Irvine Valley College

Online Creative Writing Workshop

Writing 10 - Introduction to Creative Writing

Spring 2012 - Ticket # 64580

Marjorie Coverley Luesebrink, MFA, Instructor


Weekly Exercises:  Please write short pieces for your Weekly Exercises that are targeted to the skills and techniques that we are studying each week.  Longer, freeform pieces should be submitted to the Formal Workshop.  Thanks!! 

Here is a start on the models for the Weekly Exercises. 

To see what to write: Assignments

Week 1 - Informal Introductions

Week 2 - Character Sketches

  Week 3 - Time Exercises

 Week 4 - Place and Setting Exercises

Week 5 - Style Exercises

  Week 6 - Greater Truth Exercises

Week 1 - Informal Introductions

 We will be posting the Weekly exercises on the Blackboard Discussion List (as that seems to work better for everyone!) - but please come to the Exercises page first and read the sample I have provided for you!


Marjorie C. Luesebrink

Marjorie C. Luesebrink:  What is a biography?  I could tell you that I live in California, have two grown boys, and have taught writing at a college here for many years.  That is, indeed, the presentable surface.  But it seems that our biographical profile is always in flux.  Recently, I have been interested in tracing the name, Coverley.  You will notice that my fiction writing name is M.D. Coverley.  It is my maiden name, and it is also the name that I began to write with.  At age 8, I wrote my first poem (awful!) called "Oh Glorious Day."   It was a lovely day - I remember writing the poem on the redwood table in the back yard in North Hollywood, California - a rare blue sky and great, fluffy clouds.  Must have been April.  That was a long time ago - before marriage, children, the PTA (Parent Teacher's Association), and a different life.  Whenever I wrote and published fiction, however, it came from that soul - the one that wanted to express the beauty of the observed world.  And so I kept Coverley for fiction.  But what else about the name?  In tracing Coverley back in time, I have an easy go for about five generations.  My father was born in Hollywood, my grandfather came to Los Angeles when he was 4 years old - around the Horn on a ship.  He was accompanied by his father and his grandfather.  That was what the family always knew about the history of the Coverleys.  And, in California, where everything is always new, it was the extent of the curiosity of most members!  However, recently, I have been getting messages from Coverley folks around the world - searching for earlier references.  A quick (not-so-quick) survey of the web addresses that turned up when I entered "Coverley" was very interesting - in the way that our own roots always amaze us.  It seems that the Coverley name is concentrated in just a few places.  There is a group of Coverleys in Australia.  I found that a William Coverley was on the second convict boat to Australia.  He was convicted of larceny - and it was not his first conviction....the descendants have seemed to do well enough, there, though!  (ah, the revelations of the web!)  Then, another group of Coverleys seem to have gone to Barbados.  There is a hotel that one can stay at that is located on Coverley Terrace.  Finally, the original Coverleys seem to have come to England with William the Conqueror - and settled in and around Kent.  Now, my fictional mind wants to put all that together into a story that would be almost entirely fabricated.  Tales of pirates and trouble, of forced conscription and escape - and so our stories and poems are born out of our own lives.  (By the way, I write "serious fiction" - so this would not be an adventure story, although adventure would be a part of it.  I am more interested in the ways that all of our lives drift at the anchor of the past.)

I would love to know more about each of you, as well!

to post your exercise, just go to the Discussion page and post your own Weekly Exercise!  

Return to Week 1

Go to Week 2


Enjoy the Magic!


Marjorie Coverley Luesebrink, MFA, your Instructor, is a Professor of English in the School of Humanities and Languages, Irvine Valley College, Irvine, California.

See Online writing at Home Page.

About Your Class // Class Syllabus // Workshop Pieces // Weekly Exercises // Lecture Notes  // Reading List // Recommended Reading // Assignments // Grading Policies // Contact Your Instructor // Announcements // Discussion