One Word at a Time March 12, 2015 Meeting
Was it the draw of a raffle prize that beefed up meeting attendance or the lure of an engaging guest speaker? Perhaps it was the shift to the smaller Lillie Room where the walls didn’t absorb voices and there were no tables to act as barriers to the free flow of conversation. We didn’t poll. We simply enjoyed the camaraderie of a large group of returning and new members.
Lynne Ryder, an actress and writer, came in with a mission – to loosen up our creative muscles – and she brought the enthusiasm of a drill instructor. Using improv exercises, she had even the shyest of writers jumping in to participate in her games. A version of “Follow the leader” loosened up the inhibitions that so many of us shelter behind.
A game called “What are you Doing” had everyone laughing and trying to top each other with incongruous visual and verbal cues. Then came the “Home Shopping Network” game and the crux of the improv workshop. Working with an assortment of oddball objects and tasked to present not the object, but something that object inspired, teams of two filled the room with the brilliant and ridiculous.
The game brought to mind the late Robin Williams and his appearance on the Actor’s Studio. He borrowed a shawl from an audience member and proceeded to do five minutes of improv. Exactly what we were doing. Entertaining ideas, exploring options and creating images without rhyme or reason, just letting imagination fly.
While catching our breath, Evergreen and I read the essays that were submitted. Common themes were quite apparent. People expressed a strong desire for community and feedback, and for speakers that have had success in writing to discuss the journey. A winner was selected by blind drawing. Congratulations to Rick.
After a final wild version of the Party game from Who’s Life is it Anyway, we retired with fewer inhibitions and an arsenal of techniques to hopefully break writer’s block in the future. Thank you Lynne for a hilarious night.
Lisa Iriarte said it best. We are writers because we can’t not write. Traditionally published, self published, unpublished, exorcising daily demons or playing in the lily fields of our minds, we have to write or go mad. A lonely profession, it helps to know that there are like minds out there and we can get together and bounce ideas off one another.
If you’ve missed us, come join us at our April meeting. Hart Library, Downtown Kissimmee, new hours 7 – 8:30 pm.
Written by Pat