I hope you’ll join us for my next virtual book club. The book: drinking from the river of light: the life of expression, by Mark Nepo. This is the first of more posts to come to explain how book club works.
How it works:
This will be my forth virtual book club. The past sessions were successful, and we’ll follow the same basic format.
When: September – December, 2021. We take our time to suit everyone’s busy schedule and adequately digest what we’re reading and learning.
1. We will begin reading drinking from the river of light at the beginning of September. The book is broken into 4 parts. We’ll work our way through approximately 1 part per month during the months of Sept., Oct., Nov. (we will skip the week of Thanksgiving), and Dec. (4 parts in 4 months)
2. Since this is a virtual book club we do not meet in person. Book club is conducted via posts here on my blog. Each week a different person will spearhead writing about the book sections we just read. What I mean by “spearhead” is this: Each week a different person will write the primary post relative to the reading. I will send out more guidelines to this, but I want our book club to be interactive. The best way to achieve this goal online is for different people to write about the material. I will go first and we will rotate one participant per week every week thereafter until we finish. The number of people who join will determine how many posts we each write.
3. Please note: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A WRITER TO PARTICIPATE. This book club is intended to generate conversation among people who want to learn and grow. The intent is not to debate semantics or grammar or to focus in any way on writing ability. Comments in the comment section under each post can be any reasonable length. Posts should not be much longer than 1,000 words. Please remember: The writing is not “the thing.” Conversation, connection, community, and learning are what drive my desire for this project.
4. When it’s your turn to spearhead, you must get your written comments to me via email on Wednesday.
My email blast generates every Thursday morning and will deliver the week’s content directly to your email inbox, just like this blog post. Once the email goes out Thursday morning, the rest of the readers will then have access to the comment section under the post to share ideas and wisdom. Every reader who is not spearheading the chapter will commit to writing at least one comment on the primary post. I hope we’ll choose to write many, and we’ll respond to each other in a sensitive and engaging manner.
5. Zoom connection: This is a new component. I will schedule 1 zoom session at the midway point and 1 at the end so we can talk “in person” about what we’re learning. More on this later.
6. If you are interested in joining us or have questions please write a comment in the comment section below or message me directly via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll take you any way I can get you! I’ll communicate directly with everyone who signs up before we begin.
Understand that this will be a commitment and an investment of time and energy. My last 3 book clubs were, IMHO, worth the effort.
“This book focuses on how bearing witness to the truth of living reveals the mysteries of life.”Mark Nepo
These instructions may sound confusing, but I promise they’ll become clear and easy as we go. Let the growing begin!
What you need
The book, a journal, a pen, and an open heart.
This book is about “practicing a personal form of expression” and is designed to “help us wake closer to life.” Every few pages Mark invites us to turn to our journal and write about what we’re thinking, feeling, experiencing etc. You will do personal writing for this book club, which is something new to our journey. I may, from time to time, also encourage you to do a little art. We will NOT be sharing most of our personal journal writing. When it your time to write the post only share what makes you comfortable. How much writing and art you do on your own time is entirely up to you. The more you invest, the more you’ll reap.
As with any public forum, rules of decorum prevail. We will respect each other’s opinions. We are free, of course, to disagree, but will do so with utmost respect. If we don’t understand a comment, we’ll ask. If we’d like further discussion on a topic, we’ll generate it. You are free not to comment on material you find offensive. (I reserve the right to delete any comment I deem inappropriate.)
You can read more about Mark Nepo HERE.
You can read more about this specific book HERE.
If you want to see some examples from past book clubs, go to the Writing page of my website, scroll down, and under Categories click Bookclub.
- Do I have to read the book ahead of time? No. We, together, will start the book at the beginning of September and read as we go. This is not a read ahead type of book club.
- Do I have to agree to spearhead to participate in book club? No. You aren’t required to spearhead, but you are required to comment on every week’s post.
- Do I have to be a writer to participate? No. Many participants in past book clubs are not writers. The writing isn’t the thing. Connection is.
- Do I have to share about topics I don’t want to? No. You should only share what you’re comfortable sharing.
- Do I have to do the art “assignments?” No. They are optional.
More on book club over the coming months. I look forward to hearing from you!