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Creative Writing – Sp 19

Creative Writing – Sp 19

Hey Creative Writers — GOOD NEWS! The Good News submission window is back open through June 1st! — If you missed the opportunity last month, or if you have some new work you’d like to submit, PLEASE DO!

  1. Send your work to laneygoodnews@gmail.com<mailto:laneygoodnews@gmail.com>

MORE DETAILS BELOW.

ALSO, here is a great opportunity to get in the mix with some other writers, and DO SOME WRITING:

Green Windows writing workshops

7 – 10 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month: 

– May 26th, 2019 –
– June 23rd 2019 –
– July 28th, 2019 –

Rock Paper Scissors Collective
(In Warehouse 416)
416 26th St. Suite B

Oakland, CA 94612

$1 – $50, sliding scale.  Additional donations welcome.
Drop-ins welcome. Doors close at 7pm. 

 

 

 

 

We accept the following genres – writers/artists may submit work in more than one genre:
Fiction: 1 piece, no more than 5000 words.
Poetry: 3-5 poems, no more than 50 lines each.
Spoken Word: 1 piece, include transcript, audio file sent as an .mp3, not more than 5MB.
Nonfiction: 1 piece, no more than 5000 words.
Art (including Photography and photos of other visual art): as a .jpg file, not more than 5MB.

  1. In the subject line include the genre of the submission, a title(s) and your full name:

(Example)       Subject: Nonfiction, “A Life Cracked Open,” Nellie Kelema

  1. Also include a short biography of yourself, no more than a paragraph, including your area of study or service, any links to published online work, and/or your background and interests. Write it in the third person:

(Example)   Joey Garcia is a Chicago born poet. He is studying the Culinary Arts at Laney College and plans to open his own Po’ Boy food truck in 2020. He blogs at http://writerboy.wordpress.com. In his spare time he enjoys kayaking on Lake Merritt and yodeling about income inequality in public places.

Send us your good word at laneygoodnews@gmail.com<mailto:laneygoodnews@gmail.com

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Tuesday, May 21, 8am – 10am: Final Class meeting — Please bring a piece to read to the class, whether it’s a ‘greatest hit’ from the semester, or something new that we haven’t seen! Portfolios that have been submitted before this date will be returned, as well as all other coursework.

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For Thursday, May 16: Portfolio submission date, group Q (Quasars!)

Workshop in full effect!

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For Tuesday, May 14: Portfolio submission date, group Z (Zeniths!)

Workshop in full effect!

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For Thursday, May 9: Workshop in full effect!

If you have time, please read the short-story Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut at this link: http://wordfight.org/bnw/bnw-unit_packet.pdf

For a BONUS homework credit, answer some questions: The story runs for the first 5 pages, and on page 6, there is a list of questions. Please write out BRIEF answers (1 or 2 sentences each) to questions 4, 6, 7 & 9.

At this link, you can read while listening to the story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzBnHu6goTw

ALSO: Please take this BRIEF survey about how textbook costs affect your studies/academic success:  http://laney.libwizard.com/student-OER

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For Tuesday,. May 7: Workshop in full effect!

Here are the portfolio guidelines:

A collection of what you feel are your most successful writing ‘products’ will be our class’ final assignment. This creative portfolio should consist of a combination of poems, short stories, and/or plays, according to the following guidelines:

Poems-Plus:                    6 poems (up to 15 pp.) + 1 story OR 1 play

 or…

Superstoryteller:            2 short stories + 3 poems OR 1 play

 or…

Playmaker:                      2 plays + 1 story OR 3 poems

 or…

Triple Combo:               3 poems + 1 play + 1 short story

Portfolio work may be revised versions of work turned in previously, or newer work, or a combination. 

FORMAT:  The page-format of all work should be in accordance with format guidelines on the course syllabus:  Typed, 11-12-point font, poems single-spaced, stories 1.5- or double-spaced.

DUE DATES:  Portfolios are due in May. They must be submitted by the last regular class meeting.

Portfolios will be retrievable between 8 and 10am on our Final Exam day.

Please submit what you believe to be your best work!

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For Thursday, May 2:

Please write a half-page or so about Hills Like White Elephants: What meaning do you find in this story, considering it was written in 1927 by a man who hung around in Europe for several years between World Wars I & II?

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For Tuesday, April 30: Please read the following stories:

Ernest Hemingway: Hills Like White Elephants

https://lirroaringtwenties.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/5/3/14539476/hemingway-hills-like-white-elephants.pdf

Jack London: To Build a Fire

https://americanenglish.state.gov/files/ae/resource_files/to-build-a-fire.pdf

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For Thursday, April 25:

Please strive to submit a new piece of creative work in whichever genre you have written the least of: Poetry, narrative fiction, or playwrighting.

*If you’ll be participating in the Noontime Poetry Open-Mic, be sure to bring the poem you plan to read!

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Tuesday, April 23: –Class cancelled due to instructor illness. 

Please write another Oakland Landmark piece, using one (or more!) of these prompts:

Something you wish you hadn’t seen or heard

Something you wish you would have done differently

Something you did, and are PROUD OF

Something you feel LUCKY to have seen or heard

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For Thursday, April 18:

Assignment Due: Oakland Landmark Piece! — A BRIEF, hopefully powerful/punchy mini-narrative about a SPECIFIC PLACE & TIME IN OAKLAND where you experienced something memorable! — Check out the Neo-Futurists’ Chicago versions below for examples.

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For Tuesday, April 16:

Please push forward with a “Landmark” piece — a short, quick memory piece placed at a specific spot in Oakland, similar to the way these Chicagoans share their ‘landmark’ memories & vignettes:

Here’s an interview with Claudia Castro-Luna: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/navigating-seattles-ever-evolving-streets-poetry

— and here is the Seattle Poetic Grid:  http://www.seattlepoeticgrid.com/

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For Thursday, April 11:

We will look at a couple of cool pieces by the Neo-Futurists — and do something like they did!

The workshop keeps rolling…

***If you have NOT submitted a story or play yet, how ’bout bringing one in?

***Everyone: Blast out a poem!

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Students: Please try to come to this reading featuring Laney College creative writing alum Claudia Castro Luna!

MFA Alumnae Reading & Reception
Tuesday April 9, 2019 | 5:30 pm | Mills Hall Living Room, Mills College: 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA
Reception at 5:15 for newly admitted graduate students, followed by readings

 

Claudia Castro Luna
  • Claudia Castro Luna is the 2018–2020 Washington State Poet Laureate. Her books include the Pushcart nominated Killing Marías and This City. She served as Seattle’s Civic Poet from 2015 to 2017 and created the acclaimed Seattle Poetic Grid. Her poems and nonfiction have appeared in Poetry NorthwestLa BlogaDialogo, and This Is The Place: Women Writing About Home. Claudia is currently working on a memoir, Like Water to Drink, about her experience escaping the civil war in El Salvador.
Renee Macalino Rutledge
Renee Macalino Rutledge
Tuesday April 9, 2019 | 5:30 pm | Mills Hall Living Room
  • Renee Macalino Rutledge’s debut novel The Hour of Daydreams was a finalist for the Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices award, a Foreword INDIES Gold Winner, and 35 over 35 winner. Her work can be found in ThMarginsMutha MagazineWomen Writers Women’s BooksFord City AnthologyLiterary HubNecessary FictionColorlinesTAYO Literary Magazine, and others. While at Mills, Rutledge served as the fiction editor for 580 Split.

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April 1 – 6 is Laney’s/Peralta’s SPRING BREAK!

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Sunday, March 31st : Deadline for submissions to the Good News literary &^ arts magazine:

Issue One, Spring 2016

— And here is the Call for Submissions: deadline March 31 at 11:59:59!

The Laney Good News Call for Submissions–Spring 2019

***** This semester’s creative writing students will earn extra homework credit just for submitting!

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Free Thursday Performance !!!!!
4:30pm at the Laney Theater
We Are Pussy Riot Or Everything Is P.R. 
By Barbara Hammond

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For Thursday, March 28th:

We will push on with the workshop — and maybe look at some of the poetry responses too.

If you haven’t submitted much creative work yet, this would be a great day to do so!

*** Here’s a cool poem by a Laney alum, Ha Kiet Chau:

https://www.upthestaircase.org/ha-kiet-chau.html

You can read more of her work here: http://hapoetryblog.tumblr.com/

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Tuesday, March 26th: Workshopping some new poetry!

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For Tuesday, March 19:

Please see March 12th & 14th — Responses required!

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For Thursday, March 14: Please hit the poems posted under March 12th, and do the writing assignment is you haven’t already!

Also, please read the Mary Oliver Poetry Handbook sections distributed in class.

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For Tuesday, March 12:

Please read the following poems, and select ONE of them to write about: Then write a roughly half-page response explaining why this poem ‘speaks to you.’

“What Do Women Want?” by Kim Addonizio

“Original Monkey” by Dean Young

— three more poems by Dean Young: http://jacketmagazine.com/19/you1.html

(To see/hear the poets reading the poems below, click on the little red TV icon on the webpage that opens.)

Citizenship” by Javier Zamora

Dear Melissa:” by TC Tolbert

Facing US” by Amanda Johnston

Legacy” by Reginald Dwayne Betts

Landscape with Written Statement” by Lynn Melnick

Elegy in Translation” by Meg Day

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For Thursday, March 7:

We will workshop Ryan’s, Sami’s & Daniel’s work, held over from Tuesday.

Cdub is working hard to get caught up with reading everything submitted — but KEEP IT COMING!

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For Tuesday, March 5:

  • Please read the plays and poems distributed on the 28th: Daniel’s and Sami’s plays, and Coy’s and Ryan’s poems — and feel free to get all inspired by one or more of them, and write your own bad-ass piece of writing! –If you need copies, email me, and we’ll try to arrange a hand-off…
  • If you haven’t typed up and turned something in lately, PLEASE DO!
  • And if you’re hungry for a good read, check out the stories we’re reading in the American Lit class by clicking on that class’ webpage link! –Our current fascination is with fiction writer Flannery O’Connor. Here’s a link to one of her short-story collections:

http://www.boyd.k12.ky.us/userfiles/447/Classes/28660/A%20Good%20Man%20Is%20Hard%20To%20Find.pdf

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Thursday, Feb. 28:

Please read the two narrative pieces for our workshop, by Angelica and Sami.

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Tuesday, Feb. 26:

Sorry for the late posting! –In class, we will discuss “The Flowers” and “The School” — then dig back into our workshop with Ta’ammi’s name piece, and Pete’s character narrative, and Sandra’s best/worst job ever!

Keep writing That Thing — or start another Thing!

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For Thursday, Feb. 21:

Keep the stories & plays pushing forward!

Please read the two pieces distributed in class for workshop.

And please hit the two stories for Feb. 19, if you haven’t already!

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Tuesday, Feb. 19:

SO SORRY about the late posting! I added this week’s (Feb 12 & 14) assignments, but didn’t hit the “Update” button!

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For Thursday, Feb. 7:

Please read VIVARIUM by Chris Weidenbach (opens as a Word doc.)

And…

Push forward with your character sketch and a POTENTIAL story or play:

  • Sketch out at least ONE character.
  • Look for CONFLICT possibilities!
  • Think about potential CATALYST moments or events: Something NEW is happening… Someone learns something… A problem interrupts your character’s life…

See you in class!

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Laney Part-Time Job Fair   Thursday, Feb. 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. @ the Quad
Bring your resume and learn about job opportunities for students on campus.
For more information contact Laney Employment Services at 510-464-3352. Flyer.

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Assignment for Tuesday, Feb. 5:

  • Please fill out the Character Sketch for ONE PERSON who stands out vividly in your life/memory. No need to start writing a story or play yet, but feel free to do so if you wish!

Character-Sketch

Also, feel free to sketch out more than one character — using the list on the form, but putting your notes in a notebook.

  • Typed creative work is always welcome — poem, story, play — Bring it on!

In class, the work that’s been submitted will be returned; I will ask students for permission to copy their work for the class; and we will do some writing!!!

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Assignment for Thursday, Jan. 31:

Please REVIEW Barbie-Q by Sandra Cisneros. (Print copies distributed in class.)

OPTIONAL: TYPE UP something you’ve started writing in class, like the “That’s more than 12 items” piece, or maybe one of the possible pieces described under Tues Jan 29!

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Assignment for Tuesday, Jan. 29:

Try writing something modeled after Hughes’ Salvation or Cisneros’ My Name — or both! You can bring your story/poem/essay in handwritten or typed form, and you don’t need to hand it in; just be ready to share it with a partner or small group. –Of course, if you wish, you can submit a typed copy for the instructor’s feedback and potential inclusion in a future workshop packet!

Here is a ‘template’ Cisneros’ piece offers for our own piece of writing:

Six VERY SHORT paragraphs:

  1. what my name means
  2. where my name comes from–my ‘namesake’
  3. a little history about my namesake or the source of my name
  4. questioning/wondering about what my namesake’s life was like
  5. what others think of my name; how others pronounce it; comparison with someone else’s name
  6. some possible ways I might re-name myself

For a story modeled after Hughes, give Salvation another read, and then think of your own story that could be told using some similar features as Hughes’: repetition, parallel structure, brevity, suspense, first-person narration, description using multiple senses, dialogue, etc.

In terms of subject matter, maybe you have a story to tell about your own ‘coming-of-age’ experience, or a ‘myth-busting’ revelation, or something in real life that did not at all match with your expectations. If so, it is probably worth telling – with or without following Hughes’ stylistic example.

Didn’t get the print copies in class?

Here is the link to Sandra Cisneros’ piece “My Name”– a great model for writing your own real or imagined piece about your name — or a name for a character you dream up: https://genius.com/Sandra-cisneros-my-name-from-the-house-on-mango-street-annotated

And here’s a link to  Salvation by Langston Hughes — an AWESOME STORY that only takes a few powerful paragraphs to send a ripple through the reader and the room!


INTRODUCTION:

This website will serve the English 10/210A&B class taught by me — Chris Weidenbach (Cdub) — at Laney College in Spring 2019.

The site is being constructed and will be ready for prime-time by the first day of classes.

The class will focus on reading and writing good poetry, fiction (short-stories) and drama (very short plays).

After looking at strong models of creative literature, the class will build their own written works, and as the semester goes along, we will focus more and more on the writing WE are doing!

Reading published work: My goal as an instructor is to spare students the pain (perhaps injury?) of reading anything that isn’t somehow fresh, relevant, vital and inspirational. A lot of dull, non-juicy literature has been published over the years, and we will NOT be reading it! Students will drive discussion by expressing their opinions of works along with their personal standards for literary/artistic quality: What STUDENTS like, and why, and what they learn from various texts, and how those texts offer insight to other people — these are the questions I will be asking students to consider and discuss and write about.

Our game-plan will require the acquisition of NO TEXTBOOKS! –We will build a substantial part of the reading list together, and most readings will be distributed in print, although some will be posted as online links, and students will need to access them and read them on-screen or make their own print copies.

Feel free to explore what is posted below, but please note that all information below this introduction is from a PREVIOUS semester!

I look forward to meeting with students on Jan. 22nd!

–Cdub

SYLLABUS-CREATIVE-WRITING-SPRING-2019


Below here is OLD STUFF!


SYLLABUS-CREATIVE-WRITING-SPRING-2018

Assignments & Announcements — and POEMS!

Hey Class: I just found out about this lovely tradition at San Jose State — Check it out! Fame awaits you!

http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/

Tuesday, May 22nd: 8AM – 9:50 — Pastries served at 8am!

Final class meeting for a round of readings and a survey about the class. –Cdub will bring pastries from A Taste of Denmark. Bring your own coffee, tea, juice, etc!

Please prepare to read/share at least one piece of writing you wrote during this semester! (Due to time constraints, please select up to three pages.)

IF YOU HAVEN’T YET SUBMITTED AT LEAST ONE SHORT PLAY, ONE SHORT-STORY, AND THREE-TO-FIVE POEMS, PLEASE DO! –AND EITHER EMAIL THEM TO ME, OR BRING COPIES ON THE 22nd!

For those who dug it in class, but want to spend some more time thinking about it, here’s a link to Ari’s poem, “Me vs. You: 


Tues & Thurs, May 15 & 17:

Last two workshop classes!

Check out the other translations of the poem Peter translated:

http://www.johnderbyshire.com/Readings/yuexiaduzhuo.html


For Thursday, May 10th:

Reading: Please read Roger’s and Will’s stories for our workshop. Extra copies are outside the instructor’s office. –You can listen to Roger reading his story here: https://oneofgods.com/

— We will also look at poems by Peter, Sienna, and others. –We only have two more workshop days after Thursday.

Writing: Write what you like — or what you haven’t yet done in terms of the three genres: poetry, fiction, and playwrighting.

Remember, SHORT IS FINE! –The haiku written in class last Thursday were INSPIRED!!! Type ’em up!


For Tuesday, May 1st – Thurs May 3rd: 

Please complete and submit a print copy of a piece in any genre you haven’t submitted work in yet: Poetry, Short Story, Short (or long!) Play.

Everyone should submit at least one story and one play during the semester, and five to ten pages of poetry.

For fiction writing, here are some cool prompts that will likely unleash some inspiration:

50 creative writing prompts to enrich your craft

As usual, feel free to email the instructor work for quick feedback! cweidenbach@peralta.edu


PLEASE SUBMIT TO THE GOOD NEWS! Instructions and the submission email address are here:

Good-News-Submissions_Spring-2018

The NEW Deadline is April 30th just before Midnight!


AWESOME OPPORTUNITY!!!
Monday April 30th at 7pm
Revolution Books
2444 Durant Ave. Berkeley (near Telegraph Ave.)
An Evening with Joyce Carol Oates, Monday, April 30th, 7 p.m. 

For Wednesday, April 26th:

WANTED: Poems! 

— Suggested strategy: Read three or five of the poems posted below, to get in the mood, and then write something new.

Two more poems by Reginald Dwayne Betts

For the City that Nearly Broke Me

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/city-nearly-broke-me

I’m Learning Nothing This Night

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/im-learning-nothing-night

five poems by Maya Angelou:

Phenomenal Woman

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail /48985

Still I Rise

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/still-i-rise

Caged Bird

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48989

Harlem Hopscotch

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/58212

Alone

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/alone

“Life is Fine” by Langston Hughes

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/life-fine

“Booker T. and W.E.B.” by Dudley Randall

http://allpoetry.com/-Booker-T.-and-W.E.B.-

“Whitey On The Moon” by Gil Scott-Heron

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/gilscottheron/whiteyonthemoon.html

Citizenship” by Javier Zamora

Dear Melissa:” by TC Tolbert

Facing US” by Amanda Johnston

Legacy” by Reginald Dwayne Betts

Landscape with Written Statement” by Lynn Melnick

Elegy in Translation” by Meg Day

Monday, April 24:

READ/RESPOND: Please read the poems posted below, and if one of them SPEAKS to you, write a poem of your own that either imitates that poem, or responds to it in some other way.  — Don’t JUDGE your poetry — JUST LET ‘ER RIP! (Other writing is ALWAYS WELCOME — See April 19th for suggestions!)

“Spring and All” by William Carlos Williams

“What Do Women Want?” by Kim Addonizio

“Original Monkey” by Dean Young

— three more poems by Dean Young: http://jacketmagazine.com/19/you1.html

(To see/hear the poets reading the poems below, click on the little red TV icon on the webpage that opens.)

Citizenship” by Javier Zamora

Dear Melissa:” by TC Tolbert

Facing US” by Amanda Johnston

Legacy” by Reginald Dwayne Betts

Landscape with Written Statement” by Lynn Melnick

Elegy in Translation” by Meg Day


For April 19th:

Bring in some fresh poetry!

Or — Bring in that other thing you wrote! — 12 items or less? My Name? A short play with no dialogue?

Workshop queue: Ian’s play, Matteo’s play (not yet distributed), and possibly another piece or two.  — And if you have some ideas about how Shadow’s play should / could END or where it should go next, put your ideas down on paper, and share them with him/us!


April 17th:

GREAT WORKSHOP on Shadow’s dramedy!


April 12:

Workshop on Ian’s “12 items of less” play, and Shadow’s play-in-progress, “… Stay for the Funeral.” –Extra copies are available outside Cdub’s office, Tower #550.

April is Poetry Month!

Please write freely, and check out these poems:

 


April 1 – 7 is Laney/Peralta’s SPRING BREAK — No Class Meetings this week. And no assignments for this class, but it’s a good time to catch up, and do some writing!


For Thursday, March 29:

Please read the second half of Mike’s ‘Jason Sweet’ story, and Ian’s play. (Copies of Ian’s play are outside the instructor’s office, T-550.)

Also, please check out the poems at the top of this page if you have time.


For Tuesday, March 27:

Writing: Creative work is welcome as soon as you type it up!

Reading: Please be ready for the reading quiz on “A Good Man is Hard to Find” (the link is below under another date).

Also, please read and annotate Mike’s expanded story, and be sure you’ve read Peter’s story from last week. Extra copies will be available in class. –Sorry they aren’t available in the instructor’s office envelope — And sorry about the late posting!


THURS  MARCH  22: Laney Theatre’s spring show opens with a preview at 7pm — CHECK IT OUT!!!!! http://laney.edu/chris-weidenbach/extra-credit-opportunities-2/


 Thursday, March 22:  * No Class Meeting * Just act natural. (Laney has a Professional Development Day on this day.)


For Tuesday, March 20:

WRITE THAT THING YOU STARTED! “My Name”… “That’s more than 12 items”… a play with no dialogue… a play with GREAT dialogue!

READ: Be sure to read the story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” under March 13. We will have a reading quiz on that story.

WORKSHOP: And be sure to read Peter’s prose piece, which was distributed in class on the 15th — extra copies are available outside Cdub’s office, Tower 550.

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For Thursday, March 15:

Everyone, please be sure to read A Good Man is Hard to Find, posted under March 13 — and why not type up your “My Name” piece? –I bet it’s GREAT!!!

For Tuesday, March 13th:

WRITE: Keep the GREAT stories (and/or plays!) coming!!!

Here is the link to Sandra Cisneros’ piece “My Name”– a great model for writing your own real or imagined piece about your name — or a name for a character you dream up:

https://genius.com/Sandra-cisneros-my-name-from-the-house-on-mango-street-annotated

READ: Please read A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor, and as much as you can (It’s a  l o n g  one!) of the second story, The Displaced Person. –The story A Good Man is Hard to Find is the first story in this book of stories with the same title — I’m only asking you to read the title-story! –The book includes The Displaced Person as well. Also please note: O’Connor was NOT a clueless racist — but some of her characters are, and their language is degrading and offensive. 

http://www.boyd.k12.ky.us/userfiles/447/Classes/28660/A%20Good%20Man%20Is%20Hard%20To%20Find.pdf

http://faculty.gordonstate.edu/lsanders-senu/The%20Displaced%20Person.pdf

–You can also watch a film of The D.P. — which begins at the 1:15 mark after an intro by Henry Fonda:

https://youtu.be/NTRXgV64w64

 

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For Thursday, March 8:

1–Please read Ari’s short-story, distributed in class on the 6th. A few extra copies are in the envelope outside office T-550.

2–Anyone who hasn’t yet submitted a story — or at least the start of a story — should do so for this day’s class meeting!

3–Keep writing that thing you’ve been working on — or start something new!

For Tuesday, March 6:

Reading-plus: Please read Mike’s and Keith’s stories for our workshop — and make notes on your copies!

Writing: If you haven’t yet submitted a story, please do so THIS WEEK!   –If you’re ‘stuck’, try starting with one of the two automatic-conflict lines we wrote with in class last week:

1–“That’s more than twelve items.”

2–“I’m going to need to see some ID.”

And if you’re ready to start dreaming up a play, try these prompts:

1–Write a short play featuring ONE CHARACTER, and NO DIALOGUE.

2–Write a short play featuring TWO CHARACTERS, and NO DIALOGUE.

3–Write a short play featuring TWO CHARACTERS, and FUN, ZESTY DIALOGUE!

Thursday, March 1:

READ: Please read Shadow’s play scene, “Stay for the Funeral (excerpt)” to prepare for the workshop — Extra copies are outside Cdub’s office, Tower #550.

–Please write some notes on your copy, too — of Shadow’s, Simone’s, Sakai’s & Will’s stories. Cdub will be collecting these and giving credit where it’s due before delivering them to their authors. 

 

WRITE: If you haven’t yet submitted a story, please bring AT LEAST a half-page ‘treatment’ or ‘pre-summary’ of what you are thinking about writing. You can tell about the main character, and maybe others; you can explain the situation that is happening in the story — even if you don’t know how you will end it!

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For Tuesday, Feb. 27: 

READ: Please read Simone’s story (untitled) to prepare for workshopping! — Extra copies are outside Cdub’s office, Tower #550.

–Please write some notes on your copy, too — of Simone’s, Sakai’s & Will’s stories. Cdub will be collecting these and giving credit where it’s due before delivering them to their authors. 

READ: Please read Cdub’s play V I V A R I U M — This is a Word document version. 

You can also read it on-screen at the Documents & Links page.

WRITE: If you haven’t yet submitted a story, please bring AT LEAST a half-page ‘treatment’ or ‘pre-summary’ of what you are thinking about writing. You can tell about the main character, and maybe others; you can explain the situation that is happening in the story — even if you don’t know how you will end it!

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For Thursday, Feb. 22:

WRITE: Push forward with your short-story –Don’t wait for ‘the perfect idea’ — Just MAKE YOUR STORY START MOVING, one line at a time!

Drop right into the conflict — Abel is tied to the post, getting lashed. CONFLICT! (Good job, Sakai!)

Remember: SHOW, DON’T TELL! ‘Paint’ your characters. Show them in motion. Actions, gestures, and facial expressions give us a sense of who people are!

Most importantly: Put your main character(s) into situations where they have to ACT, REACT, & MAKE CHOICES & DECISIONS.

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For Tuesday. Feb. 20:

WRITE: Push forward with a short-story!

READING: Please read Sakai’s story “Child of Hellfire” (distributed in class, and available outside Cdub’s office, Tower 550).

Also please read through the end of Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin:

http://swcta.net/moore/files/2012/02/sonnysblues.pdf


For Thursday, Feb. 15:

WRITING: Don’t wait for ‘the perfect idea’ — Just start writing a story!

Poems are always welcome, too. We will do some specific poetry writing exercises very soon!

READING: Please read up to the bottom of page 135 of Sonny’s Blues:

Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin http://swcta.net/moore/files/2012/02/sonnysblues.pdf

Look for the DESCRIPTIONS, GESTURES, & SPOKEN DIALOGUE  that make the characters come to life — especially Sonny.

____________________

Tuesday, Feb. 13:

WRITE: Start writing a story!

You can use the stories we’ve read as models. Start with a character, or a situation involving conflict or opportunity.

— And the SIX people who volunteered to go first, please bring in or email a typed copy to the instructor as soon as you have a completed draft! (Please turn this in by either Tuesday or Thursday.)

READ: Please at least START READING this story :

Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin http://swcta.net/moore/files/2012/02/sonnysblues.pdf

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For Thursday, Feb. 8:

Use this Character Sketch template to build out one of your five potential characters:

Character-Sketch-and-Playwriting-Project

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For Tuesday, Feb. 6:

  1. Make a list of FIVE PEOPLE you have known who stand out VIVIDLY in your mind — and brief notes about why they stand out to you.

2. And LAST CHANCE: Submit one of your Roll Call poems — or more than one! –Handwritten is fine.

 

For THURSday, Feb 1:

Reading: Please read this story by David Sedaris. https://sites.google.com/site/mendomundo/home/you-cant-kill-the-rooster

Suggestion 1: Listen to Sedaris read the story with some playful (?) background music and his sister Amy speaking their brother’s dialogue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExcpcPZKWpU

Suggestion 2: Print it out if you want to have a copy to refer to in class, and maybe ‘annotate’ it (highlights, underlining, notes) to prepare to share brilliant observations with our class!

Explicit Language Advisory: The story is FULL of profane language — it’s one of the main reasons Sedaris wrote the story, in fact. If you find this offensive, please push through anyway, and see if the ending ‘redeems’ the story.

Writing: Please submit at least ONE “Roll Call” verse — and maybe share it out-loud with the class on Tuesday!

Special first-week catch-up opportunity: If anyone hasn’t completed the Jan. 25th assignment, PLEASE DO for Tuesday the 29th!


For THURS JAN 25:

1. Please read* Salvation by Langston Hughes

and A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin (pronounced “show-pan”)

SUGGESTION — READ THEM AT THE SPEED OF SPEECH, OR EVEN OUT-LOUD!

2. Also, write a one-page-max (1.5-space if you type) response to ONE of the stories, focusing on something similar that you may have experienced. — You can instead write about what you like about it, or don’t like, or what interpretations you come up with. Be relaxed and focused as you write, and don’t worry about ‘doing it right’. Just do it!


(Below this text is info from a previous semester. Feel free to check it out.)

Assignments & Announcements

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 14TH:

8am – 9:50am — Please note the hideous early start time!

Final class meeting, and final creative workshop.

One piece is too long to copy — Please read it before Wednesday’s class meeting! —s-gerhard-heaven-is-a-truck

–If you would like to submit something for the class’ Anthology, PLEASE DO! –Everyone who submits a piece for this anthology will get a copy of the anthology! –Due date: Monday at 3pm.

If you want to drop off a print copy, you can bring it to my office, T-550. Or you can email me an attached Word document or .pdf. –The deadline is timed so that I can get copies made, so it will have to be a firm deadline!

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No class meeting on Monday, Dec. 12th.

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Mon, Dec. 5th-Wed, Dec. 7th:

Keep the good creative work coming! –Please put special emphasis on whichever form(s) you have not yet submitted work in: Poetry, Short-Story, or Short Plays.

Email your work to the instructor if you’d like to get some quick feedback or suggestions: cweidenbach@peralta.edu

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Mon, Nov. 28 & Wed, Nov. 30: Workshopping student writing

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Monday, Nov. 21 and Wednesday, Nov. 23:

  1. In class: Creative workshops of student writing. — Please read the packets ahead of class, and be sure to bring all packets to class. 

2. Please consider submitting creative work in any genre: poetry, fiction, short plays — especially if you haven’t submitted any creative work lately.

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For Wednesday, Nov. 16th:

Keep writing! –If you haven’t submitted creative work for a while, please bring something to class — A poem, a play using the “That’s more than 12 items” prompt, a “landmark” story, or anything in the poetry, short-story or short play forms, perhaps modeled after one of the published pieces we’ve read.

We will continue workshopping student work with the current packet, and a new packet will be distributed.

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For Monday, Nov. 14th:

Please read and annotate the packet of student writing distributed on Nov. 9th.

— Extra packets will be available outside the instructor’s office, Tower #550.

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For Wednesday, Nov. 9th:

Please read and annotate the packet of student writing distributed on Nov. 7th.

— Extra packets will be available outside the instructor’s office, Tower #550.

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For Monday, Nov. 7th:

Please write notes on the workshop pieces, to prepare for our continuing workshop.

Also please read the pieces by Sandra Cisneros, Tony Hoagland, and the Neo-Futurists distributed in class on the 2nd. –Extra copies are available in the envelope outside D-Dub’s office, Tower #550.

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For Wednesday, Nov. 2:

Creative work has been flowing in . . .  The workshop is primed for action!!!!

Please read and annotate the packet of student writing distributed on Oc.t 31.

— If you didn’t get a packet, they are available outside the instructor’s office, Tower #550.

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For Monday, Oct. 31st:

Best costume wins a KEFA gift certificate!

Please read On Death — a play by (anonymous) distributed in class on the 26th. –If you didn’t get a copy, copies are available outside C-Dub’s office, Tower #550.

Also please read the following five poems by Maya Angelou:

Phenomenal Woman

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail /48985

Still I Rise

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/still-i-rise

Caged Bird

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48989

Harlem Hopscotch

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/58212

Alone

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/alone

In class, we will also look at this list of poetic characteristics:

poetry-characteristics-terminology (pdf)

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Wednesday, October 26th:

  1. Keep the good writing coming! –Don’t stress; just WRITE! Type that weird poem up! Start that story, and bring a print copy to class.
  2. We will workshop and ‘staged readings’ of “Dreaming…”, and Evelyn’s play, and Sam’s screenplay — C-Dub will bring copies to class, including extra copies of “Dreaming…”
  3. In addition to these student writing models, a few pages of poetry and drama will be distributed in class.

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Monday, October 24th:

Writing: Catch up with creative work: If you haven’t been hitting the one-page-per-week pace, then give me something: a draft, a trifle, an epic tale, a screenplay treatment, a vignette…

Reading: In class, we will look at this list of poetic characteristics: poetry-characteristics-terminology (pdf) — and apply our sense and literary terminology to the poems posted under October 17th

____________________________

Friday, October 21st: Another Extra-Credit opportunity: 

Dr. Joy DeGruy in the Laney Theater, 10am – Noon. –Just GO!

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Wednesday, October 19th, 1-3pm & 3-5pm:

Extra-Credit opportunity: 

Pre-Election Teach-In on the context of relevant issues (housing security/gentrification, police violence & community oversight of police, and tax-based funding of public education) that are on the ballot this November:

http://laney.libguides.com/c.php?g=569988&p=3928526&preview=90bd5f2239c9c4726f0494c25a4d2a4f

_________________________

In Class Wednesday the 19th:

We will workshop pieces by Harry, Eleanor and Samario, and “Dreaming…”

Time-permitting, we will spend some time identifying the poetic power at play in the poems assigned for this week (see Oct. 17).

poetry-characteristics-terminology (pdf)

Student evaluations conducted by our guest, Ms. Elizabeth Cowan

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Monday, October 17th:

Extra-Credit opportunity: 

Excellent tragic musical-comedy theater production: “Freedomland” by the S.F. Mime Troupe — http://www.sfmt.org/index.php

Time & Place: Music at 6:30, showtime 7pm at the Laney Theater (Odell Johnson Performing Arts Center)

Cost: $5 donation for students!   –$20 donation for the general public

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For Monday, October 17th:

First of all: GREAT JOB WEDNESDAY “WRIGHTING” PLAYS WITH NO SPEAKING!!! –THE STUFF PEOPLE SHARED WAS BRILLIANT!!!!!!!

Okay, here are two & a half assignments:

  1. Read the student writing distributed on Wed the 12th, and write some notes on your copies to prepare for the workshop. –Extra packets will be available outside C-Dub’s office, Tower #550 by 10am Thursday the 13th.
  2. Please hit these links, and read these poems. –Some have a little speaker icon that lets you hear the author reading/reciting the poem:

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/long-deployment

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/carrying-our-words

http://caniborrowyourfire.blogspot.com/2011/04/untapped-glimmerance-or-149-page-acid.html

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/summer-morn-new-hampshire

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/where-you-live

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/48989

2.5. If you haven’t yet sent C-Dub a poem-link, please do so before it’s truly too late! cweidenbach@peralta.edu

Writing suggestion:

Try writing a short play using the following guidelines/limitations:

  1. Dream up a ‘play’ involving TWO CHARACTERS, but NO VERBAL ACTIVITIES. –Use visuals, placement, movement, gesture, facial expression, timing, props, lighting, sound design, etc to convey ideas!
  2. Dream up a ‘play’ with NO ACTORS PERFORMING ONSTAGE — or in the audience. –Use props, lighting, sound design, and possibly a ‘voice-over’ verbal component to create some kind of engaging performance/presentation.

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Wednesday, October 12th:

Please be sure you’ve read and/or listened to David Sedaris’ story (see Oct. 10).

We will workshop “Dreaming…” and a couple of new pieces.

See you in class! –C-Dub

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For Monday, October 10th:

1. Please read David Sedaris’ You Can’t Kill the Rooster

WARNING: The assigned story makes frequent use of “adult language”, a.k.a. cuss words. If you find this language offensive, the instructor apologizes, but asks you to read it anyway, and think about why the writer chose to use such words.

Suggestion: Read the above link for Sadaris while listening to this recorded reading:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExcpcPZKWpU

2. ALSO: We will continue workshopping student writing, starting with “Dreaming…”, and Chris B’s poem “An Unauthorized Opinion”.

3. Another new packet of student work will be distributed for Wednesday’s workshop.

____________________

For Wednesday, Oct. 5:

We will resume our workshop. Please bring the workshop packet from last Wednesday. We will also have some new pieces to look at!

And keep going with your short-stories (or short plays). Don’t worry about finishing them; just get things cooking, and trust that the story will take shape and lead somewhere interesting — and maybe even surprise YOU!

___________________

For Monday, Oct. 3:

WRITE: Keep pushing on your short-stories — The sooner you submit yours, the sooner you can get feedback on it! –Feel free to write it in the form of a short play.

–Creative work in any form can be submitted once it’s typed and printed. –If you haven’t yet submitted anything, please DO!

READ: Please read — if you haven’t already — the instructor’s play Vivarium (.pdf), which also is posted a little way down the Documents & Links page:

http://www.laney.edu/chris-weidenbach/creative-writing/creative-writing-documents-links/

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Wednesday, Sept. 28:

Please read the workshop packet distributed in class on the 26th! We will workshop Chris B’s poems, as well as two or three other pieces that are alive and kicking, which will be distributed in class on Monday the 26th.

  • Extra workshop packets will be available outside the instructor’s office, Tower #550, until just a few minutes before class. –If you weren’t in class on the 26th, or didn’t get a packet, please come and get one by Tuesday night!

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For Monday, Sept. 26:

Read: Please read the instructor’s play Vivarium, which is posted a little way down the Documents & Links page:

http://www.laney.edu/chris-weidenbach/creative-writing/creative-writing-documents-links/

Write: Good work on Wednesday with the character sketches and conversations about our potential short-stories!

For Monday, please do some dreaming: Where’s the CONFLICT in your character’s life journey? –And what is an inflection point — a possible incident or decision point — that could push your story into motion? Why is the story happening now? –Make some notes in your notebook for this class, or go ahead and start writing the story.

–In Salvation, the inflection point is “there was a big revival at my Auntie Reed’s church.” In A Pair of Silk Stockings, the inflection point is the unexplained possession of an extra fifteen dollars.

  • Secret sauce: Think hard about realizing your character as a WHOLE PERSON, with complexity and contradictions and the nearly universal yearning to be happy, and find a respected place in society.

–On Monday and/or Wednesday, I will ask everyone to sign up for short-story submission dates, or deadlines, so that we will have a workable flow of work coming into our workshop.

_____________________

For Wednesday, Sept. 21: 

Please complete this Character Sketch (character-sketch-and-playwriting-project) of one of the people you thought of in class on Monday the 19th, or since. What relative, friend, co-worker or nemesis do you think of as a vibrant, interesting character? –Here’s the Character Sketch in .pdf form: character-sketch-and-playwriting-project (.pdf)

–And in your notebook, please have a list of THREE people (including your Char. Sketch person) who have made a significant impact on you, and might be good characters to build stories around. –We’ll bounce these off each other in small groups on Wednesday, and try to decide which character(s) to write more about!

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For Monday, Sept. 19:

Please read Chris Brown’s poems distributed in class on the 14th. –If you didn’t get ’em, there are a few copies next to my office door, Tower 550. Write some notes on your copy, to be ready for the workshop, and to give back to Chris!

Please also push through on a Landmarks piece! –See below for details.

And please email me a link to a poem published online that you’d like our class to read. I’ve only gotten three so far! –See below for details.

____________________

For Wednesday, Sept 14:

Look for a “Fabulous Reality” — or two, or ten! — between Monday and Wednesday, and write down some notes about each one: anything you observe in the course of a ‘normal’ day, but that gets your attention and/or causes you to think beyond casual observation.

Also, Watch/Listen, then write: Check out this short piece by the Neo-Futurists’ Chicago cast, and try writing one quick monologue piece — about Oakland or the East Bay — that could fit into a similar ensemble ‘playlet’. –Your piece would be similar to ONE of the fifteen or so short segments that make up this very short ‘play’:

__________________

For Monday, Sept. 12:

Please email the instructor with the word “poem” in the subject line, and ONE LINK to ONE GOOD POEM that you would like our class to read. –Just copy and paste the web address (the “URL”) into the message window, and hit enter, then send the email, and the link should work! Poets.org is a good site for browsing through poetry. Or search for a poem you already know, and find a good, readable version online.

If you haven’t submitted any creative work, please try to get something typed up, and submit it! –A poem? –A journal-type half-page? –A short, short, short story?

We will FINALLY discuss A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin, and then do some in-class writing.

__________________________________________

For Wednesday, Sept. 7: Sorry for the confusion — no assignment for this day!

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For Labor Day Weekend:

No assignment until Wednesday —  but, if you want to take a plunge into great poetic language and artistic endeavor, check out one or more of the following:

FREE:  Schooled by the San Francisco Mime Troupe: http://www.sfmt.org/schedule/index.php

FREE:  A Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare: http://www.sfshakes.org/programs/free-shakespeare-in-the-park/summer-2016-schedule

Pay-What-You-Can Sept 1-6: Caught at the Shotgun Players theater: https://shotgunplayers.org/Online/caught

$20: Collective Acts: A Black Arts Theater Festival in downtown Oakland: http://www.lowerbottomplayaz.com/now-showing.php

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For Wednesday, August 31:

  • Please be sure you have read A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin (pronounced “show-pan”)
  • If you have some new creative work you’d like to submit, please do! –Creative work should be typed and formatted as mentioned in the syllabus. –Basically, ‘normal’ font, poetry single-spaced, prose (stories/non-poetry) 1/5-spaced.

Monday, August 29th:

Please read* Salvation by Langston Hughes

and A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin (pronounced “show-pan”)

SUGGESTION — READ THEM AT THE SPEED OF SPEECH, OR EVEN OUT-LOUD!

Here are the sites we looked at briefly on Wednesday — Feel free to play around with them:

Writing the Natural Way

http://shortstoryideas.herb.me.uk/index.html

–The correct syllabus is now posted under Wed Aug. 23rd, in both Word and .pdf.

________________________

For Wednesday, August 23rd:

The first homework assignment is to read the course syllabus, and make a note of any questions or concerns:

SYLLABUS-CREATIVE-WRITING-FALL-2016–PDF

__________________________

Monday, August 21st:

Hopefully we all leave Monday’s first class meeting feeling enthused about that thing we wrote in class!

_________________________________________

(Below this line is information from last Spring.)

_________________________________________

______________________

Final Class Meeting:  Tuesday, May 24th, 8 – 10AM*

Students are invited to come for a final round of readings, and possibly some brief workshopping of a couple of pieces.

Please plan to read something you wrote this semester that you feel good about!

*Please note the early start time.

______________________

For Thursday, May 19th:

 

This will be the last day to submit creative work for possible workshopping during Finals Week.

We will be workshopping several pieces of student writing, including Brendan’s screenplay.

______________________

For Tuesday, May 17th:

Please read before class the two full-size pieces by Brendan and Saul. –Copies are in two manilla envelopes outside the instructor’s office door, Tower-550. Making notes on your copies will prepare you for the workshop.

If you can’t get copies before class, please email the instructor for a .pdf copy.

______________________

Thursday, May 5th:

Please be sure you have read the Gary Soto story “Looking for Work” and this ‘new’ one (https://archive.org/stream/TheMostDangerousGame_129/danger.txt) before class, and come ready to discuss ways you might use these stories for inspiration or models to write your own stories, poems or plays:

Also, please read through the student work distributed in class on the 3rd, starting with Claudia’s story “ICE”. Annotate them, and be ready to rock in the workshop!

–If you need copies, some extra packets are in a manila envelope outside the instructor’s office door, Tower-550.

_________________________

For Tues., April 26th:

Please read the story “Looking for Work” by Gary Soto — you can download a copy in Word from this website:

http://www.robeson.k12.nc.us/cms/lib6/NC01000307/Centricity/Domain/2821/LookingForWork.doc

–And think about telling a story — or maybe writing a short play — about your childhood, following Soto’s example, or Brittany’s “Recyclin’” piece. –Was there something you used to do with your friends or siblings or cousins that somehow shaped your sense of who you are?

–Please plan to submit creative work in whatever genre you have not yet submitted work in: Poems, short stories, short plays.

_________________________

Thursday, April 21: Check out the Sustainability Festival by the Garden/Estuary — and the Wellness Fair on the Quad! 

_________________________

For Thursday, April 21:

Workshop

Real stories that shaped us

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For Tuesday, April 19th:

Please plan to submit creative work in whatever genre you have not yet submitted work in: Poems, short stories, short plays. –Don’t wait until a piece is ‘perfect’. –As we have seen, some works-in-progress have been amazingly impactful and exciting to read!

____________________________

REMINDER: The GOOD NEWS submission deadline is THIS FRIDAY at 11:59:59pm! –The Call for Submissions is above, with guidelines and directions for sending your work.

______________________

For Thursday, April 14th:

We will keep rolling with the workshop packet already distributed.

____________________________

Tuesday, April 12th:

  • Important: Be sure you have read through the student work distributed in class on the 5th, including Jamie’s story, Monae’s play, and the four poems by Andres, RJ, Brittani and Harris. Annotate them, and be ready to rock in the workshop!
  • More student work will be distributed on the 12th for workshop on the 14th.
  • Submissions to Good News are due Friday the 15th before Midnight! –See the “Call for Submissions” above.

__________________________

For Thursday, April 7th:

  • Keep writing! Whatcha got?!?!?
  • PLEASE read through the student work distributed in class on the 5th, including Jamie’s story, Monae’s play, and the four poems by Andres, RJ, Brittani and Harris. Annotate them, and be ready to rock in the workshop! –If you need copies, some extra packets are in a manilla envelope outside the instructor’s office door, Tower-550.

___________________

Tuesday, April 5th:

  1. Write a poem or a short play: “That’s more than twelve items.” / “Can I see your ID?”

2. Consider writing based on one of these prompts, springing off of Zaynab’s story Soundtrack to the Apocolypse:

What does “Friday” look like?

Who’s in power? –Is anyone leading or governing?

What “Things” are killing so many people?

How far “gone” is the world as we know it in 2016?

What economic terrain and/or resources are being used or fought over?

For Tuesday, March 29:

1–Submit at least one piece of creative writing to the Good News literary magazine! –See the Call for Submissions above.

–If you would like feedback on your writing prior to submitting, please email the instructor: cweidenbach@peralta.edu

2–Please read these two stories for our workshop:

Birds of Paradise – Jamie Legaspi

and Soundtrack to the Apocolypse – Zaynab al-Rashid

Have a great spring break!

_________________________________

The play is afoot!

Go see MAS! — It runs Thurs – Fri – Saturdays at 7pm in the Theater

March 10-11-12, and 17-18-19

$15 – advance tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets,

or you can pay CASH at the door.

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2505821

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Extra-Credit Event:Wednesday, March 16th:   11 A.M.-12 P.M., Laney Theater

ARTIST AND EDUCATOR, DAMALI AYO “YOU CAN FIX RACISM”

“Ten solutions to improve relationships and build a better world”! Come and engage in real dialogue about race!
Sponsored by the Equity Speaker Series of Laney College

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 For Tuesday, March 15th:

Please read the following short story, and respond using one of the response options from earlier in the semester — as well as identifying the main character, central conflict, increasing conflict, climax, and resolution. –Not as hard as it sounds!

A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin

  • We will be workshopping some creative pieces, and
  • looking at how to prepare and submit your work for publication!

____________________________________

Extra-Credit opportunity Wednesday, March 9, 6-8pm, D-200:

Black Lives Matter women activists and documentary film screening

Join us for an amazing panel discussion with four women activists with Black Lives Matter and associated organizations, and documentary screening of “ We Have Nothing to Lose But Our Chains”. Co-sponsored by the Ethnic Studies Department and ASLC.

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For Thursday, March 10:

  1. Please choose another poem from the March 8th links, and write either a prose or poetic response.
  2. If you did not submit a response on March 8th, you can submit two of these.
  • Also, whenever you’re ready, please email the instructor a link to a poem you’d like to put on our class’ reading list, with the poet, title & link listed like so:

Poet: Maya Angelou
Title: Caged Bird
Link: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/178948

________________________

Extra-Credit and GREAT opportunity!

3/8 TUESDAY, 11-1 P.M. Student Union 3rd floor

STORYTELLING WORKSHOP with GINA GOLD

Founder of Oakland’s own TMI storytelling event, and fresh off of Snap Judgment Live at the Paramount! Open to all! Sponsored by ASLC.

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For Tuesday, March 8:

Please read the following poems, and write a response to ONE of them (or one poem you find at the “Suggested reading/browsing” links) in one of the following ways:

Option 1: Write a POEM in response to the poem.

Option 2: A lot of poems can be said to make an “argument”. Write a half-page critique of the “argument” the poem makes, including how much or how little you agree with that “argument”.

Poet: Rudyard Kipling
Title: If
.
Poet: Maya Angelou
Title: Caged Bird
Link: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/178948
.
Poet: Emily Dickenson
Title: Hope is the thing with feathers
.
Poet: Langston Hughes
Title: Theme for English B
.
Poet: e.e. cummigs
Title: Spring is like a perhaps hand

Suggested browsing/reading:

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/black-history-month

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/langston-hughes

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/e-e-cummings

At your leisure, please take a look at some poems at one of these websites. You will be asked to help build our poetry reading list over the next few weeks!

http://poemhunter.com/

https://www.poets.org/

_________________________________

For Tuesday, March 1st:

Please read the instructor’s play, VIVARIUM (opens as a Word doc. –also posted at the bottom of the documents & links page)

__________________________

For Thursday, Feb. 25th:

Read through the poems distributed in class on the 23rd, and feel for one that ‘speaks to you’; then write a poem of your own that in some way imitates or answers/responds to the poem you select.

Remember: Write fast and loose! — Take the ideas, and build!

Here are .pdfs of the poems: Poems p1   Poems p2

_________________________________

EXTRA-CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES — AND COOL EVENTS!!!

Wed, Feb. 24th, 6pm, The Forum: Pulitzer-prize-winning writer Ishmael Reed!

Tues, Feb. 23 6pm, D-200: Dr. Shawn Ginwright.

_________________________________

Tuesday, Feb. 23rd:

Please bring to class a typed piece of creative work–especially if you haven’t yet submitted any creative work!

For stories, use your character sketch(es), and ideas for conflicts and/or catalyzing events from class on the 16th. –Feel free to email the instructor with your character sketch attached, and/or explaining your story idea. He will gladly respond with some possibilities and/or questions.

If you started something in class or on your own, whether it feels like a poem, or a play, or a piece of a story, RUN WITH IT!!! Trust yourself!!! Follow the muse!!! Follow the “little golden thread”!!! –Type it up, and bring it to class!!! 

______________________________________________________

Thursday, Feb. 18th:

No Class Meeting — Please look ahead to Tuesday, Feb. 23rd, and plan to submit a creative piece–especially if you haven’t already!!!

______________________________________

For Tuesday, Feb. 16: 

Complete this Character Sketch [Character Sketch and Playwriting Project] of one of the people you thought of in class on Thursday the 11th, or since. What relative, friend, co-worker or nemesis do you think of as a vibrant, interesting character? –You can also start with a stranger you observe, and make some guesses/suppositions about her or his background and interior life.

___________________________________________________

  • If you haven’t emailed the instructor a response to Puppy, then please bring a print copy of your response. (See Feb. 9th for the response prompt.)
  • Creative work is always welcome! Type up a draft of something you’ve begun in class, or try writing a story with some kind of connection to what we’ve read so far: “Salvation”, “Puppy”, “Barbie-Q”.

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Tuesday, Feb. 9: — Class will be cancelled due to the instructor’s dental health needs. 

  • Please EMAIL the instructor a response to this question about the story Puppy by George Saunders:  What makes Marie decide NOT to go through with buying the puppy from Callie? –And do you agree with her decision? –Why, or why not?

(Please write one good paragraph, roughly half a page. And please paste your response right into the message box, so the lazy instructor doesn’t have to open an attachment! –Thank you!)

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Thursday, Feb. 4:

  1. Please read* (or re-read/review)  Puppy by George Saunders — looking to grasp what goes on when the two families meet for the puppy transaction. –What does Marie see that leads to her decision? Do you think she makes a good decision?
  2. We will look at some of the syllabus together.
  3. We will be writing in class to generate new material!

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***FREE Documentary Film: This Changes Everything by Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 5:30pm in the Laney College Theater (Odell Johnson Performing Arts Center)

This is an extra-credit opportunity!

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Tuesday, Feb. 2:

  1. Please read the syllabus — linked above as a Word document
  2. Please read* Puppy by George Saunders
  3. Please read* Salvation by Langston Hughes — Both stories look a little more readable if you click on the printer icons.
  • *Read at the speed of human speech! It’s what the writers intend. We will start class with an EASY reading quiz on the two stories, and you’ll do great if you read at speech-speed.

Optional: Push a piece of writing you started in class to some level of completion, and type it up, and bring it to class Tuesday or Thursday! –This creative work is NOT due, but it IS WELCOME!

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Greetings!

This page will support the Creative Writing course taught  by Chris Weidenbach in the Spring of 2016.

It will be updated soon and regularly to provide assignments, including links to most readings, as well as announcements about events and opportunities on campus or nearby.

  • No books are required to be purchased for this course.
  • The first class meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 26 from 9:00 – 10:15am in B-256, and it’s important for students to attend! (We don’t just read the syllabus out-loud!) Please come a little early, if possible.
  • This course combines four sections: English 10A&B (22008/22010) and English 210A&B (22029/22031).

If you have questions or need information, please contact the instructor at

cweidenbach@peralta.edu

______________________________________

A collection of what you feel are your most successful writing ‘products’ will be our class’ final assignment. This creative portfolio should consist of a combination of poems, short stories, and/or plays, according to the following guidelines:

Poems-Plus:                    6 poems (up to 15 pp.) + 1 story OR 1 play

 or…

Superstoryteller:            2 short stories + 3 poems OR 1 play

 or…

Playmaker:                      2 plays + 1 story OR 3 poems

 or…

Triple Combo:               3 poems + 1 play + 1 short story

Portfolio work may be revised versions of work turned in previously, or newer work, or a combination. 

FORMAT:  The page-format of all work should be in accordance with format guidelines on the course syllabus:  Typed, 11-12-point font, poems single-spaced, stories 1.5- or double-spaced.

DUE DATES:  Portfolios are due in May. They must be submitted by the last regular class meeting.

Portfolios will be retrievable between 8 and 10am on our Final Exam day.

Please submit what you believe to be your best work!

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Below this line is information from a previous semester:

______________________________________

Assignments & Announcements (Fall 2015)

For Wednesday, Dec. 16th:  12:00 – 2:00pm

Portfolios are due, and everyone is asked to choose one piece to read to the class.

Please note that our class meets one hour earlier than usual!

_________________________________

No class meeting on Monday the 14th.

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Poems selected by our class:

(The names of people who sent the links appear below the poem(s) they selected. Thank you, all who submitted! –Cdub)

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/because-i-cannot-remember-my-first-kiss

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/you-make-love-last-snow-leopard

–Ebony

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/fish-2

–Sanda

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/charlie-parker-1950

–RJ

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/his-coy-mistress

–Abraham

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/langston-hughes-songs-seventh-street

–AK

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/reluctance

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/october

–Marika

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/peyote-poem-excerpt

–Jimmy

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/children

–Kingston

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/dreams

–Pauline

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/171922

–Sovannaroth

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/250122

–Victoria

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For Monday, Dec. 7:

— We will workshop Naija’s dialogue-driven story on Monday.

— If you haven’t written–and submitted–at least one short-story, one short play, and three poems, then it’s time to get creative!

Monday is the day to submit whatever you haven’t yet submitted from the list above.

Stories: If you are struggling to build a completely fictional story, then tell a story from your real life, making sure to frame it with a beginning, middle, and end.

Plays: Think big. Or small. What would the audience see? What would they hear? Make it!

Poems: If you need inspiration, go to poets.org and read some poems before trying to write.

 

________________

Wednesday, Dec. 2:

Write that piece you’ve been thinking of writing! –Or finish or revise that piece that you started, but haven’t gotten back to!

We will workshop a few pieces of student writing, starting with a follow-up on Ebony’s poem Wifey. –Please re-read it, and see if you make any interpretive discoveries.

______________

Monday, Nov. 30:

We will workshop some new pieces, starting with a follow-up on Sanda’s experimental play.

__________

For Monday, Nov. 23rd:

1. Please hit the following poetry links, and read the poems they lead to – preferably OUT LOUD!

2. Please choose one of them to write a brief (half a page or so) response to, focusing on why the poem ‘speaks to’ you. –And please include the title and poet’s name!

3. Also be prepared to give a quick, one- to two-sentence statement about the poem in class. Example: “I like it because it expresses hillariously the bizarre warnings associated with a modern pharmaceutical phenomenon.”

Hope you enjoy!

http://shar.es/Fr1aB

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16622

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22202

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16200

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22196

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15740

http://www.thejewishweek.com/blogs/well-versed/poems-hannah-senesh

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23881

____________________________________

For Monday, Nov. 16th:

  • Bring a typed copy of a short story or play — especially if you haven’t yet submitted a story or play!
  • A new workshop packet will be distributed.

_________________________________

Wed, Nov. 11th is the Veterans Day holiday. No class meetings at Peralta.

_________________________________

For Monday, Nov. 9:

  • Write a short play, or a scene for a longer play. Those who haven’t yet submitted a short play script, it’s due today. If you didn’t get to do your table reading of your play script on Wednesday, then get ready to do it today! –Same ‘actors’/teams.

–A new workshop packet will be distributed.

  • Other creative work is always welcome.

___________

Nov. 4:

Writers, readers, and audience members: GREAT JOB TODAY! This was one of the most lively days of creative writing in my 14 years of teaching at Laney! –CW

Nov. 2:

Write a short play! –Even a one- or two-minute play can be exciting, fun, dramatic, powerful, thought-provoking.

–Or maybe write the opening scene of a ten-minute play. –Use the instructor’s play Vivarium as a guide to formatting.

–Remember: If you can get a couple of characters talking, things can get interesting very fast.

–Conflict is good. It REVEALS who people/characters are!

If you haven’t submitted creative work, or it’s been a while, please get something into print, and bring it in!

–A new workshop packet will be distributed, along with a written explanation of required creative work and end-of-semester portfolio.

_____________________________

For Monday, Oct. 26th: Read & Write:

  • READ & annotate: Please prepare to workshop our classmates’ writing by reading the full packet of student work distributed in class on Oct. 21st, and writing some notes on each piece: What do you like? What do you want more of?

*****If you need a copy of the workshop packet, C-dub has put workshop packets in a big envelope outside his office, T-550. Please get one, and read the pieces therein before class on Monday. Homework credits will be available to those who show the instructor notes of some kind on all of the pieces in the packet.

  • WRITE! Write that story! Write that poem! Write a ‘vignette’, a spoken-word piece, a short play, a long play! —If it’s been a while since you submitted creative work, then get off the shneid!

_________________________________

For Monday, Oct. 19th:

1. READ: It will take you somewhere new, and it might give you a lot of energy to WRITE!

Please be sure you’ve read the following stories before class on Monday:

“The Tell-Tale Heart”  by Edgar Allen Poe

“A Pair of Silk Stockings” by Kate Chopin

2. Try writing a story or play! —You’ve got a character or two taking shape; now put her/him into motion: Start off the story with something new happening to your character, or your character trying something new: New attitude, new job, new semester of college, new outfit, new bike, new cafe… For formatting, use the stories and play we’ve read as models. Remember: ACCEPT IDEAS that come into your brain; don’t reject them; just write the idea and be ready to receive the next one!

Writing the Natural Way

Make a Story

___________________

For Wednesday, Oct. 14th:

Due: Please complete at least ONE character sketch, fleshing out one of the people in your life* with complete fabrication freedom!

We will be writing in class prior to a creative workshop.

Please be ready to rock in the workshop!

__________________

Monday, Oct. 12:

READ & annotate: Please prepare to workshop our classmates’ writing by reading the full packet of student work distributed in class on Oct. 7th, and writing some notes on each piece: What do you like? What do you want more of? 

*****If you didn’t get a copy of the workshop packet, C-dub will be putting workshop packets in a big envelope outside his office, T-550, by 8am Thursday, Oct. 8th. Please get one, and read the pieces therein before class on Monday. Homework credits will be available to those who show the instructor notes of some kind on all of the pieces in the packet.

WRITE? — Try ‘filling out’ this Character Sketch [Character Sketch and Playwriting Project] of one of the people you thought of in class on Monday the 5th, or since. What relative, friend, co-worker or nemesis do you think of as a vibrant, interesting character? 

Some of you probably want to jam right into the writing, describing the scenery, writing the dialogue, etc. You CAN do that; but I urge you: Try this process. TRUST this process. It’s a way to get to know your character, and give her/him a chance to be respected as a complex person; and it might lead you to some deep insights — or at least a kick-ass story or play!

___________________

Wednesday, Oct. 7:

Please be sure you’ve read through Cdub’s play “Vivarium”, which we will workshop at the beginning of class

___________________

Monday, Oct. 5:

Please read VIVARIUM by Chris Weidenbach (opens as a Word doc.)

–You can also read it on this webpage: http://www.laney.edu/chris-weidenbach/creative-writing/creative-writing-documents-links/

–As you read, or after, think about our workshop questions: What–if anything–do you like about this play? And what–if anything–would you like more of?

______________________________

Wednesday, Sept. 30:

Please read the workshop packet distributed in class on the 28th, and annotate the copies to prepare for our first creative workshop! –The instructor will be checking for notes, highlighting, etc prior to our workshop, and substantial annotations will earn a homework credit.

Then we’re digging into our first workshop. Get ready for co-inspiration!

–Creative work is always welcome! Type it up and bring it in!

–Also, last chance to send in a poem for our class’ reading list. Please see Sept. 28th for details.

_______________________________

Monday, Sept. 28:

  1. Please poke around on Poets.org, and read a few poems! You can search for poets or poems using the little search box in the upper-right corner of their webpage. (Look for the little magnifying glass icon.) –Or you can search by THEME or start with their featured poets/poems.
  2. Find one you like enough that you think the whole class ought to read it,
  3. and send CW the link in an email: cweidenbach@peralta.edu — Please be sure your name appears in your email address or in your message! To send a link, just select the URL/web address, copy it, and paste it into an email message. The instructor will reply with a quick “Got it!” message.

Naija sent this link: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/amethyst-beads

Brittani sent this one: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/memory

*  The first workshop packet will be distributed in class, and our first workshop will take place on Wednesday the 30th!

_____________________________

For Monday, Sept. 21: Read, Annotate & Respond

1. Please read the three poems by Sylvia Plath at this webpage: http://www.csuchico.edu/~pkittle/101/plath.html

2. Annotate them as you read! ***Here are some ideas about how to annotate.*** If you can print a copy (B-260, F-170), please do, and you can write your notes in the wide margins. If you don’t make a print copy, then write some notes in a notebook, and use the poems’ line numbers to tie your ideas to specific pieces of the poems’ text.

3. Choose ONE of the three to write an informal, one-page-or-less response about. Use the all-important question, “What do I like about this poem?” as the basis for your response. And try to point out what you think makes that poem “poetic”.

_____________________

For Wednesday, Sept. 16:

Please write a brief Bay Area Landmark ‘snapshot’ of a place where you experienced something memorable. Be sure to name the place, and maybe the time/date/your age. Keep it BRIEF! –The Neo-Futurists’ “Chicago Landmarks” snapshots (under Sept. 14) are models of what we’re after.

Also, other creative work is invited! Have you tried writing a “My Name” piece, after Cisneros? Or a story inspired by Langston Hughes’ story? Or something generated by clustering around the word “candle” or free-writing on the word “concept”?

See you Wednesday! –CW

For Monday, Sept. 14:

Watch/Listen, then write: Check out this short piece by the Neo-Futurists’ Chicago cast, and try writing one quick monologue piece that could fit into a similar ensemble ‘playlet’:

A Neo-Futurist Map of Subjectively Important Chicago Landmarks

__________________________________________

For Wednesday, Sept. 9:

Try writing something modeled after Hughes’ Salvation or Cisneros’ My Name — or both! You can bring your story/poem/essay in handwritten or typed form, and you don’t need to hand it in; just be ready to share it with a partner or small group. –Of course, if you wish, you can submit a typed copy for the instructor’s feedback and potential inclusion in a future workshop packet. (A written explanation of the critique workshop process will be distributed on Wed. the 9th.)

Here is a ‘template’ Cisneros’ piece offers for our own piece of writing:

  1. what my name means
  2. where my name comes from–my ‘namesake’
  3. a little history about my namesake or the source of my name
  4. questioning/wondering about what my namesake’s life was like
  5. what others think of my name; how others pronounce it; comparison with someone else’s name
  6. some possible ways I might re-name myself

For a story modeled after Hughes, give Salvation another read, and then think of your own story that could be told using some similar features as Hughes’: repetition, parallel structure, brevity, suspense, first-person narration, description using multiple senses, dialogue, etc.

___________________________________________

LABOR DAY WEEKEND: TRY TO SEE THIS SHOW:

FREEDOMLAND! by the S.F. Mime Troupe

Seeing this show is not an assignment, but it is HIGHLY recommended–especially the closing performances over Labor Day weekend in Golden Gate Park and Dolores Park in S.F.

***Plan ahead! BART will not be running across the bay this weekend!

http://www.sfmt.org/schedule/index.php

___________________________________________

For Wednesday, Sept. 2:

Please read Salvation by Langston Hughes, and make some notes about what, if anything, makes the story work well. We will be discussing some features of short fiction, and considering some subject matter for our own stories.

For Monday, August 31st:

Please take whatever words, phrases or sentences you conjured up during our hasty freewrite/cluster on Wednesday, and build it into a passage/vignette of some sort.

Feel free to build a poetic or prose passage, or the start of a novel, or a list of questions, or a ‘pastiche’ of language that doesn’t even flow like ‘normal’ prose or poetry.

–More will be said about this, but our first few weeks will be based on the idea that writing is writing, and it doesn’t matter what other people want you to write, or what shape/form your writing takes; what matters is that you get something cooking!!!

See you soon.  –CW

________________________________________

Below this line is information from Spring 2014

_________________________________________

* Please note: Creative work can still be submitted on the 13th or 15th, but it will be very unlikely that your work will get into the workshop.

Tuesday, May 20: 8 – 10am: Please prepare to read one piece of writing in our closing class meeting, with some consideration of the time constraints. This could be the piece you submit to the anthology, or something else — something new, revised, or written prior to this semester. The instructor will bring some fine Danish pastry to incentivize arrival at the inhumanely early start time of 8 o’clock! –Feel free to bring your own coffee, tea, juice, milk, or other morning elixer. 

____________________________________

Thursday, May 15th: Please bring one print copy of a piece you’d like to submit to our anthology. *Students whose work is being workshopped on this day can email revisions to the instructor for the anthology, but he needs them by Noon on Friday in order to have time to get the anthologies printed. cweidenbach@peralta.edu

This day will be our final workshop, looking at pieces distributed on the 13th, as well as some other ‘surprise’ selections!

_______________________________

Tuesday, May 13th: Workshop! Please read any pieces you have copies of to prepare, and bring them to class. We should be able to catch up, and then some.

____________________________________

Thursday, May 8th: Last day to submit work for the workshop!

Workshop Line-up: “Edith Part I”, Saede’s poem “Lines” (stapled to “Edith…”), Khang’s “Joker” monologue, Nailah’s “Pig Farm”, and Sandi’s “Famous” poem.

____________________________________

Tuesday, May 6th: Workshop picking up where we left off last Thursday.

____________________________________

Thursday, May 1: Please read the packet(s) distributed on the 28th to prepare for workshopping poems by Liam, Marielle, and prose pieces by Khang, “Jamie’s Surprise”, and Gloria.

***Wed, April 30 is the deadline for the “Dreams and Nightmares” all-media student art show. Details available in class. Send to junesteingartgallery@gmail.com; subject line must read: “Student Art Show 2014 SUBMISSION”; submission must include name, email, phone number, title of works, medium, and which Peralta college you are attending.

*** Poetry Slam! Tuesday, April 29, 4pm, 3rd floor of the Student Center. This is the last chance to enter and read/recite/perform. Then finalists will compete/perform on Wednesday April 30 for the prizes: 1st: $150; 2nd: $75; 3rd: $50.

For Tuesday, April 29: Please prepare for the workshop by reading Michael’s and Ried’s stories. We will have some ‘cold’ workshop pieces to look at.

WRITE: Not much time left to submit work for possible workshopping, so please submit new work or revisions, especially if you haven’t yet done any work in one of the genres (poetry, fiction, playwrighting).

_____________________________________________________

Click on this link for a list of Earth Week Events @ Laney College April 22-25th (Tuesday-Friday)

_____________________________________

*** Thursday, April 24: Peralta Ecology Festival, 11 am – 2 pm at the Channel of the Estuary near Laney College. Attend and write a one-page response for extra credit.

_____________________________________

Thursday, April 24:

1. More Earth poems/vignettes.

2. Workshop of work distributed Tues the 22nd.

***Today is Laney’s Eco Fest (Ecology Festival), mainly on the green side of the campus. Students are encouraged to join CW in a gardening session at the Laney Edible Garden between 11am and 1pm. If you don’t feel like getting your hands dirty and planting some future food, please be sure to check out the Eco Fest’s other features, which will be smart, fun, and encouraging.

_____________________________________

Poetry Slam! Hosted by the Black Student Union–April 22, 23, 24. More details coming soon!

_____________________________________

*** Tuesday, April 22: Sports nutritionist Dr. Clyde Wilson: “Eat Your Planet”–Nutrition science for students.  12:15 pm in The Forum *** Attend and write a one-page response for extra credit.

_____________________________________

Tuesday, April 22: EARTH DAY!

1. If you want to write something for or about the earth, environmental consciousness, sustainability, ecology, geophysics, soil, air, water, food, or wildlife, please do–and prepare to share in an ‘open mic’ session!

2. If you know of a strong published poem about the great earth, please bring it in print or in your memory, and share it with us! (It’s Earth Week all week, so this goes for the 24th, too.)

3. We will also workshop Jeff’s new story, and Amina’s poem, and return to “Soon”. Please prepare by reading or re-reading, and writing some notes on the copies, whether or not you plan to return them to the writers.

_______________________________

*** SPRING BREAK is the week of April 14-19–no class meetings at Laney/Peralta.***

_______________________________

For Thursday, 10: Creative workshop–most likely the main shape of our class meetings the rest of the way.

For Tuesday, April 8: We will spend some time taking stock of what we’ve written, and discussing what we’re planning to complete by the second week of May.

_______________________________

For Thursday, April 3: Prepare for the creative workshop: We’ll hit pieces by Arthur, Alyssia, Saede and two others, plus another installment of Jeff’s The Cutter Chronicles if time allows.

*Here is a piece written by Laney student Frederick Howard, published recently in The Oakland Post. Here are some suggested subjects and themes for coming months: April: Earth Day (litter, global warming, food and water, overconsumption, etc.); SPRING; baseball; May: Cinco de Mayo (heritage, pride); Mother’s Day, Memorial Day (military, veterans).

Tuesday, April 1: Suggestions for creative work:

1. One character says to another: “That’s more than ten items.” –What happens next? Build from that first line, and see what you come up with. Stories, plays and poems are all possibilities!

2. If you have not yet submitted work in all three genres (poems, short play, short-story), please plan to do so before Spring Break.

3. Want to take a shot at publishing a piece of writing in a local publication? English instructor Eleni Economides has opened up an exciting opportunity for students to get their work out to a larger public audience.

Two prominent publishers, Oakland Local and The Oakland Post, are on the lookout for pieces (300-500 words, or 1-2 pages) about:

– economic and housing development/gentrification
– public safety and policing
– social/cultural trends
– community member profiles

If you have a great idea or a great piece of writing, feel free to email Eleni with questions or submissions:
eleni_economides@yahoo.com
————————————————–
Look ahead: Thurs-Sat, March 27th, 28th and 29th:
Paul Flores’ big hit play PLACAS: The Most Dangerous Tattoo featuring Clashero, Ric Salinas comes to the Odell Johnson Performing Arts Center. Tickets range from $12 – 40. Exact times and more ticket info coming soon.

 

 

Look ahead: Thursday, Friday & Saturday, March 20th – 22nd: The Fusion Theatre Project presents its third draft of its first original collectively written work,The 51-0hz, five ten-minute tales inspired by Oakland. These five fairy tales written by six college-aged women are fiery, humorous, important and relevant. All shows at 7pm. FREE admission!!! –* Extra-credit available for 1B students who attend and write a one-page review (no summary, please).

For Tuesday, March 18th:

Please read each of the following poems at least twice, out-loud if possible, and look/listen for TWO that particularly grab your attention. For those two, please write about half a page for each, identifying as much poetic activity as you can. Look for rhymes, alliteration, rhythms, metaphors, similes, evocative imagery, repetition/parallel phrasing, symbolism–and identify who is supposedly speaking the poem, and what situation is presented in the poem, especially if it’s not obvious. If you prefer, you could print copies of the two poems, and label the poetic devices, speaker and situation right on that copy. *Creative alternative: Write a poem somehow imitating the style or sense of one poem in this list.

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15403

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15578

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15624

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174737

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Essay_on_Man

http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/3530822107858663246/

http://shar.es/FdrO5

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19249

http://shar.es/FYbV5

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19902

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23167

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/21279

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16092

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16629

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19217

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16075

__________________________________

For Thursday, March 13:

We will continue workshopping — please bring your packets!

___________________

For Thursday, March 6:

We will press on with workshopping, including Jeff’s backpack piece, Marielle’s parenting poem, and Arthur’s warrior-officer play. This class is writing some exciting, rewarding stuff!

The instructor will try to supply a few extra copies.

–We will work in some short bursts of writing between each workshopped piece.

For Tuesday, March 4:

1. Please be sure you’ve read the poems linked below under Feb. 27 — and write a response to one of them, if you haven’t already. We will look at a few of these in the first half-hour of class, and build in some quick poetic writing exercises.

2. In the second half of class, we will continue workshopping the current packets. The instructor will have a few extra copies of everything in class on Tuesday.

3. Remember: Creative work is always welcome, but rarely “due”. Students should work at the pace of roughly one page per week, which might mean one three-page story and three individual poems so far this semester. Or maybe two ‘vignettes’, a two-page scene for a play, and a blistering rant about military spending! If you are behind this pace, please get it going! If you are ahead of the pace, you might want to focus on revising something you’ve already gotten feedback on.

____________________________________

Thursday, Feb. 27th: Inequality for All film screening and discussion. (Free admission.)

 film promo poster
Time: 7pm film, 9pm discussion
Place: Room D – 200 on the Laney College campus
From Roger Ebert’s review: “Even a charm monster like George Clooney probably couldn’t make “Inequality for All,” a documentary that is basically a 90-minute how-and-why dissection of the decline of our country’s middle class, any more persuasive and intermittently humorous than this popular professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley.”

________________________________________

For Thurs, the 27th:

1. Please read the packet and separate stories distributed in class to prepare for a workshop. *Additional creative work will be distributed this day as well, preparing for two workshop days March 4th and 6th.

2. Please hit the following poetry links–WHICH HAVE BEEN REPAIRED, and read the poems they lead to – preferably OUT LOUD!

3. Please choose one of them to write a brief (half a page or so) response to, focusing on why the poem ‘speaks to’ you. –And please include the title and poet’s name!

4. Also be prepared to give a quick, one- to two-sentence statement about the poem in class. Example: “I like it because it expresses hillariously the bizarre warnings associated with a modern pharmaceutical phenomenon.”

Hope you enjoy!

http://shar.es/Fr1aB

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16622

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22202

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16200

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/22196

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15740

http://www.thejewishweek.com/blogs/well-versed/poems-hannah-senesh

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23881

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Thursday, Feb. 20:

Prepare: Okay, for real this time: we will look at Baldwin’s Sonny’s Bluesin the first half hour of class, and ‘unpack’ some of the moves the author makes to build the two main characters. Please be sure you have read the story, and consider reviewing it with ‘character construction’ in mind.

Prepare: Please be sure to bring Tuesday’s packet to class! We will continue a ‘cold’ workshop of some short pieces of student writing–two from the packet, and some new pieces if time allows. Please read the pieces you have copies of, and write a few notes on them to get ready for the workshop.

Read/Send: Please check out Poets.org, and find one poem that you’d like to nominate for the class’ reading list by sending the link/URL/webpage address to the instructor at cweidenbach@peralta.edu. –Please be sure your name is in the message, too, especially if your email address is something mysterious like DrFeelGreat@yahoo.com.________________________________________

Tuesday, Feb. 18:

Write: Got a story cooking? –a short play? –a “Landmarks” piece for the Bay Area? –a poem? Push it forward, and type it up! Bring in anything you’re feeling good about. Soon we will do some focused work on writing poetry.

No new reading is assigned–but we will look at Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues in the first half hour of class, and ‘unpack’ some of the moves the author makes to build the two main characters.

The rest of the class will be devoted to a ‘cold’ workshop of some short pieces of student writing.

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For Thursday, Feb. 13:

Please read Argel’s story distributed on the 11th, and prepare for the writer’s workshop. We will start with Vivian and Michelle’s one-pagers from the last student writing packet, so you might want to review those as well. Please remember to bring the workshop packets! [The instructor will try to have a few extra copies of the pieces being workshopped.]

We will also save time to discuss Sonny’s Blues, with a close look at how James Baldwin built the two main characters, Sonny and his older brother, the narrator.

***Creative work is always welcome! If you have not yet submitted a story–or even the beginning of a story–please work one up a.s.a.p.

For Tuesday, Feb. 11:

Please read the story Sonny’s Blues by James Baldwin

(new better link: (but .pdf file):

http://www.bayshoreschools.org/webpages/dmacdougal/summer.cfm?subpage=69536

2nd best link (regular webpage/html): Sonny’s Blues — by James Baldwin

— and be ready for a quiz at the beginning of class. This story will take a couple of hours to read, so feel free to read it in a couple of sessions. And, of course, annotate as ye see fit! Our focus will be on the two main characters: Sonny and his brother, the narrator. What evidence in the text informs you about who the main characters are? This is a good time to use a two-column system tracking evidence in one column, and the significance of each piece of evidence in the other column. –This system will keep your evidence tied to your interpretations.

–Also please check out this calendar of Black History Month events at Laney (click to enlarge). Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing will be screened Monday night Feb. 10 in the Laney Theater (Odell Johnson Performing Arts Center) on the main quad. Admission: FREE!

Laney Black History Month Events

 

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For Thursday, Feb. 6:

Read: Please read the packet of student writing distributed in class on the 4th. Feel free to write some notes right on your copies, as a way to prepare for a critique/’workshop’. [A few additional copies will be available in class.]

Read: If you haven’t already, please read the instructor’s ten-minute play script, Vivarium, posted for Feb. 4. We will have a short quiz on the script at the beginning of class.

Suggested:

Write — or revise from Tuesday’s in-class writing — a concise, place-centered ‘snapshot’ of a memorable moment you have experienced in the Bay Area. [The idea comes from the Neo-Futurists’ ensemble performance piece we watched in class. The YouTube link is below.] You might try writing three or four of these, then shaping the one you like best.

Watch/Listen: Check out these four short pieces by the Neo-Futurists’ Chicago and New York casts:

A Neo-Futurist Map of Subjectively Important Chicago Landmarks

The Dialogue Play  This one is audio-only, but pretty funny!

Elevator: Love Song For A Day Job

The Paper Machete Commercial

.

For Tuesday, Feb. 4:

1. Keep writing/designing/revising! Got a story? A poem? A ‘vignette’? Bring it on in!

2. Please read the instructor’s play Vivarium, and be ready for a quick quiz at the beginning of class. (You may have to save the Word document before opening it. The play is also posted in its entirety on theDocuments & Links page, toward the bottom. The term “beat” signifies a pause or gap in a character’s speech.)

FYI: Two OWL pages on writing (and reading/writing about) fiction:

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/754/01/

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/754/02/

For Thursday, Jan. 30:

1. Please bring a piece of writing you started in class, however large or small, finished or unfinished–but please put a little design-mind thought into it, and type it up!

For an example, here is a link to a clustering webpage, showing the clusters as well as the ‘vignettes’ they generated:

http://www.gabrielerico.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=69

For Tuesday, Jan. 28:

1. Please read the story A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin and be ready for a brief quiz. You might want to read the story twice and/or read it just a day or two before class so the details will still be fresh in your mind; but the quiz should be do-able if you read the story closely.

2. Try to get a short story going, using Hughes and/or Chopin for inspiration. If you reach a point where you have a beginning, middle & end, then type it up and submit it a.s.a.p.!

Here’s a link to some brief but helpful advice that we’ll look at in class this day:

Fiction Writing Basics—good basic foundation for writing and reading

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/754/01/

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For Thursday, Jan. 23:
Please read the Langston Hughes story “Salvation” before class, and write a few notes about two or three related situations (from your own life, or from your imagination) that you might write a story about. [In class we will share some of these ideas with partners and decide on a character and situation to build our own fresh stories around.]

For Tuesday, Jan. 21:

Here we go! Please come to the classroom (B-256) on-time so we can sort out the registration situation, meet each other, get an overview of the course, and do some writing! [You know what a writer is, right? Someone who writes!]

The syllabus is posted on the Documents and Links page under “Courseware”.

end of postings for Spring 2014

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Below this line is information from fall 2013.

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Assignments & Announcements, Fall 2013

Thursday, Dec. 12th: End-of-semester gathering at La Estrellita restaurant, 466 East 12th Street (at 5th Avenue).

Come read/recite/listen/share! Please prepare to share a favorite poem or quick story written during this semester — or a toast, or a rant, or some other piece for the occasion. If you have creative work in the workshop ‘pipeline’, the instructor will bring it, hopefully with copies to share. 

Time: 6 – 8pm, and maybe a little longer.

*The instructor will buy a first round of beverages for anyone arriving by 5:30pm!

La Estrellita restaurant, 466 E. 12th Street (at 5th Avenue).

Map/Directions

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For Thursday, Dec. 5th:

* Actors from Laney’s Fusion Theater are coming to read some of our plays! Michael and the actors are coming to our classroom during the first half of our class meeting. Please arrive promptly at 6pm! The location may shift, but for now we’re planning on our regular classroom. (And think about looking into the Theater Arts courses here, where you can learn and PLAY with the best!)

* Please read the new workshop pieces, and review the previous week’s packet. (Come a little early if you need ‘the packet’.)

* Write toward completion of a short-story, a short play, and some poetry. If you have not yet submitted something in each of the three genres, please do so for this night of class. (The 12th will be the absolute deadline, but the 5th is the last sure bet for getting the instructor’s feedback, and maybe some classmates’.)

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For Thursday, Nov. 14th: Keep writing! — Sorry for the late posting.

1.  The most important thing is to keep writing, and…

2. Read the student work distributed on the 7th. (A few extra copies will be available in the classroom by 5:15pm.)

3. (Not required reading, but…) If you have time, and want some inspiration, check out the links below:

Spoken Word links

Thanks to Suzan and Lark for the following links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVumSlKPeJc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmgNph48GmY&list=PL3BFC851F202C6EDB

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDAjKtahYM0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar5oT8JhtOo&list=PL7F1097A02A40CF64

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdV-DpglXZY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJHquOEChRg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24XgooAIhVo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS56hTj4XT4

Pat’s Justice: “Innocent Criminal”—Thanks, Angela:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EOBv-DTFT4

Def Poetry – Dave Chappelle – “Korean Store Poem”—submitted by CW:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1kLNnPPWjQ

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For Thursday, Nov. 7th:

1–READ: Please read the following two pages about H   A   I   K   U   !   !   ! –Essential poetry!

* a GREAT explanation: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5782

Please note that the number of syllables in NOT really important, especially since the syllabic count tradition comes from a different language! But brevity is definitely part of the soul of haiku.

–Caution: The “Supremes” haiku is NOT traditional, although it’s pretty cool. And the Ezra Pound haiku ‘violates’ the three-line rule, but is still true to the haiku concept.

* another good webpage on the form: http://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-a-haiku.html

–Caution: Most of the examples do NOT really follow the traditional form. But these two DEFINITELY DO:

The last winter leaves
Clinging to the black branches
Explode into birds.

High desert darkness
illuminates the white star–
an angel awakes!

2–WRITE: Write five haiku poems!!! –OR SEVEN!!! –OR FIVE!!! You might want to use some nature photos for inspiration–try this Google Image search for “nature” –Or just go for a walk and look around!

* Here’s a run-down on less understood punctuation, which we’ll look at soon in class:  Funky Punctuation (You may have to save it first, then open it.)

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For Thursday, Oct. 24th:

1) Keep writing! If you have not yet submitted a short-story or short play, please try to get something in this week. Works-in-progress are fine.

2) Please read the packet distributed on the 17th, including work by Anne-Marie, Jean, and Suzan, and prepare for our workshop. (The instructor will have a few extra copies in the classroom by 5pm.)

3) Please nominate a poem you like–an old favorite, or something you discover this week–for our class’ poetry reading list. The Poets.org site is very useful for finding something you are already familiar with, or discovering new poems. Feel free to email the instructor a link to a poem online, or bring a nicely formatted print copy to class, or at least write the author and title on paper and bring it to class. (Feel free also to nominate more than one poem, up to THREE.)

4) And if you know of a cool spoken-word performance available online, please email the link to the instructor: cweidenbach@peralta.edu

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This weekend, Oct. 18-20 is the peak of the Bay Area’s “LitQuake” literary reading festival.

If you’re interested, use a search engine or one of the arts & entertainment weeklies (Bay Guardian, East Bay Express) to look for an event. Any and all of the readings will be pretty interesting, judging by past festivals’ successes. Some events are free, and some have a price tag. Here is the LitQuake calendar of events page: http://www.litquake.org/calendar-of-events

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For Thursday, Oct. 10th: Class meeting postponed.

Creative writers: I have to postpone our class meeting for Oct. 10th. My attempt to find a suitable substitute to facilitate our creative workshop on the 10th has failed; the couple of people I completely trust with such a task are unavailable. Hopefully this message reaches you in time to save you a trip to the campus.

The work you all have been writing is VERY exciting–as I hope you have seen as you’ve read the class workshop packet. Please keep any of your writing projects warm, and push them forward as you see fit. We will pick up right where we’ve left off on the 17th.

Of course, you are welcome to email me with works-in-progress anytime; I especially invite anyone who has not yet submitted creative work to email me over this next week, so we can get rolling on a timely feedback-and-revision process.

I apologize for any inconvenience, and look forward to seeing you next week. –CW

___________________________________

For next Thursday, the 17th:

1. Please read the packet distributed on the 3rd, and decide whether you might like to read one of the parts in our staged reading. Our whole class–or 95% of it–will be devoted to workshopping student work in this packet, plus Wilberta and Deborah’s work from last week’s packet. A few copies of both packets will be available at 5pm in the classroom.

WARNING * I forgot to warn everyone: Ruben’s play has a sinister, violent surface; it might be somewhat shocking to read; but I think it involves some ideas that run much deeper than the ugly actions on display. Honestly, I’m not sure about this, since the piece ends with a sense of introduction of a larger story. That distinguishes the violence in this piece from what would be called “gratuitous violence”. Good work, Ruben!

2. If you haven’t yet submitted a story or play, please submit one or the other–or both! Works-in-progress are okay, as are one-pagers describing a project you have in mind. Even if you think your piece is going NOWHERE, type it up and bring it in! Feedback never fails–although the ‘success’ might be that you realize it’s time to try something new!

3. No other reading is assigned–but if you’d like to nominate an online spoken-word performance video for our ‘reading list’, please email the link / URL / web address to the instructor at:

cweidenbach@peralta.edu

___________________________________________

For Thursday, Oct. 3rd:

1. Please read the story “To Build a Fire” by Jack London

–and be ready for a reading quiz at the beginning of class.

2. Please type up a draft of a story or play–as much as you have built so far. Is it a work-in-progress? That’s fine! Is it nearly or completely finished? Great! Bring it in, and let’s keep pushing it forward!

3. Please also consider going to see the special events listed below for Saturday and Sunday.

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Sunday, Sept. 29th, 7pm: FREE staged reading at the Geary Theater in San Francisco:

Tickets are free but must be reserved.
Stuff Happens, by David Hare
directed by Jon Tracy

For more information, and to make your free reservation, call the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228
__________________________________________

Special FREE Event Saturday, Sept. 28, 2:30pm:

Sam Sheppard’s play Buried Child performed by SF’s Magic Theatre

Laney College Theater/Odell Johnson Performing Arts Center

–Great chance to see a big-ticket theater company performing an award-winning play for FREE!!!!!

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For Thursday, Sept. 26th:

Here is the Character Sketch document:

Character Sketch and Playwriting Project

1. Write a short play–or the first scene of what you envision being a longer play.In class last week, we wrote a couple of potential beginnings:

one) Write the script/description of whatever possible performance comes to mind when you open the curtain in whatever ‘theater’ your imagination chooses. It’s showtime! Write exactly what the audience sees (use present tense) and hears as the show happens.

two) Now write the present-tense description of what an audience sees in another performance you dream up–but this time, eliminate the possibility of anyone onstage speaking.

* If what you start to write turns into a short story or something other than a play, don’t worry: follow the golden thread: go with your design-mind’s choices: use the form that fits. –Then push yourself to find an idea for a play, too!

2. Please read in advance of our workshop the new narrative piece by Lark as well as the full packet distributed on the 12th. If you need a copy of the packet, please come to the classroom early, where a few extra copies should be available. The instructor will be in the classroom by 5pm for an office hour. This is a good time to talk somewhat extensively about the class, your writing ideas, or your student/human experience. If you would like to discuss something in ‘professional privacy’, please, if possible, email me ahead of time to let me know you’re coming at cweidenbach@peralta.edu. My other office hours are posted on my ‘homepage’ at the top of the left-side list of sites.

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Thursday, Sept. 19th:

1. Please read the instructor’s play Vivarium (linked below) with a close eye on the way stage directions are intermingled with dialogue. The stage directions are in italics and inside parentheses–to keep them clearly separated from the language that’s meant to be spoken. –Also note that the term (beat) is sometimes used to indicate a pause.

2. Please read the workshop packet distributed on the 12th, and ANNOTATE each piece. (Notes in the margins, highlighting and underlining are some ways to record your response to specific parts of someone’s writing. The idea is to be well prepared for our workshop/critique, and to give the writer a copy with some of your reactions, suggestions and questions recorded for her/his consideration.) If you need a copy of the packet, please come to the classroom early, where a few extra copies should be available. The instructor will be in the classroom by 5pm; you would need at least a half hour to do the reading and annotation work.

VIVARIUM (opens as a Word document) If you have any trouble with the link, the full text is also posted at the bottom of the “Documents and Links” page.

Bonus Link: Another play by the Neo-Futurists: The Dialogue Play.  This link is audio-only, but you can imagine the actual play: Two people onstage speak the nature of their statements rather than the statements themselves. (You might have to listen to understand that description!)

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For Thursday, Sept. 12th:

1. Please read A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor–and be ready for a reading quiz at the beginning of class.

2. Please read the workshop packet distributed on the 5th, and ANNOTATE each piece. (Suggestions will be added soon about how to annotate.) If you need a copy of the packet, please come to the classroom early, where a few extra copies should be available. The instructor will be in the classroom by 5pm; you would need at least a half hour to do the reading and annotation work.

3. Creative work is always welcome–maybe a “Landmark” piece, or two, or three–but is not “due” this week. If you get something going, then type it up, and bring it in!

Format: Please use single-space for poems, and double-space for prose (or at least 1.5-space). Let your writing take whatever form it seems to want to take–and don’t worry if you/it can’t seem to decide! We can call it a vignette!

______________________________

Thursday, Sept. 5th:

1. Please read A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin

and The Story of an Hour also by Kate Chopin

2. Creative work is always welcome–but not “due” this week. If you get something going, then type it up, and bring it in!

Format: Please use single-space for poems, and double-space for prose (or at least 1.5-space). Let your writing take whatever form it seems to want to take–and don’t worry if you/it can’t seem to decide! We can call it a vignette!

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FREE PLAYS THIS WEEKEND–*and beyond!

MONDAY, SEPT. 2: Last performance of

 Oil and Water by the SF Mime Troupe

http://www.sfmt.org/index.php

* MacBeth, at the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival in SF.

http://www.sfshakes.org/park/index.html

–at San Francisco’s Presidio – Main Post Parade Ground Lawn (between Graham St & Keyes Ave)

August 31 – September 15, 2013, Saturdays, Sundays & Labor Day Monday–All shows at 2:00 pm

–at San Francisco’s Mclaren Park – Jerry Garcia Amphitheater(40 John F Shelley Dr, 94134)

September 21 & 22, 2013, Saturday & Sunday–Both shows at 2:00 pm

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For Thursday, August 29th

1–Please read the short story “Salvation” by Langston Hughes–and be ready for a brief reading quiz!

2–Creative work is always welcome–type it up, and bring it in! Maybe you got something started in class with that “mannequin” prompt, or maybe you started something new over the weekend.

Format: Please use single-space for poems, and double-space for prose (or at least 1.5-space).

____________________________________________

Below this line is information from Spring 2013

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 22: 6-8pm* AT LA ESTRELLITA!!!

*–unless you’d like to arrive early at 5:30pm and toast the end of a fine semester!

We will meet for one final workshop and farewell gathering at:

La Estrellita Cafe & Bar

446 East 12th Street, Oakland

— corner of 5th Ave. and 12th St. — 465-7188

http://www.laestrellitaoakland.com/

MAP etc.

–Everyone should plan to read something, but each should also decide for yourself. If your work is in our packet, then your contribution is all set. If you’re not in the packet, then please bring a print copy of a piece you feel good about, or want some feedback on for other reasons.

–The instructor will bring print copies of several pieces, including work by  Eleanor, Sainaa, Krista, Betelhem, Irving, and Isaac. (If your name is on the list, and you’d like to send a revised version of something, please do by midnight Tuesday!)

_________________________________

For Wednesday, May 15: LAST CHANCE to submit creative work for our workshop!!!

1–PLEASE be sure you’ve submitted creative work you’d like to get feedback on! As a general rule, you want to have submitted at minimum one short story, one short play, and several poems. (Heavy submissions in one genre can be substituted for non-submissions in another genre.)

2–Please read Shayla’s story for our workshop, and consider: Are you ‘okay’ with the moral perspective of this story? –Or do you find it troubling or offensive? (Extra copies available between 5-5:45pm.)

* Other pieces will be distributed in class for a ‘cold’ workshop.

3–Please also consider writing a poetic, narrative (story), or dramatic (play) piece of writing about some important experience you’ve had in OAKLAND, CA. As a potential inspiration, check out this piece about Chicago built by the Neo-Futurists for their show “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind”:

***Sat. May 11: Berkeley Poetry Festival at BCC*** 11th Annual Berkeley Poetry Festival
1-4:30pm–Free!
Berkeley Councilperson Kriss Worthington will present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Mary Rudge, poet, educator, journalist, TV and radio producer, artist.
Enjoy a reading by—
Milani Pelley, John Rowe, Sayre Quevedo, Paul Corman Roberts, Odelia Galvan Rodríguez, Owen Hill, Cyrus Armajani, giovanni singleton, Yuko Leong, Kimberly Satterfield, Terry Taplin, John Oliver Simon, Judy Juanita, Oscar Bermeo, Jim Barnard, Carla Kandinsky, Barbara Campbell, Mary J. Dacorro, and Patricia France.
Hosted by Richard Silberg
Invocation by Jack & Adelle Foley
Also enjoy an art exhibit by Benny Alba, Nora Aoyagi, Alexis Babayan, Craig Baxter, Barry Ebner, Jon Garaizar, Mariangela Le Thanh, Carmen McNall, Valerie Vargas, Sam Vaughan, Marko Yamagata and artists from the Frank Bette Art Center.
Many of the poets and artists are or have been Berkeley City College or Laney students or instructors!!!!
The even takes place at Berkeley City College auditorium, 2050 Center Street, Berkeley.  Just ½ block from Bart and buses.
Sponsored by BCC’s art and literary journal Milvia Street
.

For Wed. May 8:

Our pattern holds: Submit some creative work in whatever form(s) you have not yet submitted.

And if you have a few minutes, check out this poem by Alice Walker:

http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?collection=journals&handle=hein.journals/vlr16&div=38&id=&page=

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For Wed. May 1:

Please read the packet distributed on the 24th–plus the previous packet piece by Krista.

Please submit a piece of creative work in any of the forms you haven’t yet submitted: short-story, short play, or poetry. Time is getting very short, and we want to give everyone a good shot at a workshop!

________________________________

For Wed. April 24:

Please read the instructor’s short play VIVARIUM. (This link opens in Word.) Look at how the stage directions work to show what characters would be doing, or how they should deliver some of their dialogue. See if you get some ideas for your own play’s development!

Please read the workshop packet distributed on the 17th, and be ready to workshop the Ross’ story (April 10th packet) as well. A few extra copies will be available in the classroom between 5 and 5:45pm.
.
And here’s an opportunity to write with a focused nudge, and maybe be published!
.
99 Stories about Corporations vs. The Rest of Us
Including stories of hope where families, kids, and the rest of us win!
99 STORIES BASICS
Have you been laid off?
–or locked out of educational opportunities?
–or hounded by collections agencies?
–or refused financial aid?
Were you affected by a school or library in your neighborhood closing?
Was your bus route cancelled, or cut back?
Has health insurance been unavailable or ineffective in your life?
Have healthcare costs been an undue burden on your or your family?
Do you have access to good, healthy food?
.
Tell your story! A publisher is seeking stories of 300-700 words, explaining real people’s struggles against corporate greed and governmental failure during this era of corporate and governmental irresponsibility.
.
Each story will ideally include these:

·    Choices made by corporate funded elected official(s) who take money from, or are influenced by corporate $ (include lobbyists $)

·      Benefits to corporations at the expense of kids, families, the rest of us

·      Specifics with regard to who, what, when, where and how

·      Focusing on or including California is a plus

·      Or maybe you have a story about PEOPLE WINNING in a struggle with an irresponsible or greedy corporation! Maybe your story is an example of “Cracks in the System.”

99 STORIES – SUBJECT IDEAS

Banks ** Student Loans ** Credit Default Swaps ** Federal Reserve Bank  ** North Dakota State Bank may be threatened by TPP/Trans-Pacific Partnership

Brain project – Obama – genome project

Budgeting participatory – Community Democracy Project

Climate Change

Clothing (Fashion vs. affordable and comfortable, like healthy, kids make clothes for low wages)

Education, all levels – cost of books; tenure-seeking profs not rocking boat

Eldercare

Election Integrity

Environment

Food – GMOs in our food, Monsanto’s millions (see 99 .. NOTES doc about food)

Fracking – ExxonMobil et al giving millions to Congress to avoid environmental regs

Free Speech

Guns, weapons.

Healthcare  Single Payer in California

Healthy Meal – SF landmark initiative vs. predatory junk food marketing “don’t toy with kids’ health” and “Healthy Meals make us happy” (Corp Acct)

High-speed rail vs. local mass transit

Homeowner’s Bill of Rights – Charlie Davidson

Household products

Housing

Housing ** Foreclosures ** Apartment buildings sold from mom-and-pop to investors

Iceland in some way, e.g. banking, and e.g. as on Proj Censored 3-29-13, Iceland had Julian Assange and then FBI went into a sovereign nation, and they ~sued US~

Immigration = family issue

Italy case per Richard Wolff on Dem Now 3/25/13: dole or business start-up

Job creations (quote-unquote) vs. services to kids

Job opportunities

Jobs moving offshore got tax benefits

Keystone XL oil pipeline and Transcanada (Corp Acct)

LGBT – allow mainstream (work, military, marriage) marginalizing “fringe”

Libraries

McDonald’s shareholder meeting talked health impacts not just profits (Corp Acct)

McDonald’s stopped being in 5 prominent inst (Corp Acct)

Media

Music ** Hip Hop and Rap gets transformed into gansta rap vs. political & community ** Cuba Hip Hop ** Venezuelan Music program privileges and responsibilities – and LA conductor

Nestle’s in Africa, and, per Barbara Lubin now in Iraq (Corp Acct)

Nuclear power, weapons, waste

Parks

Pharmaceuticals – Ridalin

Post office and no ads vs. level competition

Post office required to pre-pay pensions for 75 years vs. privates not required, to even have pensions

Prisons privatized in Philadelphia

Private, public = governmental, Ecovillage = civic vs private.

Privatization  = “they want to own everything”

Profiling

Prop 13 and 2/3 majority – taxes and cuts go down the income ladder

Prop 13 and property tax – higher on residential and younger people, lower on corporations

Radiation ** Wifi ** Cell Phone ** Smart Meters (include how to get rid of them once you’ve got them)

Religion

Sanctions – Cuba and Iraq (KPFA show Barbara Lubin on Dennis Bernstein 3/19/13)

Schools – public v charter

Smart Meters

Sports (e.g. corp. names for government subsidized sports stadiums; corporate ownership of sports teams)

Surveillance

Tax Code

Tea Party – got promoted by Fox and message was degraded by corporations

Tobacco 1997, Joe Camel retired and other marketing to kids (Corp Acct)

Tourism

Transportation subsidies toward expensive contracts, and wealthier commuters ** BART-to-Oakland Airport vs. A/C Transit ** Oil and cars and highways vs. local mass transit

WalMart factory

War ** Weapons ** NRA

Water – Bolivian people won, U.S. also?

Women – allow mainstream (work, military), continued devaluing of “the feminine”

Workplaces – autocratic, not democratic

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For Wed. April 17: Please read the workshop packet distributed on the 10th, and be ready to workshop the two stories by Eleanor and Ross, as well as Angela’s story from the week before. (A few extra copies will be available in the classroom between 5 and 5:45pm.)
If you have not yet submitted a short play, story or poem(s), please try to submit something this week–even if you think of it as a work-in-progress. (Feel free to label it as such, or “not for workshop” as you determine.)
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For Wed. April 10:
1–Please read and annotate the workshop packets of student work submitted on the 3rd. Extra copies will be available in the classroom between 5 and 5:45pm.
2–Time is getting short! Those who have not submitted creative work lately, and anyone who hasn’t submitted at least 3 pages of creative work for the whole semester, BRING IT! –that is, bring a piece of creative writing, any form, any ‘length’.
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–Feel free, as always, to label your work “work in progress” or “not for workshop”.
_________________________________________________________________

Wed. April 3–WOOPS! The instructor neglected to save the website update!

Thanks for showing up for class, all who did!

_________________________________________________________________

——-No class meeting on Wed. March 27–that week is our Spring Break.

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***Wednesday, March 20th at Noon is the last free Laney-only performance of The Farm.***
THE FARM/Animal Farm info and poster
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The Farm performances: Thurs-Fri-Sat this weekend and next. The final performance is Sat. March 23.

For Wednesday, March 20:

1–Please read the two pieces of students’ writing distributed in class on the 13th, and review the pieces remaining in last week’s packet by Wil, Leonardo and Byron. A few extra copies will be available between 5 and 6pm in the classroom. Write a few notes on each piece so you’re prepared to contribute in our workshop.

2–Also please look for a poem you admire at the site Poets.org, and email the web-link (or the URL) to the instructor. This is how we can build a poetry anthology together.

3–Write a poem! Or two! –Creative work in any genre is always welcome!

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For Wednesday, March 13:

1–Please read the four pieces of students’ writing distributed in class on the 6th. A few extra copies will be available between 5 and 6pm in the classroom. Write a few notes on each piece so you’re prepared to contribute in our workshop.

2–Also please read as many of these poems as you have time to prior to class:
(Click on the URLs/web addresses to get straight to the poems.)

_________________________________________________________________ 
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For Wednesday, March 6:
1. Please read the four-page packet of student writing distributed on the 27th–a few extra copies remain, which will be available between 5 and 6pm in the classroom. Please also be ready to workshop Janeau’s poem and Erinanne’s paragraph-vignette, held over from the previous week. Write a few notes on each piece so you’re prepared to contribute in our workshop. This is a great gift we can give to one another!
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2. Please also read the Jack London story To Build a Fire, a short-story classic with a “person vs. nature/person vs. self” hybrid conflict. We will have a reading quiz on this story as well as the Kate Chopin stories from last week.
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(3.***reminder: The Farm opens at Laney Theater at Noon on Wed March 6!
For more details on other performances, hit THIS LINK.***)
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For Wednesday, Feb. 27:

1. Please read these two short stories by Kate Chopin:
As (or after) you read, think about how the character we care and know most about is presented with a situation that either allows or forces her to make decisions. We can do the same with our own stories!
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2. Please also read–and write little notes on–the two student pieces distributed in class. (Extra copies will be available between 5 and 6pm in the classroom.) We will actually engage in our first creative workshop! –A few other pieces will be distributed in class, and we will likely workshop them ‘cold’.
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3. Push your story/stories forward, focusing on 1) knowing who your main character is, and 2) putting them into a situation involving conflict. Challenge, opportunity, crisis, choice, decision–these are what test and reveal our characters.
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For a ‘template’ of playwrighting form, see the Neo-Futurists’ plays distributed in class, and/or the instructor’s play, Vivarium.
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For Wednesday, Feb. 20:

1. Please read through the end of Orwell’s Animal Farm. A short-answer quiz will begin our class.

2. Write a MONOLOGUE (half a page, one page max., poetry or prose) in the voice of one of the characters in Animal Farm. Maybe this is a character who doesn’t get to speak very much in the story–what would this character say? Or maybe it’s a character who speaks plenty, but doesn’t reveal what s/he is really thinking, or what s/he really wants. Please be sure to indicate which chapter the monologue fits into or relates to. –If you have an idea for a speech that would be part of a scene, then go ahead and write the scene!
Monologue– A long, uninterrupted speech (in a narrative or drama) that is spoken in the presence of other characters. Unlike a soliloquy and most aides, a monologue is heard by other characters.” (http://library.thinkquest.org/23846/library/terms/)
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(3. Other creative work–whatever you’ve got on the grill–is always welcome!)
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*****If you dig the short plays by the Neo-Futurists, you might also dig these short pieces by the Chicago and New York casts:

The Dialogue Play  This one is audio-only, but pretty funny!

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Elevator: Love Song For A Day Job  (This one’s by the NY Neo-Futurists.)

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The Paper Machete Commercial

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A Neo-Futurist Map of Subjectively Important Chicago Landmarks

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For Wednesday, Feb. 13:
1. Please read through Chapter 7 of Orwell’s Animal Farm. A short-answer quiz will begin our class. As you read, try to make a note of any evidence in the text that tells you something important about each character/animal. Clearly the animals are intended to reflect human tendancies; what do you notice Orwell telling us about how people act regarding social/political order and organization?
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2. Please read the two short plays by the Neo-Futurists and the poem “Revolution”, and write some notes and/or questions right on the pages. We will likely use the instructor’s poem for a ‘model’ creative workshop, i.e. a class critique of the poem. (No electronic files of these texts are available, but extra copies will be available in class starting at 5pm.)
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3. Creative work is always welcome! Push that story along, or write a poem–or a short play–or a ‘teaser’ for a longer play…
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For Wednesday, Feb. 6:

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1–Please read the following short essay by George Orwell:
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2–Also please begin reading Animal Farm–we will start class with a reading quiz on the first three chapters.
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For Wednesday, Jan. 30: 

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1. Please read “Salvation” by Langston Hughes , and look for Hughes’ use of repetition, different verb tenses, ‘concrete’ nouns and active verbs. If you can swing it, please bring a print copy to class.
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2. Please type up your in-class writing from the first night of class–with or without changes, extension, revision, etc.–or type up a new piece (story? poem? hybrid?) that you write this week! Fresh creative work is ALWAYS welcome!
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__________________________________________________________________________________________
Below this line is information from Fall 2012, which will soon be purged.
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__________________________________________________________________________________________
Thursday, Dec. 13th: Reading and Eating! Feel free to invite someone you love–or someone who loves creative expression, and whom you can at least tolerate! (Food details to be decided Nov. 29-Dec. 6)
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Thursday, Dec. 6th: Our final creative workshop
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For Thursday, Nov. 29th:
  • Please be sure you have read Michelle K’s and Kristen’s stories, as well as the workshop packet distributed on the 15th–we will have a big night of workshopping, plus maybe a little poetic activity, time permitting.
  • On the creative side: Remember: The quantitative goal is to have written and submitted at least one short play, two short stories (or one lengthy short story), and three poems (or three pages of poetry) by Dec. 6th. To have a shot at the workshop, your creative pieces must be submitted by Nov. 29th.
  • If you’d like quick feedback, please email the instructor with your writing pasted into the message box–NOT ATTACHED. –And if you’d like feedback on work that you’ve already submitted in print, please just email the instructor and say so.
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Thursday, Nov. 22: No class meeting–Thanksgiving holiday
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For Thursday, Nov. 15th:
CHANGE OF PLANS!–No reading is assigned, beyond the workshop stories by Kristen and Michelle K.–please do read those stories prior to class.
The instructor just looked at the calendar, and we’re running out of time! Let’s hold of on reading the new set of poem-links, and for this week, please focus on this ONE MAIN GOAL:
Assignment: WRITE A POEM! Maybe two! Maybe three!
Advice:
Just do it.
Don’t “try”, just relax and make a poem!
If you want inspiration, read a few poems you like, and get in the mood.
And/or maybe you can imitate some of the style of a poem that moves you.
–We will resume with the links for the following week. If you haven’t yet sent a poem link to the instructor, please do!
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For Thurz, Nov. 8:
1. Please read the packet distributed on Nov. 1, and come ready to workshop them.
2. Round 2: Please find a free online link to a poem you think our class ought to read, and email the link to the instructor: cweidenbach@peralta.edu. (Copy the link URL/web-address and paste it into your email message.)
3. Please read the poems linked below, and bring one or two lines of notes on each to our next class meeting:
***The links have been repaired!***
Calvin
“l(a” by e.e. cummings
http://poems.writers-network.com/ee_cummings/l-a.html
(You may want to [read] the following link also. It is a web page with an analysis of [this] poem, along with another poem by cummings.)
http://www.gvsu.edu/english/cummings/issue10/Landles10.html

Claudia
“And the Others” by David Berman
http://www.poemtree.com/poems/AndTheOthers.htm
“French Braids” by Robert Crawford
http://www.poemtree.com/poems/FrenchBraids.htm

LaShunda
Author: Alicia Keys
Title:  P.O.W
http://voiceseducation.org/content/alicia-keys-pow-prisoner-words

Theresa
It really is best to hear it out loud because it is about the rhythm:
“Killed by a Flower” by Billy Mann
http://www.leoslyrics.com/billy-mann/killed-by-a-flower-lyrics/

Claudius
“i.m. Hannes Hollo, 1959-1999” by Hannes Hollo
http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19635

Sametta
Equality by Maya Angelo
http://www.ctadams.com/mayaangelou6.html

We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar
http://www.potw.org/archive/potw8.html

Lillian
“I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/i-know-why-the-caged-bird-sings/

Kristen
“The Weight of Nothing” by Amy Uyematsu
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/240190

Michelle K

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For Thurz, Nov. 1:
Do yourself a favor, and hit these links to poems by Gwendolyn Brooks–and hit the play button on the first and third poems to hear Ms. Brooks read the poems–she is a fine performer! –Thanks for the suggestion, LaShonda!
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  • Read: Please read the workshop packet distributed in class on Oct. 25th, and annotate your copies to get ready for our creative workshop.
  • Search, read, select & share: Please find a free online link to a poem you think our class ought to read, and email the link to the instructor: cweidenbach@peralta.edu. (Copy the link URL/web-address and paste it into your email message.) If you MUST select more than one, go ahead–but please put your favorite at the top of the list, in case we don’t have room for more (Thank you!).
  • Reminder: Creative work is always welcome! We will be turning toward poetry, but writing in all genres will continue to be considered for our workshop.
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For Thursday, Oct. 25th:
  • Read: Please read the workshop packet distributed in class on the 18th, and annotate your copies to get ready for our creative workshop.
  • Please bring 5 copies of 1 page of writing by a poet or fiction writer you admire. The idea is to give some ‘proof’ of the genius of the writer you’d like to share and celebrate. (This bonus assignment was hatched on the 11th, but the instructor forgot to post the reminder and guidelines. Sorry!)
  • Reminder: Creative work is always welcome! We will be turning toward poetry, but writing in all genres will continue to be considered for our workshop.
For Thursday, Oct. 18:
  • Write: This is the target date for submitting a completed short-story or narrative play–but it is not an absolute deadline. Remember, feedback and revision are part of the process for successful writing, so if your story doesn’t yet feel ‘just right’, that makes perfect sense!
  • Read: Please read the workshop packet distributed in class on the 11th, and annotate your copies to get ready for our creative workshop.
  • Listen/View: the following four short plays by Chicago’s Neo-Futurists, and write a brief, informal response to the one you like best, explaining why you like it.  If you get inspired, you can seek out more via YouTube–and if you REALLY get inspired, write a script!

The Dialogue Play  This one is audio-only, but pretty funny!

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Elevator: Love Song For A Day Job  (This one’s by the NY Neo-Futurists.)

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The Paper Machete Commercial

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A Neo-Futurist Map of Subjectively Important Chicago Landmarks

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*                            *                            *

*** Tuesday, Oct. 16th: A good local publishing opportunity***
California College of the Art’s literary journal Humble Pie.
Send us an email at humblepie@cca.edu with name, school, type of writing (poetry, fiction, nonfiction), and attach a copy of their work. There is more detailed directions for submissions at humblepiemag.com under the tab “submissions.” It would be really great if we could get as much work as possible before our deadline of October 16th!
Alora Young
CCA’s Undergraduate Literary Journal Humble Pie
Accepting: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Visual Art, and anything in between
Deadline: October 16th
And you can also add us on Facebook for news about the journal and readings that we host on campus!
Thanks again!

*                            *                            *

For Thursday, Oct. 11:

  • Read: Please read the workshop packet distributed in class, and annotate your copies to get ready for our creative workshop. (If you did not get a packet, please try to come to the classroom early, and you can get a copy and read whatever you have time to read.)
  • Write: Keep pushing your story (or play) forward–and/or if you have another story idea, bring a scene for that one. By the 18th of October, everyone should strive to complete a short-story–or a solid ‘chapter’ of a novel, if that’s a better fit. Early submission is GREAT!
  • In class, we will also workshop several pieces ‘cold’–maybe YOUR piece!
  • Bonus credit available: Since we don’t have any ‘outside’ reading assignment this week, let’s take an opportunity to give each other suggestions for reading. For a bonus HW/quiz credit, bring a sample of fiction or poetry that you admire, limited to about one printed ‘book-page’. We can decide together whether to pass these samples around and read them quietly, or read the samples we bring out-loud.

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For Thursday, Oct. 4th:
  • Read: Please read the following first scene of a story the instructor is writing, and be ready to discuss it workshop-style.

Heartland–Chris W

  • Read: Please read the workshop packet distributed in class, and annotate your copies to get ready for our creative workshop. (If you did not get a packet, please try to come to the classroom early, and you can get a copy and read whatever you have time to read.)
  • Write?: If you haven’t yet submitted a scene, please do! (See last week’s assignment.) If you DID submit one, try to keep pushing the story forward–and/or if you have another story idea, please bring a scene of that one. By the 18th of October, everyone should strive to complete a short-story. (Or a solid ‘chapter’ of a novel, if that’s a better fit.)

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For Thursday, Sept. 27th:

Please read the following story by Kate Chopin, and be ready for a brief reading quiz at the beginning of class.

“A Pair of Silk Stockings” by Kate Chopin

Also, please write your way through ONE SCENE of a short story or play, using the character sketch and interview we did in class on the 20th.  (The character sketch document will be added soon on the documents and links page, if you want to do another one for another character.)

More stories by Kate Chopin: http://www.pbs.org/katechopin/library/

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For Thursday, Sept. 20th: Please read TWO of the Edgar Allen Poe short stories (the links are on the Documents page), and write about what you find interesting in them.  Please write roughly one page total. Two that the instructor suggests are “Hop Frog” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”.

Please also read (and/or re-read) the student writing distributed in class, and ANNOTATE your copies with notes in the margins or other blank spaces: “Good description” “Funny” “Reminds me of L. Hughes” “I wish Thomas was in the story more”– and remember: please be honest and kind. The idea will be to give our copies back to the writers, so they will have a record of some of our responses and suggestions.

Creative work (typed, generated this semester) is always welcome–whatever you’re working on!

*Please note: Some interesting events are coming up, one of which is posted on the new Extra Credit Opportunities page at the bottom of the list of course sites–author John Robbins (Diet for a New America) will be at Laney this Saturday afternoon!

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For Thursday, Sept. 13th: Please read the poems linked in this document, and write a short paragraph about the TWO that you like the most, and what you like about them.

English_1B_poetry_anthology–spring2011

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For Thursday, Sept. 6th:

1. Please read the two short-stories by Hughes and London; the links are on the Documents & Links page. We will have a brief reading quiz on both.

2. Creative work is not due, but is always welcome!

In class, we will do some new writing, and share it in small groups.

*Please note: FYI: The somewhat disruptive potential new student who was with us on the 30th will NOT be enrolling in our class.

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Reminder: The SF Mime Troupe is performing their FREE show in Dolores Park, SF, this weekend, Sat-Sun-Mon, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd, at 2pm. Details at www.sfmt.org

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For Thursday, Aug. 30th, 2012:

1. Please read the instructor’s short play, “Vivarium”, which is linked on the Documents page. A brief reading quiz will begin our class meeting.

2. Type up one of the pieces you started in class on the 23rd–or maybe something new?

 

 


Update coming soon–the information below is out-of-date, from a previous semester.

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Please read “To Build a Fire” by Jack London, linked at the upper left, and on-reserve at the Laney Library’s Reserve Desk.  A reading quiz will begin our class meeting.  We will discuss the story and consider some possibilities for our own stories, poems and plays.

Remember:  Creative work (typed!) is always welcome

Monday, Sept. 6:  LABOR DAY HOLIDAY–NO CLASS MEETINGS

 


For Wednesday, Sept. 1:

No new assignments–we’re going to get into those Rumi poems (see #s 1 and 2 under Aug. 30.  We will also do some writing and look at some student writing.

 

For Monday, Aug. 30:

1.  READ the Rumi poems distributed in class on Wed. the 25th, and come to class ready to discuss what you find interesting in one or some or all of them.  (Extra copies are available on the instructor’s office door, Tower 410).

2.  (Extra-Credit) Commit one of the Rumi poems to memory, and recite it to us (no peeky!) to earn an extra homework/quiz credit.

3.  (Optional)  Work on something you began in class, and type it up and submit it!

Remember:  Creative work is due when you are ready to hand it in–but we will be pushing for steady completion of work, too.  Want some quick feedback on something you are working on?  Email it to me, with the creative text pasted into the message (no attachments, please!), and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can.

Also remember:  You can submit work labeled “CONFIDENTIAL” if you would rather not share it with the class.

Last reminders:

The Eat Real Festival at Jack London Square is this Fri-Sat-Sun the 27th thru the 29th.  See eatrealfest.com for the nitty-gritty.

And the Shotgun Players’ pay-what-you-can play “In the Wound” is being performed Sat & Sun at 3pm–it should be BRILLIANT–detailed information is on their website, shotgunplayers.org.

 


 

For Wednesday, Aug. 25:

You have no assignment, but if you feel like typing up one of the pieces you started in class on Monday the 23rd, and submitting it, I’d like to read it!

Reminder:  one last prompt that I suggest you write on your own:
Write the piece of writing you’ve been expecting you’d be asked to write in a creative writing class.  (Come on… YOU know what it is!)

If you didn’t come to class on the 23rd, then just be sure you come on the 25th, and we will go from there!

A more thorough calendar of the whole semester is in development and will be delivered here and in print very soon.


 

Below the dotted line is information from last Spring–I leave it for now as an example of the kind of calendaring and communications that will be part of this semester’s course.

 

 

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Tuesday, May 25:

Our only meeting this week is an opportunity to come and retrieve any creative work and other assigned work that has not yet been retrieved, and to get an early notification of your course grade.  Please come by the classroom any time between 8 and 10am.  (Please note the early start-time, and early end-time.)


Unusual Office Hours during Finals Week:

     Tuesday, 10am-Noon

     Wednesday, 8am-10am, and Noon-1pm

     Friday, 10-11am

Also, I will be in the following classrooms at the following times:

Tuesday, 8-10am, B-256 (Creative Writing)

Wednesday, 10am-Noon, B-257 (English 201)

Wednesday, 6-8pm, B-266 (English 1B)

Friday, 8-10am, B-265 (English 1A)

 


Thursday, May 20:  Portfolios due, due, due!

The creative portfolio must consist of a combination of poems, short stories, and/or plays, according to the following guidelines:

Poems-Plus:                    6 poems (up to 15 pp.) + 1 story OR 1 play

 or…

Superstoryteller:            2 short stories + 3 poems OR 1 play

 or…

Playmaker:                      2 plays + 1 story OR 3 poems

 or…

Triple Combo:               3 poems + 1 play + 1 short story

Portfolio work may be revised versions of work turned in previously, or newer work, or a combination. 

FORMAT:  The page-format of all work should be in accordance with format guidelines on the course syllabus:  Typed, 11-12-point font, poems single-spaced, stories 1.5- or double-spaced.

DUE DATES:  Portfolios are due May 18th or 20th.

Portfolios will be retrievable between 8 and 10am on Tuesday, May 25th.

Please submit what you believe to be your best work!

Also, we will workshop writing distributed on the 18th.

 


Tuesday, May 18:  Workshop of writing distributed on the 13th.

(Portfolios may be submitted early–maybe returned on the 20th!)


Thursday, May 13:  workshop of poems distributed Tues. 11th.

Tues. May 11:  workshop of poems distributed Thursday the 6th.

 


For Thursday, May 6:

1–If you took a part, please come prepared to participate in staged readings of plays!

2–And everyone is encouraged to build a play and submit it for a staged reading–if you want to take advantage of this opportunity, please submit plays by May 13th!

3–Also:  Today or Tuesday are the last days to submit a response to a poem selected by your classmates for the anthology on reserve in the Library, under the instructor’s last name “Weidenbach” and the title “Poems: Group One”.

 

 



For Tuesday, April 27:

Please read the workshop packet distributed in class on the 22nd–three poems and one short play.  (A few additional copies will be available in class.)

Also:  If you haven’t turned in any creative work lately, please submit a poem!

And anyone hoping to workshop a poem, story, or play should try to get it to the instructor sometime in the next two weeks, because we are running out of time!

 


 

For Thursday, April 1:

1.  Please type up one of the very short playlets written (or at least begun) in class on the 23rd–see below for details.

2.  Please read the instructor’s play, “Vivarium”, if you have not yet read it.

3.  Please bring to class a typed paragraph explaining ONE SCENE that you might develop for a character you made a sketch of in class on the 30th.  (This explanation can be called a “treatment” or “outline” of the scene.)

(If you weren’t in class on the 30th, please look for the Character Sketch document in the Documents section of this site, and build a sketch of a character you have in mind, or someone in your life whom you think might make an intriguing character for a story or play.)


For Tuesday, March 30:  Two assignments:

1.  Please read the instructor’s play-script “Vivarium”–on reserve at the Laney Library, and available online in the Documents section of this site–pay special attention to the format of the script, and the way stage directions are presented so that they are easy to differentiate from the dialogue.  (A reading quiz is likely.)

2.  Please also WRITE and type up a draft of at least one of the short play ideas you developed in class on the 23rd.  Go with what you’ve got!  We will work with these brief “playlets” in class to develop our senses of what is possible in theatrical performance.

In case you missed class on the 23rd:

Write for about 3 minutes, under these creative limitations:

1.  ONE character ENTERS onto the stage, SOMEHOW…
then that character makes ONE GESTURE…
then that character EXITS the stage, SOMEHOW.

(In present tense, write the instruction for how the character enters, what gesture the character makes, and how the character exits–also, give an extremely brief description of who the character is, if it matters; for example:  A woman wearing a nun’s habit, or a boy pushing a bicycle, or a teenage boy wearing headphones.)

2.  Try another, different version of #1.

3.  Write the commands for what could happen in a theatrical performance in which NO CHARACTERS APPEAR ONSTAGE.

–Type up at least one of these, and bring a copy to class on the 30th.


Please note:  Thursday the 25th:  NO CLASSES at Peralta Colleges.

 

For Tuesday, March 23:

Please focus on your submission to the Good News magazine (see above), and any other creative work you are working on.

In class we will look at some short-form plays, and write from several starting points to get some plays of our own cooking.

 

 


 

For Thursday, March 11:

Please read the packet of stories and poems distributed in class on the 9th–and write some notes on your copies, whether you plan to give them back to the writers or not.

We will begin class with an optional chance to air some work and get a 90-second critique.

Then we will workshop the work in the packet.


 

For Tuesday, March 9:  In class, we will look at some poems together, and try them as models for poems of our own.

Come as you are–creative work is always welcome!

 


* Reading is imperative for writers.  Be sure to explore the Literature section of the Laney College Library, on the 4th floor in the North/northeast corner.   ( NO I.D. REQUIRED TO BROWSE ! )

Also, the links at the left of this screen are good resources for reading the voices who have captured readers’ imaginations most over the years, and recently, though they do not comprise a definitive collection in either case.  If you know of a good poetry, fiction or playwrighting website, please let me know!

 


For Thursday, March 4:

Come as you are–no specific assignments–but this is a good time to submit creative work and get some feedback prior to the GN deadline, as well as other spring deadlines at magazines and contests.

With that in mind, we will begin class with an optional chance to air some work (read it to us) and get a 90-second critique!

In class, we will look at some poems together, and try them as models for poems of our own.


 

For Tuesday, March 2:

Come as you are–creative work is always welcome!

Cures for “writer’s block”:

1.  Go for a walk.  Look, listen, feel, and breathe, and let your mind do it’s thing.

2.  Try writing something terrible!  (If you fail badly enough, then you might write something brilliant!)

3.  Lay down on the floor–get a fresh perspective and feed your brain some more oxygen.

4.  If something we’ve read in class has gotten under your skin, maybe it’s time to try writing something somehow similar.

5.  Check out Writing the Natural Way from the Laney Library’s reserve desk, and try some of the “Directing Your Hand” exercises.

 


For Tuesday, Feb. 23:

Please read the two stories in the workshop packet distributed in class on the 18th–extra copies will be available in class–sorry no advance copies available this time.

* These are your copies of classmates’ work–please make use of them, and consider writing notes for our workshop right on the copies, and then giving them back to the writers.

*  Stories, poems, and other creative work is always welcome!

——————————————————————————————

Tuesday, Feb. 16:

No homework–but please check out some other poets & poems on the sites linked at the left.  Reading widely makes us better writers!


For Thursday, Feb. 11:

Please read the workshop packet distributed on the 9th–this will be our first whole-class critique workshop!  (Please write a few notes right on your copies, and consider giving them to the writers after our workshops.)

Creative Work is always welcome–just keep it fresh, and TYPE IT UP!


For Tuesday, Feb. 9:  Two assignments:
1)  Please bring a print copy of one poem that you admire, written by someone else, along with a few written ideas about what you think of the poem*.  Use the links at the left on this screen (poets.org / poets & writers) if you wish–they are both very interesting and helpful sites–or go up to the NORTHEAST corner of the FOURTH FLOOR of Laney’s library to browse through literature books and find some POEMS!  –Or make a copy of a favorite poem you already have a copy of–you’ll know that poem even better if you type it up yourself.

*–Please include a brief paragraph about why you are presenting this particular poem, or what you like about it.  (Typed or handwritten is fine–feel free to write or print this paragraph on the copy of the poem itself–just please don’t interfere with the text of the poem!)

2)  Bring a typed or handwritten version of your MY NAME writing from Thursday the 4th.  We will be somehow sharing them in class.  If it’s typed, and you feel good about it, prepare to hand it in!  (–Also if you have it cooking, and want some suggestions/feedback from me right away.)  (If you weren’t in class on the 4th, I’ll fill you in and you can dig into this compelling writing prompt!  A copy of the model (Sandra Cisneros’ “My Name” from The House on Mango Street) will be on reserve at Laney’s Library by 11am Monday, Feb. 8.

Peace, and GO SAINTS!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 


For Thursday, Feb. 4:
Push forward with a short story–modeled after Hughes’ “Salvation” if you wish–and try to submit a short-story, either partial or complete, and TYPED!  (A story is not technically DUE, but it will be best to submit something sooner rather than later!)

For Tuesday, Feb. 2:  Please read “Salvation” by Langston Hughes–linked on this page at the upper left, and then try writing a story of your own, with Hughes’ story as a model.

(I suggest considering how Hughes builds his story, in terms of verb-tense, dialogue, and the order of paragraphs he uses–for example, his first sentence offers a sort of summary of the story.)


For Thursday the 28th:

Assignment:  Please read “To Build a Fire” by Jack London–linked at the upper left of this page.

Optional:  Write something you feel like writing when you think about the word 3. “WET”.