Like many writers, I believe that learning is a lifelong endeavour. I usually try to do a couple of workshops annually; sometimes in the area I work in (kids books) but often times, completely outside of my chosen field. Fortunately we are blessed with some brilliant writers here in BC so I didn’t have to go far to find a fabulous writer to learn from.
Last year I took two poetry workshops. One of these was a Haiku/Tanka workshop from Terry Ann Carter. It was a humbling but enlightening experience. I also went away with her memoire, On the Road to Naropa subtitled My Love Affair with Jack Kerouac: A Haibun Memoire. It is a most lovely blend of western language and culture adapted to ancient forms. Having discovered and loved Kerouac and the Beat Poets since my teens, I was enthralled by this new perspective. The backward and forward dance of time and experience is so richly drawn and yet stripped bare of extraneous language. Carter’s memoire pushes the boundaries of Haibun, a blend of Haiku and prose, with absolute confidence and success.
I am pretty sure that my next picture book, The Rocking Horse, will be better for my having taken Carter’s workshop and read her memoire. But, dear reader, you will have to be the judge when it comes out.