“I write because it’s one way to figure out what I really think and feel about something; when I’ve written a piece that has somehow taken on a life of its own, that has a beginning, a middle, and an end, I feel a sense of satisfaction that I feel no other way.” - Deborah A. Lott
“We wouldn’t have done it if we didn’t think we could have fun with it.” - Ethen Coen, writer/director
Robbins says, filled with his big idea: “You know, for kids!”
And nobody gets it.
It’s a joke that plays well several times.
When the punchline comes – it’s a hula hoop – we get it. A big idea, a simple idea.
Tough to explain.
I began testing Guided Writing Tours by going with writer friends - longtime members of an LA writers group - to the Hammer Museum.
I had a rough plan in mind. We’d write to two prompts, sparked by what we saw in the museum.
We spun in the spun chairs – or, some of us did. We viewed what there was to view – the museum was actually between exhibits at that time. But the sensory experience of the place was evocative and inspiring enough. We sat at tables in the courtyard, writing for fifteen minutes as fast as we could without stopping. I felt a buoyancy akin to joy to look at my friends – who said they hadn’t been writing much – powering across the page with their pens. And I was doing the same.
When we gathered at Ammo Café for lunch, to read what we’d written, it was remarkable in that, first, we’d written so much, and second, it was all so fast and fascinating, and third, each of us had written something that merited further development and was in itself, enlightening. Writing on location in an evocative setting appeared to provoke a perspective shift, or offer a hidden insight, that made it very worthwhile.
Guided Writing Tours feel like playtime, recess, a field trip, an adventure…
And they’re not just for kids.
This prompt post was:
· written in ten minutes,
· transcribed without editing
· motivated by the topic in the title…
· and hula-hooping with an imaginary hula hoop for a couple of minutes (in both directions).