superlatively rude

because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

SUMMER SCHOOL IS HERE!


SUPERLATIVELY RUDE SUMMER SCHOOL PRESENTS:


DON'T BE A WRITER, BE A STORYTELLER

WHERE: WORLDWIDE! THIS IS ONLINE

DURATION: 6 WEEKS

WHEN: JULY 5TH - AUGUST 9TH

PRICE: £99




"Laura, I love your spirit - you are so alive! Everything you said was very actionable... you have a beautiful way to deliver knowledge: entertaining and easy and emotional."

Anyone can write, but it takes craft - skill - to tell stories. Stories people want to read. Stories that people want more of. Stories that linger long after they've finished.

Readers seldom remember the exact words you used, but they remember you made them feel. Isn't that what art is for? To make us feel something?

(Spoiler: yes.)

Good storytelling isn't about the writer. It's about the reader. That's the basis of Don't Be a Writer, Be a Storyteller, a six-week online course designed to hone the tools it takes to create new worlds from both fact and fiction.


HOW THE COURSE WORKS

Everything will be delivered by email.

In weeks 1-4 week you'll get:

- a 30-minute video introduction to the topic

- explicit examples of what "works" for the topic, and what doesn't

- a set exercise

- feedback on your homework

In weeks 5+6 you'll undertake self-directed study and undertake a final project





"Very, VERY, comprehensive... allowed us to create our own process and felt challenged in a very nurturing way."

SUMMER SCHOOL SYLLABUS 


WEEK ONE
The Creative Process and Writing What You Know

In our first week together we'll explore what a writer is and does, how writing differs from storytelling, how to disengage from perfection and actually get words on the page, prompts for generating ideas, free writing, and ultimately how to start from the self: from own experience, emotion, and memory. 


WEEK TWO
Writing What You Come to Know

Writing What You Know can be a limited practice, full of restrictions. In week two we'll shift our storytelling to uncover a sense of newness and discovery. Rather than writing directly about experience, we'll create a new world where the jumping off point is what you know, so that you might discover a world waiting to be written. 


WEEK THREE
Other People

It can often be easier to write about ourselves than other people, and that's what week three is all about. I believe that characters pre-exist, and it is our job to find them. Week three will be about all the different ways we can find these characters: autobiographically, biographically, inventing them from scratch and a combination of all three. We'll discuss the difference between flat and round characters, how to develop character, credibility and complexity, and touch upon the dialogue these characters use.  


WEEK FOUR
Writing the Story

Using the building blocks of character, week four sees plot development. We will cover what drives your characters and how that might be at odds with their world so that we generate conflict, and thus drive story forward. We'll discuss setting, structure, chronology, forms of narration and you'll write a 1,000-word piece taking into consideration both the prompt, and your previous three weeks' of feedback.


WEEK FIVE
Workshopping

Week five kicks off self-directed study. You'll be paired up with another course member, and according to Workshopping Guidelines dissect and analyse each other's work. This serves two purposes: you get feedback on your own piece, but you also learn to begin flexing critical thinking that will help the analysis of your own work: a invaluable skill and one all writer's must master.


WEEK SIX
Re-Drafting

In your final week you'll revise your piece according to your partner's notes and own preference. At the end of week six you'll be requested to submit both your earliest draft and final draft, and within one week of completing the course you'll have final notes and feedback from me.

"Laura, you have a huge heart and wealth of knowledge and experience that you were fully generous with"




PERTINENT INFORMATION

You'll be expected to commit about 2.5 hours minimum a week to the course, for the duration. Lectures will be delivered on Wednesday, and you'll have the weekend to do your homework. All homework submitted by Monday 9am GMT will be returned marked within 48 hours. 




GOT ANY QUESTIONS? EMAIL ME ON LAURA AT SUPERLATIVELYRUDE DOT COM OR TWEET ME ON @SUPERLATIVELYLJ

PAYMENT PLANS ARE AVAILABLE - JUST ASK!


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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Number Two


I wanted a record, somewhere, that this is what I wrote the afternoon before my second book came out, and that I stood on a chair to read to a room full of people I love. A first book party felt huge. This second one almost more so.


*


(FYI writing this speech felt like writing my Oscar acceptance speech, except that I knew I’d won.)

(Prepare yourselves for some words about my ~feelings~.)

This time last year, I was sad. I felt like the saddest girl in the world, actually.

Now I know just how common depression is, but last March - when I finally got diagnosed with an illness I reckon I’d had probably six months before that - I was the most isolated, and empty, and lifeless I have ever been.

I didn’t want to die. But. I sort of... couldn’t see the point in living.

The lesson of my life is letting myself be loved. And being sad – having depression and anxiety – was the ultimate lesson in what it is to accept love. I wouldn’t survive, I knew, if I didn’t let myself be loved.

When I was in therapy (more affordable and less wanky than you’d think!), I said I felt like I’d been smashed open, somehow. Broken – but broken open.

I know now, on the other side of it, that I was absolutely right. I was smashed open by depression so that I could learn to let love in.

I wasn’t going to have a party to celebrate this book, because - and this is the biggest of humblebrags - ICE CREAM has happened so close to the first book. Having another party when I still go to bed thinking and dreaming about the last one seemed indulgent – like having a gift registry at my second wedding.

But.

This is a room of people who love me. A room of people who taught me how to accept love. You are a room of my teachers, and that makes me the luckiest human alive.

I wanted to have this party so that I could say thank you.

However you reached out, however you held my hand when I needed it – thank you.

In my recovery – in the days and weeks and months I learned how to accept love and channel it into the strength it takes to get up, to stand, to keep on putting one foot in front of the other, I met three little girls in north London as I nannied them.

And because you loved me, I was able to put one foot in front of the other to their front door every morning at 7am, and the nine months I spent working with them was an honour, and a delight, and they were my teachers, too.

I learned forty little life lessons from them that helped me to step into this new version of myself, and that’s why this book – ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST – is dedicated to them. Because they taught me how to have adventures and be silly as a virtue and laugh loudly and dick about.

But I could never have been open those lessons if you hadn’t carried me so far.

So.

This is a book about embracing what it is to be childlike so that we might rediscover our joy. And friends? It exists because of you.




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Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Film Trailer Editor

I saw you, and you looked happy. 

She wanted you in a way I never could. She nuzzled into your neck, lips-to-skin not enough so pressing her cheek to yours, her arm to your body, the length of her leg to the length of you. 

When I had done that, I didn't mean it.  

I tried. 

I wanted to. 

I wanted the mis-matched pieces to fit, because I wanted to be part of a two. I don't now. But back then, I did.

I wish I had been kinder about explaining that it wasn't you. That is was the maths of it. The equation of our parts. I wish I'd been kinder in general. Because, that's just it: you are kind and gentle and sensitive and I treated you as "not enough", somehow, because you weren't what I needed in those moments, what I'd imagined, and I knew that if I came over to say hi you'd continue to be kind and gentle and sensitive and that, truth told, I don't deserve that. 

Not from you.

Not when she looked so happy, too.



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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

L

I hung out with the girls used to nanny, because I love them and miss them and they teach me so very much, and the seven-year old fell off her scooter on the way to the cafe because of a Very Big Stone. She cried, it was the end of the world, and then we decided to take the stone home to (wash, first, and then) keep on a shelf, so that we could show it who the boss is. And you know what? Ain't that just it? You can get tripped up and be afraid, or you can get tripped up, wrangle the motherfucker that dared, own it, and then take it home to draw a moustache on in Sharpie, next to the word "LOSER". 


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Sunday, 12 March 2017

Geek

The message said, "I wonder about what you wrote, in your column, about the guy you dated who wanted to be friends - did it work? How did you do it? I'm in a similar situation, you see..."

I didn't know how to write back that the man who "just wanted to be friends" sat across from me drinking wine and talked about how he thought what we'd like in the bedroom might "match", and who looked at my bum when I went to the bar but wanted me to know about who he'd been sleeping with. The man who "just wanted to be friends" stayed out until 2 a.m. in hotel bars and pressed his body up to mine, and my resolve was weak and I so desperately wanted to be the friend, you see. So desperately wanted the sense of self it takes to say you did not dent my fragile heart because I forgot that the biggest sense of self would be to admit it and walk away.

When will I learn that I have nothing to prove?

I wanted him to change his mind, I suppose. I did a good show of saying, that isn't a good idea when he got serious and pressed his nose to mine. I pulled away. I pulled away twice. But three time's a charm and I let him collide with my hope and we kissed and it was stupid and it was everything and nothing and the next morning he wanted to know if we could just "draw a line under it" and his dismissal of it that way - the way he took zero responsibility and then fell off the face of the earth, save for continued stalking of my Instagram stories, so I knew he was still, actually, alive, in that very particular twenty-first century way - meant that three months after I should've, I deleted his number from my phone.



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Friday, 10 March 2017

Thinking Out Loud

And the music plays and the moon peeks through and the darkness of outside means we see ourselves so very clearly in the giant glass doors. We play the song again and again and again, and we stretch and we spin and we kick and we do everything else we've seen on the television, on the internet, in that music video about loving deeply and wholly and for a very long time.

I don't know much about romantic love. Not really. I'm trying to love myself into the answer and the question, I know that much. But with you three girls, in that house at the top of Islington and that song playing for the fourth time in a row. Well. My heart grew a size in a way no man has ever encouraged, and I overflowed in gratitude that three children who don't belong to me could remind me what it is, indeed, to love.





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Thursday, 9 March 2017

9/03/17

It's not the answers that impress me.
It's the way you ask the questions.



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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Him

They say to stick with the people who pull the magic out of you
and not the madness.
But darling,
You do both.




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