Writing is complicated. It contains struggle; it contains joy, and it supposes to be a healing tool while at the same time, it can cause a writer a lot of stress. This group will discuss the many faces of writing and how engaging in fun and diverse writing activities can alleviate stress. This, in turn, can result in more writing and enhance pleasure and future rewards. 

Each of the six classes will concentrate on an aspect of writing that can be potentially stressful to the point that the writer is convinced that they wrote every last word, and there is nothing left. Those aspects will be further explained, and strategies of overcoming given via examples and exercises. The central premise of the class is that engaging in fun writing activities is as powerful as any writing tool. It can remove hurdles and open the vein of writing.

Students who successfully complete this class will be able to: 

Understand better their relationship with writing and utilize effective strategies to feel comfortable and in control, with their process of writing.

Class outline,

· Unit 1: The inner critic. How it manifests itself to create a vicious circle that, in turn, blocks writing. We will discuss and exercise ways to tone down its voice. 

· Unit 2: The blank page syndrome. An intimidating situation that most writers face at some point or another in their lives. We will introduce the idea of mind mapping and see how practicing mind maps can be used as a tool to overcome the syndrome. 

· Unit 3: My life, my story. We all have a unique story. A story we draw on when we write. Whether fiction or nonfiction or poems, this is where we go when we are searching for inspiration. The Lifeline as a way to achieve a broader look at the writer's life. It will be discussed and tried as will its use to reduce stress and generate writing ideas. 

· Unit 4: Collecting my words. Words are the writer's tool of the trade. In this unit, we will engage in several playful activities that will use words as the building blocks that they are, to create magnificent structures.

· Unit 5: Editing for further insight. Editing old and new writings are what we all do as writers to polish our stories. This practice can be used to bring new life and depth to our stories. It is also a powerful strategy to combat our inner critic and blank page syndrome and can be called in at any time.  

· Unit 6: This, I believe. Connecting the dots with the writer's inner beliefs and his/her writing practices and stories can enhance and enrich writing. It can also be used as a tool for reflection. A reminder of why the writer is engaged in this demanding activity, to begin with. 

ONLINE CLASSES A CLOSER LOOK

Class Title: I Write Therefore I am

Drawing With Light – Painting With Words     Enhancing writing via photography 

Classes begin every 1st  & 15th of the month.

One-to-one or small groups

The participants will communicate with me and each other through e-mail , and a private yahoo group - https://groups.io/groups.

For questions and details about participation and payment please use the contact page.

Class Title: It feels like home

Paper dragon

Writing classes you can join

 
                          Class Title: Historical Fiction

1. I Write Therefore I am - 6 meetings


2. It Feels Like Home - 6 meetings


3. Writing Historical Fiction - 6 meetings


4. Painting With Light - Drawing With Words - 10 meetings (can be done in two parts)



Images (pictures, photographs)  can enhance writing by injecting creative energy that originates in the sense of vision. All we have to do is look around as explorers and be open to what the views stir inside us.  This is not a photography class; it is a writing class that draws on the power of the visual.

Each of the ten classes will start with instructions regarding the week’s photography assignment, followed by writing suggestions. Combining photography with a writing prompt will generate a conversation between the visual and the literary. Photographs can be taken on a phone camera.

Students will be able to use their surroundings as an untapped reservoir for writing inspiration.

The class material will be delivered by using a Yahoo Group, where students will be able to read, post, and respond to each other.

This class emerged as an idea during the past months of forced confinement to our homes. I later offered it as an experiment to a small online writing group that I facilitate in the  hope that writing and photographing will help turn the ‘shelter at home ‘period into a writing opportunity. It generated ten weeks of fruitful and enjoyable writing and sharing.

 

Class outline:

· Unit 1: On Personality and Space

The house/home we live in, whether owned or rented, reflects sides of our personality that might be interesting to look at through the eye of the camera's and the written words.

· Unit 2: Objects Tell Stories

We all have our collection of 'things.' Pictures, drawings, books, and assorted memorabilia collected over the years. The list might be long or short depending on how inclined we are to collect and keep. Some of these 'objects' accompanied us for many years. We will pick one or two of these 'objects,' snap a picture, and tell their story, our story.

· Unit 3: Hidden Corners

Houses, much like live organisms, present a façade that is an attempt to show the world a well-put-together appearance and cover-up the less appealing parts in ingenious ways. Once identified they can be photographed and used as prompts for writing.

· Unit 4: Shadows Enhance Light

The intricate relationship between light and shadow in the 'real' world create an exciting exchange we can express through our writing. By emphasizing the shadows, the pictures we are trying to paint with words can be highlighted.

· Unit 5: Pieces of the Whole

At times a missing piece is just a missing piece. Still, as unimportant as it might appear initially, without it, the whole will never be completed. This class will be about experimenting with the idea visually and literally.

· Unit 6: From the Outside Looking In

Looking from the outside can give us a unique perspective on ourselves and others. Photographing it can create a story from a new and surprising angle.

Unit 7: Nature Talks to Me in Colors

In this unit, we will concentrate on aspects of nature that are all around us and often go unnoticed. These tiny flowers, the bend of a tree, the way the light shines through the leaves. All of these details that add color and joy.

Unit 8: On Juxtaposition, Subtext, and Dialogue

The act or an instance of placing two or more images side by side often to compare or contrast or to create an exciting effect is a way to highlight the subtext and create a dialogue. It can be done with photographs, and so it can be done with words.

Unit 9: Frozen Time

For this week’s challenge search for a picture of a person or a place that can give you a glimpse of the past. Think of how it makes you feel, try to carry a conversation with that fraction of moment caught by the camera. Take this frozen moment and bring it back to life.   

Unit 10: I Contain Multitudes

“Do I contradict myself?

Very well then, I contradict myself,

(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”

Song of Myself, 51 Walt Whitman - 1819-1892



Instructor: Ariela Zucker

Synopsis

 
This class will concentrate on stories we know and like. Stories that are close-to-home and involve people and places that we know firsthand or always cared about. We will begin with short stories, and if in time they will develop into full-scale novels, that will be a bonus. 

 
Class Description

Historical Fiction may appear intimidating and reminds us of school, hopefully at the end of this class, the students will have a deeper understanding of this particular genre; why it might be rewarding to give it a try, and how to approach it. 

Instruction/Communication Method

 Members of this group will communicate with the instructor and each other via an online group. On the first day, a detailed overview of the class will be posted. Guidance on posting work to the group, and how to respond to other group members will be given in the first class. 

At the beginning of each of the six weeks, a short lecture plus several exercises will be posted. This post will explain the lesson goal and help with the assigned weekly writing.

This class is geared to create an in-depth understanding of historical Fiction. This understanding can play an essential part in writing. 


Outline

Unit 1: Personal introduction via a short questionnaire. The stories we always wanted to  tell. Historical Fiction what it is all about. 
Unit 2: Let’s take a step back. Some do's, and some don'ts to map the way.
Unit 3: A broader look at the story. The research we cannot do without.
Unit 4: The short historical fiction and other literary forms of this genre.
 Unit 5: A look at the future
 Unit 6: The heart beats of my forming story.


Student Skills, Equipment, and Time Required

No writing experience necessary. The class can benefit a beginner, an explorer, or a seasoned writer. There is something here for everyone. 

Access to a computer is a must: a Word or a compatible word-processing program.

 
Time Commitment: 

It varies, two to four hours a week. This time includes reading, writing, posting, and offering feedback to other writers who post to the group. 

 
Outline/detailed

• Unit 1: Personal introduction via a short questionnaire. The stories we always wanted to  tell. Historical Fiction what it is all about. 

Historical Fiction is not a homogeneous, clear-cut genre; different writers have their take on what included and what is not, and the writer will have to form his own understanding. Perhaps thinking of what attracts us to tackle this type of writing might supply some of the answers. 

A short questionnaire presented in this unit as a way of introduction and presenting the possible stories the students are contemplating.

• Unit 2: Let’s take a step back. Some do's, and some don'ts to map the way.

 Historical Fiction includes research, but, in the end, it is about the story. It is about entertaining the reader and attract him; it is about creating meaning and understanding. In this class we will experiment with using the facts that derive from research to create a vivid picture for the reader.

• Unit 3: A wider look at the story. The research we cannot do without

The tricky part is how much research is needed, how much of the research needs to find its way into the story, and when to stop the research so the writer can write. In other words, how to know when to stop researching and how to write a story that is a fictional story and not a research paper. We will reflect again on the story we chose to write; sort through the facts to create an outline for the story.  

• Unit 4: The short historical fiction and other literary forms of this genre.

What drives the need to write historical Fiction? What are the benefits to the writer and the reader? Historical fiction has many forms which of them will best serve your story.

• Unit 5: A look at the future.

Futuristic (Sci-Fi) literature as a form of Historical Fiction.

The exciting ways to utilize literature when we give ourselves the option to write both about the past and the future. 

Unit 6 : The heart beats of my forming story. From draft to final project – Discussion on how to proceed, and some final thoughts and links.



Instructor: Ariela Zucker

Synopsis

Home- one simple word yet it generates so many emotions, memories, and musing.

Home – one word that stirs up different images for different people,

In this class, we will dedicate some time to talk, read (and write) about what home means for each one of us and how these reflections can evoke writing.

Class Description

At the end of this class, the student will have a deeper understanding of home and what it means from the most basic childhood concept to its place in the hierarchy of our basic needs to the emotional role home plays in our life.

Instruction/Communication Method: Members of this group will communicate with me and each other through e-mail , and a private yahoo group - https://groups.io/groups.

On the first day, I will post a detailed overview of the class. I will also offer guidance on how to post your work to the group, and how to respond to each other's work.

At the beginning of each of the six weeks, I will post a short lecture plus several exercises that will help explain the lesson goal and help with the assigned weekly writing. 

This class will be dedicated to reflecting via a deeper understanding of the place home, from the most basic premise of a shelter that can supply us with walls and roof to the deeper meanings and emotions this one single word can arise. We will examine how this understanding can play an important part in our writing. 

Outline

•    Unit 1:  Home as a concept

•    Unit 2: Home as survival/shelter

•    Unit 3: My childhood home/ home as a memory

•    Unit 4: My present home/ home as a reflection on self

•    Unit 5: My dream home/home as a dream and a vision

•    Unit 6: Home is not a place but a state of mind

Student Skills, Equipment, and Time Required

No writing experience necessary. You can be a total beginner, an explorer, or a seasoned writer. We all begin in the same place, and there is something here for everyone.

You will need access to a computer. You will need to use Word or a compatible word-processing program to compose (or transcribe your handwritten) writings.

Time Commitment: It varies, but you can expect to spend about two to four hours a week. This includes reading, writing, posting, and offering feedback to other writers who post in the group.

Outline/detailed

•    Unit 1:  It starts with a concept

Home as a universal concept that we all share. Examples, explanations via reading material and assignments.

•    Unit 2:  Home as a survival/shelter

My home is my castle, not just a saying but a reflection on how this journey of defining one’s home begins with the most basic need.

Introduction to mind-maps as a tool to use during the class.

•    Unit 3:  My childhood home/ home as a memory

Our childhood home while not our choice holds many memories that define later in life how we see our home as adults.

•    Unit 4: My present home/ home as a reflection on self

The house we live in reflects on who we are in many ways; some subtle and some more obvious. What is essential to us aesthetically, and how we share the space with other important people in our lives. 

•    Unit 5: My dream home/home as a dream and a vision

Home, homes, and certain sections of our dwellings are a recurrent theme in many people dreams. It comes to show how deep the symbol of a home is engraved into our psyche. Many of us also fantasize the type of home we would like to live in if we’d to have a complete choice or the courage to pursue our desires.

•    Unit 6: Home is not a place but a state of mind.

Home while we usually think of it as a physical dwelling can also represent an abstract yearning, or longing concentrated on the feeling of warmth and belonging.