What's Tony Thinking

Writing in the Wild and more


“Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

So wrote Anton Chekov.

“Show the reader everything, tell them nothing.” Hemingway.

It’s a cardinal rule for writing poetry and fiction. “Show don’t tell.”

That will be our theme and learning focus for my next “Writing in the Wild” workshop at Discovery Park. It will be held on Saturday, May 4, 10 – 1. We will meet at the North Parking Lot, spending most of our time on the nearby Wolf Tree Nature Trail where there are some amazing trees.

Honestly, a fair bit of the writing I have done and still do is the telling, i.e. semi-instructional in nature. A lot of non-fiction and technical writing is like that. But the challenge in creative writing is to “show not tell.” And it’s a good challenge. I hope my poetry (occasionally published here) and some of my essays approach that.

Writing that “shows rather than tells” challenges the reader to do some discoveries and connections of their own. It also affords to the reader a certain freedom. You aren’t told what to think, only prompted to think, to feel, to notice, to join the writer in paying attention.

So we will work on these things at the next iteration of my “Writing In the Wild.” Interested. Go to this link to review the spring programs and to register.

I limit these “Writing in the Wild” groups to a fairly small number, 6. I’ve discovered that’s as many as we can have and allow people to share their writing and receive feedback. You don’t have to share, but you’ll have the chance to do so. And I have a few “rules” that make it safe for sharing.

No previous experience as a writer is required to participate in “Writing in the Wild.” Ages 14 and up welcome.

A little later in the spring, on June 8, I’ll be leading a different program, “Habitat Hunt.”

One of the things I love most about Seattle’s largest park, Discovery, is the diversity of habitats within the Park. There are five distinct habitats at Discovery Park, each with its own flora and fauna, it’s own feel and smell.

On “Habitat Hunt” we will sample each of the five habitats, hoping to discover something about each one. Time frame is 9:00 to 11:00 on Saturday morning, June 8. I’ll be joined by colleagues who are experts on birds and tree/ shrubs. Should be fun.

Were it left to me, these programs would be free. But the City of Seattle wants these volunteer-led programs to be an income stream!?So there’s a $10 registration fee for each one. If that’s a problem, let me know. I’ll pay it for you.

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