Houston Summer Writing Workshop Schedule

Hey Houston Writers!

The dates are set and I’m ready to write!  I’m trying something new this summer and instead of trying to organize several six-week sessions, I want people to just come and write when they can.  (Yea commitment-phobes!) Summer is full of unpredictable schedules, but you can count on getting your creative fix at SWWS every Tuesday and/or Friday starting in June going through August.

So the schedule is as follows: Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm & Fridays 1-3pm. ($20 per session) || Saturdays June 21, July 19, & August 16 from 9am – 1pm ($35 per session) *If you just want to come try it, your first session is always free!*  Come to one, come to them all!

SWWS has also joined Instagram.  I’m not a big fan of most social media, but this is a platform I can get behind.  I’m a lover of words + pictures and I’m excited to engage fellow creatives in this unique space.

Click on the links up top to learn more about the method I facilitate and to sign up!

SWWS Summer Writing Workshop

The New View

Some things are completely unexpected, but you know it’s right when it happens.  For some time I had been planning on opening my physical studio space in one place, but through a series of events I found a different space.  Space *A* is brand new and sparkling (wifi included); space *B* is a bit more DIY.  With much contemplation and a serious Pro-Con list, space *B* has become the new home for the Salt Water Writing Studio.  It will take a few weeks longer than expected to be up and running — which means no more workshops for the rest of the year — but 2014 will bring bright, new things indeed.  Keep checking back for progress reports and the *grand opening*.

New View

Poetry Night

The Salt Water Writers met again last night and pushed up against (and with) poetry.  I am by no means a poet, or even a well-read one.  But just like with modern art, I continue to engage and try to better understand why it is that I like something.  I can’t explain why I like some poetry (and some art), but my hope is that if I continue to experience it and try to figure out what it is that I like about it, then I will be able to emulate and/or create something of my own.

It could have been the bright moon or the fact that we’re close to Halloween, but last night was decidedly strange as we were all in a peculiar (read: dark/tired/snarky) mood.  One of our writers created a haunting tale of a hospital scene that was so spot on and used merely 14 words (or thereabouts).  Another wrote about an inhumane practice from a foreign culture; another about the tiny wounds we inflict on one another; and another about a foggy morning and a butcher knife.  Although a lot of what we created was “dark”, the writing poetry was good — and that is still my metric for success.  I love writing with these people.  Maybe I should read a little E.A.Poe this weekend to continue our dark path…

Blood of a Poet

[scene from the film — Blood of a Poet]

In the Magic Business


The Salt Water Writers gathered again this past Tuesday and wrote about “home” and menial things.  I continue to be blown away by the words that comes out of these people.  They can take an idea like unpacking a suitcase or organizing a closet and make it into quite the adventure and layered with depth.  One of our writers mentioned a book she read about the collective unconscious and I tell you, we were sharing something similar.

At the end of the workshop, the writers began to talk about some things that they like about the group; what they did not realize is that they were discussing exactly what makes the AWA method so powerful.  It added a new sparkle to my eyes to see the method in action with novice participants; and to actually watch a writer who thought she had put crap on paper realize that it wasn’t crap and in fact it was quite beautiful, gave me a rush of adrenaline.  It was equally as amazing to watch another writer find grace in an area of life that is usually full of despair – all because she wrote it out (and in an unconventional way!)

And really, this is the unarticulated reason I wanted to open this studio: to make magic together.



There’s A First Time For Everything


The Salt Water Writing Studio completed its first writing group last night!  Although nerves were high (at least mine were), everyone eventually loosened their grip on their critic and started to have a little fun.

Together we drove through a hole in a map, played with Collies, smelled sourdough bread, met over-sexed sailors, let the wind whip our hair, showered in the shadow of a continent, and questioned our boundaries.  It was a thrilling experience to write with new writers who are discovering that they have a unique voice and that I am offering a safe space in which to let it out. I’m looking forward to next week!

SWWS Folders

[If you are in Houston and are interested in joining a writing group/workshop click here.]

Leap of Faith — Launching My Own Business


About seven years ago, this novice writer found herself on the doorstep of her first-ever writing group.  Only my journals had ever seen the ink from my pen, but there I was stepping out of my comfort zone with seven strangers, bonded only by our love of the written word.  I had no idea what to expect; just who exactly were these other people and why in the world they would be interested in the same thing as me?  But that first night in a beautiful house on the shores of Lake Michigan would turn into a full-blown, four-year love affair of not only writing, but writing with others.

I then moved from Michigan to my home state of Texas and my pen stopped moving for a long time.  After the dust settled, something deep in my belly began stirring (and it wasn’t just all the amazing food that is Southeast Texas cuisine) and my pen felt a little restless.  I missed my writing partners and the safe space we had created.  So naturally, I would need to find another group…I was ready to begin again.  However, to my dismay, AWA did not have a facilitator or chapter in Houston.

For months my disappointed little mind would play on repeat, “Awwww, man! I can’t believe there isn’t an AWA group in Houston.  It’s the 4th largest city in the country for cryin’ out loud!”  One day though, the light clicked on.

As I repeated the familiar (and by now worn out) lament, the downturned corners of my mouth gave way to slowly raised eyebrows, a faster repetition, and a few exclamation points at the end.  At that moment I knew – the reason Houston didn’t have an AWA group is because I had not yet started one!

Life circumstances being what they are, my dream is finally becoming a reality.  As of today, I am officially launching the Salt Water Writing Studio – Houston’s only AWA writing group and workshop.  I hope to create a safe and stimulating writing space for beginners and experts, recovering MFA’s and moleskin journalers; a space where anyone who writes is a writer and a collaboration of unique and validated voices, whom we shall all learn from and with, together.

You can learn more about the AWA method here, but more importantly you can come write with me and experience it for yourself.  Hold on Houston, this could be huge!