Sunday, December 20, 2015

Oh, what a night! - part two

And then there was Joni.
(Yes, she's in shadow. But, one might argue, her power point was off the hook. Because, Joni.)

Joni Sensel, goddess of the liminal.
We came, we heard, we left with full bellies and brains.

Joni's presentation, the evening's main attraction, was a brilliant exploration of liminal settings in storytelling. By "liminal" Joni meant "transitional," from the Latin limen, or, literally, threshold. She carefully delineated the ways in which settings of stories can provide extra meaning or tension by placing scenes in transitional places: a car, the water's edge, a cliff, an elevator, etc. The dynamic of a scene when the characters are located in a semi-permanent setting sets off their own transformation, and so their quests/journeys are deepened.

In short, this was a heady, dizzy, and mind-blowing theme. We all spent about 15 minutes on our own works in progress using this idea and plugging it into our major scenes and conflicts. There certainly were some epiphanies crackling all around the auditorium.

We are so lucky to have Joni back, and luckier still that her brain opened up and let us have a peek at its machinations. It was a truly sensational talk, and it is sure to reverberate for attendees for months to come. Yes, folks, it was THAT GOOD.

So, yes, it was quite a night––celebratory, revelatory, and gustatory!

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