Saturday will be the third and final session for the first iteration of the Invitation to Dreaming series. I am in the midst of preparing what’s called a draaiboek for Saturday. This is a useful tool that I highly recommend for people planning workshops. Basically, what I’ve done is create two different scripts for the day. One that’s detailed and one that’s bare bones. The barebones script is an approximate time schedule with lunch and breaks figured out while the detailed script includes notes and reminders to myself with highlighted notes on what it is that I want participants to take away with them. I’ve also written out my lesson plan so that I hear the words I want to say in my head. They may undergo transformation in the telling as I don’t do the workshop with a script in my hand, but the gist of it remains the same.
For this final day, I want participants to reflect on how the exercises we’ve used during the first two sessions are useful when we think of planning out a longer work and working over a longer period of time on a particular project.
Because not all of my participants may end up embracing a writing project, I want to emphasize that while they might not think of story making in terms of publishing professionally, they can also think of writing or creating and sharing stories as a form of legacy related to their journey as BIPOC and as members of a migrant community. We can never underestimate how valuable such sharings are for the younger generation or for the generations that follow. I am still very grateful that my Dad wrote lengthy letters to his children and that he decided to try and write a little about his personal history before he died. Knowing that I have that record that I can look back on now that he’s no longer here gives me this feeling of still being connected.
I have participants who are very interested in embracing writing or storytelling in some form. Some might want to embrace doing roleplay or theater type performances together, while others may go on to write their memoirs or continue to explore other kinds of fiction writing and that’s definitely something I want to encourage. These different types of making are beautiful and magical and transformative in power.
I feel very privileged indeed to be witnessing such flowerings and also to hear people say that they’d never imagined that writing a story was a possibility for them (even if they’d always wanted to)–well, that’s the reason why I felt and do feel it’s important to bring this workshop to communities.
During the communal worldbuilding exercise, one of the women said that it was hard to imagine in a science fiction way and that it was hard for them to envision a future world without thinking of politics. (Imagine me doing mental squee.) And then, this woman went on to share a story that was so damned good, I was like: what do you mean you can’t write science fiction?
In its naked self, story is about writing, sharing, telling what you see, what you envision and what it means to you. And the best stories are the ones that come from that place of feeling safe enough to be vulnerable. I have heard so much joy and laughter among the participants during the first two sessions and I want to continue to remind them that this is the joy you hang onto when you’re in that space facing your story.
I know there are many other things that go into stories, but on the journey, joy is one thing we need to take along with us. Hope, joy, and love, and also community.