At Jessica Barksdale Inclan’s two-day retreat, I was happy to see L.A. actress and life coach, Adriane Nichols again. We both have attended Jessica’s workshops three times.
When Jessica gave us time to write, I found the deck off of the kitchen with no one else there. I wrote the beginning of Chapter Five for my novel, Norman in the Painting where Jill, the protagonist, reads Adriane’s blog. Jill takes her advice to look at her closet for 5 minutes as a way to begin organizing it. Jessica had told me that in my 25 word submission, I describe Jill’s sister, Viv’s clothing at length, but very little about Jill’s wardrobe. As Jill stares in her closet, she and I realize she has a lack of style and is wondering how to change it, symbolic of the beginning of her transformation.
Adriane also told us that some people disconnect to connect. I plan to have one of my characters show that kind of behavior.
What does your protagonist’s closet look like? Do any of your characters disconnect to connect?
The next two days will be the third time I’ve attended Jessica Barksdale’s writing retreats. Set among the tress in the East Bay hills, with several cozy places to write in between her lectures and critiques of participants 25 page submissions, it’s my favorite place to join writers.
Jessica Barksdale is the author of twelve traditionally published novels, including the best-selling Her Daughter’s Eyes, The Matter of Grace, and When you Believe. Her next novel How to Bake a Man is forthcoming in the fall from Ghostwoods Books. She has published several eBooks and a women’s studies textbook, Diverse Voices of Women.
Jessica teaches composition, creative writing, mythology, and women’s literature at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California, and online novel writing courses for UCLA Extension.
I’ve taken several classes Jessica has taught. On-line writing classes set me forward in my writing career, and her mythology class at DVC was outstanding. The latter reminded me of attending theater plays every day in that semester. Her skill as a presenter/instructor kept every one looking forward to the next class and leaving each one with increased knowledge and joy in time well spent.