Week 3, Day 1: ArtWorks Creative Writing/Digital Storytelling Cohort

Egos are fragile. The words we speak and the actions we take impact how we perceive ourselves and how we perceive the world. Sometimes the impact is negligible. Sometimes not.

Today, I convinced one of our creative writing/digital storytelling interns to perform one of her original songs. I had heard her quietly singing off stage behind the black curtains in our temporary home at The Lightbox at The Goldman Warehouse. She’s shy, not shy. She has that kind of voice that fights against her nature to be quiet.

Before her performance, we spoke about our projects and the progress that we’ve made. Progress sometimes means limiting ourselves. Cutting out what we can’t do down to what we can. Time is a creative force that pushes the the ¬†megaphone in our face. Or not. We just have to decide if we’re going to speak or remain silent.

Today, the interns of the creative writing/digital storytelling cohort are finishing their individual projects–a new blog, a series of new blog entries, the first draft of a new novel, a collection of short stories, an audio book, a short documentary film, a performative book of dance poetry.

We won’t finish everything, which is fine. The unfinished will give them something to nag at them when I’m gone–a quiet force in the back of their minds reminding them there’s something left to finish.

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Week 1: Creative Writing/Digital Storytelling Cohort

It’s day 1, week 1 of the 2016 ArtWorks Creative Writing/Digital Storytelling cohort. The cohort consists of 11 student interns (selected from the visual and performing arts cooperatives) interested in telling their stories in digital format. From blogging to creating short documentary films, each intern will design their own innovative project. We will meet for 3 hour sessions 3 days a week over the next 4 weeks. During that period, they’ll bring their projects to life.

So far, I’m already impressed with the interns. Many of them are actively publishing their original stories on digital storytelling apps. Some are already blogging. I’m excited. Let’s see what happens.

For now, here’s a collaborative story we all wrote today called, “The Exquisite Story”. This exercise works like this. 1. sit in a circle  2. each writer begins a story by writing the first line 3. everyone then passes the story they started to the right 4. add one more line 5. repeat steps 3-4 until the story returns to the person who began the first line 6. add a title 6. perform.

Here’s the story I started:

1,001 Oceans 

Once upon a chicken, there was a goat who lived in a boat that had a black hat on its head.  It was a blind goat oblivious to the world around it. He lived in a large farm stretched out across acres of land with strange animals from all over the world. But not just the world–the universe. Like a 3-horned unicorn. It was so pretty I never seen an animal that looked so gorgeous. I couldn’t even see them as meat, they were people. I fell asleep and dreamed of oceans. Waves hitting my feet. Sand under my butt. I cried.