, intense and fascinating. You will emerge from your work with technical and expressive options significantly beyond the limits of your present habits and taste. We’ll churn through The Sonnet Machine. We’ll Strange the Familiar. I’ll show you the basics of Imaginative Remembering and how to swing between The Microscope and the Stars. We’ll bring home our Fantastic Tales from the Hinterland. And we’ll end by reflecting on our Literary Heritage and honouring the writers who’ve made our own work possible by their genius and devotion.
Immersion generates amazing material. You will fall in love with some of your efforts. You’ll be wildly curious about others. Ideas will be welling up in your creative fountain and flowing. Solutions to problems you might have with one of your current projects will present themselves, as will inspiration for new projects.
Day 2: Integration
On Day 2, Slow Sunday, you’ll integrate your new insights and approaches. We’ll start with a reading of the shocking, exquisite, freaky, intriguing, original, authentic, fantabulous, sacred, disastrous, sparkling, brilliant, sublime, insane and lovely writing that our immersion in our craft will have brought us. From there, you’ll be free to make your own best slow use of the studio.
The watchword is “slow”. Musing is encouraged. You can lie on a couch and dream. You can cloud watch. Writing by hand is always good. So is sleeping. You may want to take yourself back into The Sonnet Machine, this time with a more conscious agenda. Or use Imaginative Remembering to start a new piece of memoir. Maybe you’ll just want to rest in the presence of your Literary Ancestors, having become aware of their ever encouraging presence. You may want to read. Maybe you’ll doodle a map of your Hinterland. Some of you may want to talk in pairs or small groups. Or to yourself. There will be an all-morning breakfast and an elegant boerekos lunch to support the slow mood. I’ll consult with each of you on your immersion experience. And at 3pm, you’ll head back into your writing life invigorated and renewed.
Date: 21 and 22 November 2015
Venue: Her Majesteas Salon, Heidelberg, Gauteng
Studio fee: R2,700