Thursday, October 10, 2013

Immersion Masterclass with Margie Lawson

There's only one direction when you've finished raiding the stores in Downtown Denver. You brave the bears and head up. To the Colorado mountains. 

Yes, this is me. At the Edge of the Mountain!
And if you're a writer, your internal compass points to the very top, where Margie Lawson holds court and runs her Immersion Retreats. 

Margie's the best. A psychotherapist, editor and international presenter, you couldn't ask for a savvier writing teacher. She gathers her students (about 6 at a time) to a place where if the hair-pin turns along the road don't mess with your innards, the cougars and bears just might. A place so near the end of the edge, you might wonder what miracle brought you here and how you ever wrote without her. Because once you knock on the Lawson door... you will never be the same. 

Working hard, playing with rhetorical devices
To start with, you need some writing grit. Finish your manuscript, then dig your writing snout into three of Margie's prescribed lecture packets ~ ground, swallowed and digested until the essence of what Margie teaches invades your writer's brain, and takes over. Then you're mountain-ready. Margie-Ready. Lions and tigers and bears-ready.

Mountain journey with Margie Lawson
The four days dedicated to becoming Margie-ized will see you playing with rhetorical devices even the most dedicated Greek scholar would envy. You'll learn to avoid cliches as if they were grumpy bear cubs, woken too soon and nosing down a rubbish bin shackled to your feet. Sorry... trash can. Whatever you like to call it... that's where the tired writing belongs. Buried under yesterday's fish scraps. 

Because on the mountain, it's all about fresh writing, and by the end of the week, it's still all about fresh writing. As fresh as Rocky Mountain air, with the promise of snow and a hint of something stellar, it stings ~ it's that good. 

The NYT Express, with Mama-Bear, Margie Lawson and Calpypso the Dachshund 
I'm not going to lie. The Immersion Masterclass is hard work. Margie is welcoming and warm and an instant friend. But your innards will twist even if there weren't a roller-coaster ride up the mountain. Just when you think you've turned mediocre writing into some kind of brilliance, you're sent back to your hidey-hole (with a handful of M&Ms) to work harder still. 

But you'll be blessed to sit under Margie's expert tuition. And by the last day... the blood on your manuscript, and the manuscripts of your Margie-Sibings, might look like wild animals tore you up and hung the lot of you from the nearest aspen to bleed all over your precious words. And that will be ok, too.

Because encounters with bears heighten our senses and tip us into pure visceral responses. Responses designed by a clever psychotherapist to shape us into better writers. One red paw mark pen mark at a time.

Knock Here
If you haven't visited Margie, don't delay. Tap into her wisdom, and someday, you might even be tempted to knock on the Lawson door for your own mountain top treat. 

Margie and Tom will feed you and shoot rubber bullets into the brazen behinds of snack foraging bears. All you have to do is gather your words, your wits and your highlighters. 

And write. 

Our warm hosts, the generous Tom and Margie Lawson