Secrets of the Zona Rosa…by Rosemary Daniell: Writing Exorcises Archive

Date: June 2012 Meeting

1. (From Rosemary D.)

“What I’ve given up to my tribe”

What were you required to do, forbidden to do, and permitted to do as a child? What do you require yourself to do, forbid yourself to do, and permit yourself to do as an adult? (Rosemary says that often the lists are eerily similar…)

2. (From McClanahan, Rebecca. “Write Your Heart Out”.)

“Place as memory”

Mentally situate yourself inside a room in the past (in a schoolyard, forest, restaurant, etc.) Describe the place from your chosen vantage point, then try different angles, close-ups, seeing it from a distance. What do you see, smell, hear, touch, taste?

3. Where is my heart breaking? What breaks my heart?

Make a list of the fears  and concerns that keep you awake at night and bother you during the day.

4. (From Natalie Goldberg, “Old Friend from Far Away.”)

Write a personal ad for yourself. You could write it as if you were 20yrs, 40yrs, 60yrs, etc,  Write about what you want in a partner.

Date: May 2012 Meeting

From Rosemary’s book:
1) Think back on your relationships with the men in your life. Who did you learn from and what? (The way they handle life, for example.)
2)Have you ever had a breakdown that turned out to be a breakthrough?
3)In praise of shallowness, or some trivial things I really, really love.
4)If I won the lottery, I would: (go for 10 minutes.) (I made this one up!)
Date: April 2012 Meeting
I’m sending some exorcises for you to look over. You can also write on any of the previous exorcises if you haven’t already…
These are from Natalie Goldberg’s “Old Friend from Far Away”
1)Tell us about someone who was a true teacher to you. Don’t be sentimental. Tell it straight and plain: who was this person? Go. Ten minutes.

2)What about a time you slept outside? Tell us about it. Go. Ten minutes.

3)Tell us what you thought was ugly. Be detailed. Go. Ten minutes.
4) Write about your mother’s jewelry. Go. Ten Minutes. (Write about her shoes. Go. Another ten.)
Date: March 2012 Meeting
Here are the Natalie exercises, pick one that sounds fun (if you like)!
1) What have you held onto too long? Go. Ten minutes.
2)Over the years, what Halloween costumes have you worn? Go. Ten minutes.
Rosemary exorcises:
“When I’ve been truly happy….” Describe the moments when you’ve been truly happy–‘right this minute’ happy–not 15 minutes from now happy.
“Describe the Monster inside who says ‘You can’t do it!’” Whose voice is it? Have you heard it before? And how often do you follow her lead in labelling yourself?
February 2012 Meeting
I’ve attached a chapter from Rosemary Daniell’s book, “Secrets of the Zona Rosa” to this email. It spells out how she likes to conduct the writing group meetings. We can tailor it specifically to our needs. I’m also attaching one of Rosemary’s writing Exorcises: “Where I Am Now In My Writing, Where I Would Like To Be a Year From Now.” (There is a timetable example you can check out.) If you want to write your own version (no timetable needed, just thought it was interesting) and bring it to the meeting, great. Or it can be something you do on your own. Or not.
 6/5/12–need to find a way to attach PDF pages for this one, also spacing issues. Feel free to edit!

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