I had the great pleasure of presenting my book The Soul of Place -A Creative Writing Workshop: Ideas and Exercises for Conjuring the Genius Loci at the American Library in Paris this fall, where I conducted a small place-writing workshop. Here are a few excerpts from my talk - and some writing prompts chosen for this particular venue.
"This is a book about how to enhance our awareness of places and find in the environments around us inspiration and material for artistic and writing projects . It’s very much a personal journey , retracing my own creative process and discoveries as a writer, reader, teacher, and traveler. Its most basic premise is that there is a power or energy at work in some, perhaps all places, that speaks directly to our imaginations and nourishes them.
Many writers, artists, photographers, psychogeographers have recorded eloquent testimonies of the ways particular places have inspired them, and it would take to long to share even a few. They boil down to a few concepts: "Landscape is character," in the words of Henry James. For Lawrence Durrell, "We are expressions of our landscape." And the houses and rooms we live in are analogues for the self. We keep up an ongoing dialogue with the places we live of which we are totally unaware. Houses and landscape inhabit us just as much as we inhabit them."
Here are 6 prompts from the workshop I gave:
1. Write about stairs : you stand at the top or at the bottom of a stairway, and you know that when you reach top/bottom you will enter a space where something life-changing will happen.
2. Write about a tree you have never forgotten.
3.Write about your first kitchen in a foreign house –an object in that kitchen that manifests its "foreignness" and what you did with it.
4.Write about a place where "silence" had a new meaning for you.
5.Write about a statue you would like to talk to
6.Recall a window, door, or drawer in a place you no longer live. Take hold of the handle or door knob. How does it feel in your hand? Now open it and describe what you find there.
See these prompts with photos here https://magiclibrarybomarzo.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/6-place-writing-prompts-from-my-american-library-in-paris-presentation/