Some of us may be feeling stressed in the run-up to Christmas, but the last workshop of 2015, followed by the Holiday Party, were a welcome antidote to the mad scramble of consumerism.
Susan Tiberghien led the morning session, with a powerful discussion of dreams as gateways to the unconscious and creative mind. Giving examples from nearly 5000 years of recorded history, travelling through Sumeria, China, India, Greece and the Bible, Susan then introduced us to Carl Gustav Jung's work on dreaming as an access point to a deeper level of unconscious thought. She invited those of us who can never remember our dreams upon waking to make a habit of jotting down at least some fragments because 'paying attention to our dreams will improve recall'. Giving personal examples, she taught us how to dialogue with our dreams and find out just what they are telling us about ourselves.
Even the more skeptical amongst us were astonished by the flashes of insight and increased self-awareness we were able to gain through this method. I certainly intend to add henceforth a dream journal to my diary and delve a little deeper beneath the apparently mundane surface of my dreams.
At midday Anne Korkeakivi gave a reading from her second novel Shining Sea (due to be published in August 2016 by Little, Brown). She also told us about the many, many drafts this novel went through, and how she bravely threw away more than 50% of it and started afresh, so that she could be true to her original vision for the book. A lively, motivational talk, which reminded us that writing is far more about hard graft than inspiration.
The Christmas party followed the afternoon critiquing session. Alan Harmer was the Master of Ceremonies, organizing a literary quiz which had us clutching our heads in dismay (and vowing to do more reading in the New Year!). We had music provided by Bashir Sakhawarz on the accordion and Ginny Rogers on drums, as well as a Christmas carol sing-along personalized for the GWG! Huge thanks to Kathy Bijleveld and Suzanne Bruning for the marvelous drinks and buffet they prepared for us. Last but not least, thank you to Patti Marxsen for the pictures.
Thank you to everyone for a wonderful 2015 and here's to lots more inspiration, writing, companionship and success in 2016!