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The Verdict is In

I'm thrilled to report the third and final session of the writer's workshop was a grand success. As each participant read their short story to the group, I was amazed at the quality and depth of the work. Humor, sorrow, adventure, suspense, and harrowing recollections all stirred my imagination as the stories unfolded. My eyes were glued to the author waiting for the next engaging detail. All of this on the backdrop of anxious feelings of inadequacy and incompetence when the workshop began.

As I listened, I was reminded everyone has a story to tell. Often, all that is needed are the tools and encouragement to share it. Once people are in a judgement free zone, understand the writing process, and implement the traits of solid writing, a lovely piece follows. Similar to my years of teaching teaching language arts, I was amazed at what people had to say, and how they chose to say it.

With the author's permission, I have included a few lines from Gary's story. Gary is an energetic man in his 70's who has lived a long and colorful life. He wrote about his time in Costa Rica as a youth. I was most impressed with his word choice and vivid imagery. I felt as though I was in the rain forest with him and could see, feel and taste what he experienced.

excerpts from COSTA RICA '68

by Gary Ahrens

"The excitement began at Costa Rica's Cordillera de Talamanca mountains. Its high mountain pass pulled you into a surreal experience. As you ascended into its ethereal beauty, you entered into the cloud's soul—the fog. It enshrouded the narrow pass of 'ever wet and rounded' rocks and boulders which pushed against the tires of any who'd pass over its back ....... Boulders lined the outer edge; every rich hue of green within immediate reach."

"Dawn opened in a soft-toned symphony as the sun endowed the vale in lavish green. I found myself in the midst of rich verdant coffee plantations, sipping its cherished contribution to mankind. The plush valley swallowed up the river's rage, barely clearing the old bridge I had to cross."

I hope you feel encouraged to write your story.

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