As most of you know, I teach a couple of popular online writing classes, "Witchcraft for the Paranormal Author" and "Beyond Fangs: Creating New and Interesting Paranormal Characters." I've been giving these workshops for a while now, and they are both fun and rewarding.
And not just for me, apparently.
After I gave the first "Witchcraft" class, a bunch of the students said that they'd had such a great time with the class, they didn't want it to stop. They wanted to keep in touch with each other and with me, and asked if I would consider starting some kind of loop for former students.
I said no.
I was thrilled, of course, that they'd gotten so much out of the workshop, and agreed that the group of people the class had brought together was extraordinary. But I was too busy. Just couldn't add one more thing to the pile. They understood, and apparently tried to start up something without me, but it didn't last.
Then I gave the next workshop, and got the same request. To be honest, I was kind of amazed. And even more thrilled than the first time--less that people wanted to keep in touch with me (which they can easily do through my blog, or Twitter, or Facebook), but that I had somehow been able to create this environment that made people so comfortable that they didn't want to leave.
I said no again anyway.
It was a tougher decision this time around, but I still didn't have the time and energy to run a loop on top of my day job, making jewelry, writing, blogging, etc.
Then I gave the next class...and got the SAME request again. But this time, something was different. A couple of the folks involved actually volunteered to create and run the loop, so I didn't have to. All I had to do was show up. The lovely Holly Atkinson, in fact, did just that. And so The Creativity Cauldron was born.
A year and two days ago, we sent out invites to the folks who had taken that just-finished workshop, and got our first set of Cauldronites. People have been joining us ever since; mostly those who have taken my classes, with a sprinkling of folks who heard about the loop from one of their friends. The Creativity Cauldron is a gathering place for anyone who writes paranormal fiction in any form--newbies and bestselling authors, people who write middle grade fantasy and people who write erotic paranormal romance. Together, we gather around the cauldron to support and encourage each other, helping out in whichever way suits us best. We post daily writing challenges to motivate everyone. I sometimes give free mini-workshops, and other loop members have been known to do the same. It is a warm and friendly place, which is all I really wanted.
So happy anniversary, Creativity Cauldron! And happy anniversary Holly--thanks for everything you do for all of us.
In case you are interested, here is the place you can go and sign up:
And just so you know, here is the contest we're running to celebrate our anniversary:
Writers Write - 3 Day Challenge: Post your daily word count for at least three of the five days.
Add your favorite line or paragraph to share with the group.
Writers Character Builder - 3 Day Challenge: Post at least three characters in the five days.
Add detailed description of them as well as a clip of your favorite dialog with this character.
The winner of the writing challenge will get a $10 Amazon Gift Card.
The winner of the character challenge will get the signed Deborah Blake book of their choice!
(Yes, even if you live out of the US.)
Feedback from the Creativity Cauldron gang is welcome, so vote for the ones you enjoy.
The final decision will be made on April 5, 2011 by Deborah and Holly.
And yes, I am still thrilled.