Power of the Pen Writing Course

While I have been busy all month packing, moving, cleaning, and now unpacking and organizing, I have not had much time for my writing projects. 

I still make notes in my writing journal, jot down interesting ideas, think about where my stories are going, and read posts in online writing groups. One of the posts I came across was for a free online writing course about Social Issues and Identity in Fiction and Non-Fiction. My alley, it’s right up it.

http://www.writingwa.org/articles/power-of-the-pen-2017-moocs
Each week the instructors post video lectures and readings about the topic, encouraging discussion and building a network with other writers. The first assignment is to write 1000-1500 words about a portrait of a person and how they fit into their community. 

I thought at first about doing a memoir, but changing it to be fiction. How I felt displaced growing up, building a sense of belonging by coming to terms with negativity and mental health, who I am in the community now. 

One of the talks encouraged me to think deeper about what issues there are in my city, and I thought of the overlooked impoverished people that are here that no one really talks about. One man in particular, who I see going through my dumpster, inspired me to create a fictional day in the life of someone “rescued from homelessness” as my city is a front runner in the Housing First program. 

I’m thinking of a film I saw back in Art School called “In the Gutter and Other Good Places” about people who scavenge for cans and bottles to get the recycle refund. I want to show how this man is resilient and resourceful, not some drunk freeloader mooching others’ hard earned tax dollars. 

I’m excited to see where the course goes, and possibly sign up for other sessions in the future. 

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