Ah, January, when we book -- or dream of -- holidays. But you are instead jumping into the next creative writing term. What a great excuse for looking through your postcards -- you do succumb to postcard temptation, don't you?
Travel Postcards, Surreal Postcards, Mythical, Animal... images are fantastic (I used that word purposely) stimulus. I have just put on the Matrix book website the how-to for using postcards/pictures in class exercises. It's a sneak-peek and free-for-you sampling with 4 subject categories and 3 methods with which to charm, bedazzle and encourage your students.
Treat your writers to a postcard exercise once a month -- that'll help you get through the term. The book, Creative Writing: the Matrix, has other tips on planning and running a course. Right here, this blog offers further exercises and support. See the post of 4 July 2011 where I listed particularly practical Labels like Exercises, Lesson Planning, Start of Term... or just go right to Labels and dip in.
I am now in re-revise stage of the epic docu-novel that is the story of the life of my great grand-father Ephraim M Epstein. It takes him from Belarus to Dakota Territory to the hills of West Virginia, through two marriages, ten children, careers as a missionary, a doctor, a university founder, a journalist, and back and forth between Judaism and Christianity. Because of this last my original title was Testing the Gods, but a recent discovery triggered a change of title to The Notorious Dr Epstein. Exciting! Last minute! Will it ever end? I am building a blog for him/it... but as all true writers know, I must first and foremost dedicate myself to finishing the book.
Still have some room to coach-buddy writers and creative writing tutors -- see column right. Meanwhile, treat yourself to an Artist's Date (thank you, Julia Cameron). Go out to a gallery or museum exhibition, then to its shop and indulge yourself in postcards that evoke a response in you.