Meeting Recording Page

The ongoing listing of all discussion topics by the cohort, by date. We’ll start with the CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY DISCUSSION on March 26 and move forward 

Zoom Recordings from Our Meetings!


Basic Zoom Information:


Meeting ID: 858 9554 2601
Passcode: 609801
Find your local number



Apologies for being tremendously behind…



I have downloaded all the most recent recordings so I have to get them up onto this site, which will be taking some time. Now that I know I will runout of space, I can update each week, and then do a few more weeks of content to get up and running quickly. So stay tuned! 

We discusse

COHORT MEETING: August 6, 2023

August 6: On the nature of relationships & generating conflict with the StoryGrid method

Again, it’s been a bit since the three Writing Musketeers arrived in the world of a meeting. We discussed the relationship methods in the StoryGrid materials for Year 2 and how the relationship levels (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) impact the protagonist and the action during A ROOM WITH A VIEW. Then the discussion expanded (based on Janet’s romance thriller WIP) to how the entire crime/thriller genre has the opportunity to use relationship mismatches to bring conflict into the work because one person might have a delusional view of a relationship, and those are the dark places where stalkers and sociopathy begin.  






COHORT MEETING: June 18, 2023

June 18: On the nature of truth & creative evolution


After a pause in the discussion, we resumed with a round robin of what has been happening with Jo, Janet, and Suzanne, and each of us has been approaching writing from our different directions. 


We discussed the nature of what SAM is looking for in a story – there is a kernel of truth at every story’s heart (like the molten core at the center of the Earth). The layers that cover that kernel are described beautifully in the language of StoryGrid, with genre and trope and reader expectations, and what takes place with avatars and plot and what is on the surface and below the surface…SAM is seeking these items as well, but without the Kernel of Truth (which I shall jokingly refer to as THE KT BOUNDARY in honor of the extinct dinosaurs), you have one of two things as a story – an extinct dinosaur, no matter how impressive it’s only a matter of time before death occurs, or you have the next stage in evolution: the desirable story.


We also discussed the nature of creative evolution – Suzanne and Janet have been reaching these creative horizons, and Jo appears to be on the brink of her own…it’s exciting but frustrating as the internal growth of the artist builds before the ultimate breakthrough. In honor of this, we have our Big Bang visual, and soon enough, I’m sure we’ll have a new abbreviation as well: BBB for Big Bang Breakthrough!





Passcode: 5NU%EEAj

COHORT MEETING: March 26, 2023

March 26: On…Chocolate, Roald Dahl, and the StoryGrid Elements of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (PART 1)

The cohort met (minus Krista – we missed you!) to kickoff our discussion of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. There were some central themes of discussion – the genre of the book became an early question. There are elements of many different genres that appear here, that could be applied to the book itself. It’s structured much like a parable, where the Oompaloompas operate in the role of the chorus. There are fantastic elements, and Willy Wonka operates as a man who can provide status. 


We also discussed the  author and the recent controversies surrounding Roald Dahl’s books, and Jo was the cynical capitalistic one in suggesting it was all about bringing the “classic” books of the author to public attention where they would then receive additional sales, in the kind of comment that usually Janet would have made – Rock on Jo!


The conversation ended with consideration of the 5 commandments of storytelling as applied to CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. We had reached discussion of what happens when suddenly Wonka realizes that Charlie is the only one left, and “He’s won!” What Charlie has won and it’s impact on the final commandments could not be discussed as both the European members of the cohort had to run off with promises of continuation of the conversation next week. We will pick it up then, along with the question of whether we’ll be meeting on Easter Sunday. 



Passcode: 5NU%EEAj

COHORT MEETING: March 19, 2023

March 19: On…Writing in Flow, Trusting the Process, and Kizmet!


Janet and Suzanne started discussions about how to maintain writing regularly, and along the way, found a detour (DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!)


While the two of us have different approaches to writing, we are both focused on getting the brain to do creative work. The takeaway is that each writer generates a working writing process (that has finite limits on human patience!). Still, the process can be refined and worked with only to the point where it’s optimized for the particular writer – and it’s hard to say that one writer’s process will work for another. 


We also planned that CHARLIE would be our first week’s foray, and then we can see about applying the same analysis to WIP scenes from the cohort – or another work chosen by the cohort member (no pressure here!) The purpose is not to critique or even have a “right vs. wrong answer” here but to discuss our thoughts as colleagues. 



Passcode: 6=H@kYY4

COHORT MEETING: March 12, 2023

March 12: On…THE CULT OF SEAN, moving forward with the masterworks, and croissants

On the American side of the Atlantic, Daylight Savings Time kicked in, so Janet was up and about far too early. The meeting started with a discussion of what seems to be Sean’s worry of the day (and no wonder, he’s living in the End Days of American Democracy), and his alternative, that writers are somehow to beat back the onslaught of Alternative Facts (the American phrase) by providing truth in their fictional works. Then there was a discussion of the fundamental dichotomy/disconnect of providing truth in fiction, especially in a world full of factual lies.


Either way, this ongoing discussion of Sean and the CULT OF STORYGRID seems to be petering out for us as we have all agreed that we can avoid the attempted cult of personality that is happening around StoryGrid and focus on what drew us all to the method in the first place, which was the rubric and the desire to improve our writing.


With that resolved, we decided to focus on our first work – CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, and the meeting scene at the factory of all the winners (CHAPTER 13). The PDF of the book is attached to the work page, as is the recording about the Five Commandments of Storytelling, where we plan to begin.


And then…croissants entered the discussion as Joanne unwittingly scheduled herself to be in France next weekend, and thus will likely not be joining us, as she will be in another country! Therefore her homework has become eating many croissants for us (at least one for each StoryGrid cohort participant). The discussion ended with how to get the three participants on the same continent (and there Janet is a party-pooper simply from having to fly for hours to get to an airport where a flight actually CROSSES the Atlantic and would end in London or Dublin, I have looked at such things before, trust me!)


Passcode: bv!nHr9y

COHORT MEETING: March 4, 2023

March 4: On StoryGrid’s Limitations, Transcripts for the Name of the Rose, and the nature of the human race…

Jo, Suzanne, and Janet met and discussed that Janet had a crazy writing-free week and that Jo seems to be locked out of the StoryGrid forums, at least for now. She needs the transcripts for The Name of the Rose, but with some looking on the forums, Janet found and downloaded them through week 9, and they are added below. These materials will also be placed at the top of our page so we can find them moving forward. 


The decision is to maintain our masterwork items at the top of the page, so work-specific transcripts, scenes, and work on scenes will be found there, with the meetings stacked below in the most recent order going back in time. I like this format better than the one with multiple sessions on a single row, so we will have the updated design moving forward, with subheaders showing which week is listed.


This meeting lasted 2 hours – the first was the ongoing StoryGrid complaining and cackling. As a whole, we find the general lack of communications different than we saw previously, and that, plus the new forums, makes it problematic to find what we’re looking for. There was dissatisfaction about whether the redesign was less intuitive or whether we were creatures of habit. There were also conversations about the StoryGrid future, which seems odd to some of us and capitalistically money-focused to the American Cynic.


Some asides regarding THE NAME OF THE ROSE transcripts were interspersed during the meeting. They should all now be working for download.


In the second hour, we discussed cautionary vs. prescriptive tales and what needs to be provided to better humanity. Based on Jo’s version of King Arthur that she found, there was some discussion about the nature of the mythical King Arthur – that he began as a nugget of reality in our history and can be proven in a traditional archaeological way. But we, as story-focused creatures, need to do more than add dry facts and figures, and thus begins the legend built based on a historical entity, with the John Steinbeck book being inspired by Mallory, a mid-to later-Medieval approach to Arthurian romance.


We ended with our optimist, Suzanne, who might try to write a cautionary tale, but migrates to a prescriptive one, and there’s some description of why she is optimistic. Janet (the most optimistic cynic on the planet by her admission) writes far different stories. We discussed the dichotomy of the two and the argument between the cautionary and prescriptive in stories, concluding that we, as authors want to provide works that hold up a mirror to life. Still, there’s a difference between what’s realistic and what is reality. 


We plan to review the list of works for Year 2, semester 1, and determine how we plan to work with them next week. 



Passcode: 3%AG9*dY


For semester 1, we’ll be studying the following masterworks (dates are from StoryGrid):
Film: The Prestige (watch before January 1)
Book: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (read before January 1)
Book: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (read before January 22)
Book: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (recommended – read before February 26)

COHORT MEETING: February 26, 2023

February 26: The Nature of Daily Writing and Other Topics…

Jo, Suzanne, and Janet met and discussed a variety of items regarding writing. Janet is in the midst of publishing book 3 of a series, and there was a conversation about maintaining a publication schedule that broadened into whether or not daily life as adults allows for easy “daily” writing and the need for self-care and willingness to define mental creative work as writing work as well. After some cackling about not drinking the StoryGrid KoolAid and the difference between the material and the pedagogy (and our problems with one over the other), the discussion ended with a revisit of the next steps for the cohort: Janet is not planning to move forward with the rebooted program, but Jo is giving it some thought, and the plan next week is to discuss the list of works in year one and determine how we as a group plan to work with them. 


Passcode: N^#i65ry


For semester 1, we’ll be studying the following masterworks:
Film: The Prestige (watch before January 1)
Book: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (read before January 1)
Book: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (read before January 22)
Book: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (recommended – read before February 26)

COHORT MEETING: February 12, 2023

February 12: The Crisis Matrix Revisited 

Krista, Suzanne, and Janet met and, about halfway through, the discussion turns to the turning point in the crisis matrix for THE LOTTERY, Krista’s assignment for the editorial certification. 


Passcode: %2k1T45D




COHORT MEETING: February 19, 2023

February 19: The Collective Cultural Grammar

Janet, Suzanne, and Jo met to discuss a variety of things. Still, the overarching theme of the discussion was the HERO’S JOURNEY, how those archetypes inform masterworks, and how the narrative impacts the storyteller’s work.


Passcode: 8QVEXt?7

Privacy Policy | © Copyright 2021

All rights reserved.   Website by Bogdan Petrunin