Thursday, March 31, 2011

Elaine Person's Writing Workshop

Elaine Person runs a writing workshop every Wednesday at the Winter Park library starting at 7pm. She also teaches at Saint Lukes for a program called Page 16 0n Tuesdays. Saint Luke's has a 17-year-old School of the Arts. Registration is required. 407-876-4991. This is a separate group. On Sundays at Unity Church, she teaches once a month at 1pm, with no registration required 407-295-9181. The next class is April 10.

She asked me to come in and share a sketchbook and talk about what I do each day, acting as a prompt to help spark the evenings writing session. I always get excited when I get to talk about the amazing stories that cross my path every time I sketch. The writers were then instructed by Elaine to pick a sketch to use as inspiration as they wrote. The room grew silent. No one used a laptop. When it came time for everyone to read what they wrote, I was delighted by the variety. Here was an amazing group of talent. Elaine brings an infectious enthusiasm to the group. Here is just one sample of the work produced that night.


Sketching events as they happen
Tom captures the essence of things
He's perched as a careful observer
To give the happenings wings

He's also at times a participant
As the action begins on the stage
He's then a part of the drama
His effect may be tricky to gauge

The concert hall is quiet one moment
There's tension and hopes for the best
The musicians have drilled and have practiced
They're hoping their playing seems blessed

A poet is reading her first line
Tom senses the pause in her voice
She's trying to calm her frayed nerves
So she can continue with poise

A wedding is joyous and crowded
The couple has planned for a year
Tom sketches the concert of vendors
A symphony the couple holds dear

The directors are sharing their visions
Their images, their focus, their light
Will they succeed in condensing a story
And make their vision seem bright?

So what is the role of observer?
He might cause rewriting and changing
Is he audience or co-creator?
Creation is now rearranging.

- Holly Mandelkern

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

1 comment:

Elaine said...

Thank you, Tom. You are an inspiration to all of us.