Art, artistic collaboration, Key West, making things, Prose, TSKW, writing

Best Course in Town: The Artist’s Way, taught by Rosalind Brackenbury

When I moved to Key West, I had the great good fortune to take this class, and it changed my life. I had stopped writing fiction and earned a living by writing advertising and website content out of an office in downtown Montreal. I loved the job, had a corner office with a window and lots of weird stuff clients sent. It was a blast. I earned an MA from Concordia University, with my thesis being a collection of my short stories. I had an early online fiction magazine. In fact, it was so early it won a place on the best 500 sites on the internet! I have proof–It was a heady time over 20 years ago and when I left the job; I wrote a novel which became my novel in a drawer, called–well it’s such a great title, I don’t want to share it because I plan to put it out as a serial.

So in search of like-minded spirits, I went to a conference–I think it was Sleuthfest–and described my murder tale to an agent who let me know no one would ever be interested in a novel set in Quebec. On a sour note, if I remembered her name, I’d send her a copy of one of Louise Penny’s 27 award winning cozies. Lesson number one, hold suggestions loosely.

Anyhow, we moved to Key West ten years after I finished school and I discovered TSKW. Intrigued by the description of The Artist’s Way taught by Rosalind Brackenbury, I signed up. It appeared pricey, though, when divided came to $20-30 per session. I met so many like spirits, many of whom I am friends with still. The diversity, the fabulous discussions, and the sense of saying things I couldn’t express anywhere else gave me a sense of community and acceptance. This was better that the best therapy on earth–and I love therapy.

But this therapy had something different. It had a call to artistic action–nudges from a woman who walks the walk and produces brilliant works day after day, year after year, book after book. Ros’s pragmatic belief in art and the individual are well-known to those who have the great good fortune to know her. So, although you might go for the instructor, you will leave with a sense of purpose and belief in your own artistic worth.

At the end of the class, painters were painting, writers writing, and we even had a dancer dancing! I felt re-energized and connected, no longer stifling or dismissing my own creative impulses as so much hubris. I felt free to begin again. Shortly after taking this series of classes, I wrote No Name Key, eventually composing my first novel, which Ros actually read from at another TSKW event, The Writes of Spring, when I won an award for the work.

If you crave like-minded, brilliant company along the road of a solitary artistic journey, or are searching for self-expression, go. If you’re already on an artistic path, check in. The habit of being accountable to your inner self is very exciting.

This 12-week exploration of your inner artist will accommodate a maximum of 12 students.

Dec 5 to Feb 20, 2023.

Rosalind’s latest novella, Elena,Leo,Rose is available on Amazon, along with many more novels, short story collections and books of poetry.

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