Writing adventures ahead


This is a post I meant to write on my birthday, which was yesterday. Yesterday, I fully intended to plan out my writing adventures for this upcoming year. I would journal and blog and make schedules and send messages and plot workshops onto calendars. Instead, I indulged every lovely whim: I was treated to lunch by a friend, hugged my dad, went to the movies, opened presents and cards, and went on a dinner date with Kevin. When I sat down at 10PM to write in my journal, I was promptly interrupted by my youngest, who needed me to read Harry Potter to him — the last book in the series has become too dark for him to read alone in his bed: “It’s like she [JK Rowling] dug down so far that she hit a sewer pipe and then she just kept digging!” He pronounced it “swer” pipe. I love when my children mispronounce difficult words — it means they’ve learned the word by reading it. Thus ended the journaling.

Listen, my mind is humming with ideas and plans. Listen, I’m going to get them down on the page, out into the world.

I’ve been working on sketching out the curriculum for a 12-week creativity course, based on Lynda Barry’s Syllabus. (That’s what it looks like, above.) The course involves a lot of writing and perhaps even more drawing, using a variety of materials (crayons, watercolours, pencils, ink). The goal of the course is to create an illustrated handmade book, roughly in the form of a short graphic novel, although the book could take any form, really, so long as it has stories and drawings. In order to refine the curriculum, and understand my own capacity to teach this course, I’m going to test out my ideas over the next twelve weeks. I am looking for a few guinea pigs to test the ideas with me. You don’t have to live nearby, as I’d also like to discover whether it would be feasible to administer and take this course from a distance.

Are you interested?!

If so, please contact me, and I will send you details of what I’m imagining for this very rough, experimental, alpha version of the course. It’s a reasonably big commitment (12 weeks of serious writing and drawing assignments), but I’m looking forward to exploring in new and creative ways. I’m looking forward to building new stories.

UPDATE, JAN. 3, 2017: Thank you to everyone who volunteered to be a guinea pig! The trial spots have all been filled. Stay tuned for progress reports throughout the term, and let me know if you would like to be contacted with info about future courses.

xo, Carrie

On insecurity
Materials, gathering


  1. Bunty McCabe Albert

    I would be interested in being one of your guinea pigs. Tell me more.

    Would there be more than the 3 hours per week? And would the ‘classroom’ three hours be on line? Using Zoom for instance? And what period would it cover? I hope to be travelling for two to three weeks between mid-April and the end of May. (And I won’t even think about the play I’m producing in February….)

    I have loads of pens, art supplies and paper (I’m a bit of a hoarder) so wouldn’t even need to go shopping.
    I’m 68, retired, and live in PEI, but my children and grands do not.

  2. MaryLou Driedger

    Hi Carrie,
    I would be very interested in being a tester for your course. I live in Winnipeg but am actually spending the next two months in Arizona on a winter vacation so will have time to do something creative and interesting. If you still have room for one more person I’d love to be included. Let me know.
    MaryLou Driedger

  3. Belva Cousens

    Delighted with your idea of a creativity course. Will watch as you go alone, as you are now full. I am 80 years old and just finished The Girl Runner with great pleasure. Thank you. Am sharing it with my book club and a daughter , who teaches Sport for adeveopment at Brock university. A gift for all of us. Belva Cousens


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