Gaming, writing & mental health – I’m teaching at The Loft!

In August, I get to play games and talk about brains while teaching* teens at The Loft.  (* and by “teaching” I mean tossing out really cool ideas and watching the class make them more awesome.)


My shiny ADD/Anxiety brain is so like this … except when it isn’t. How’s your brain?

I’m deeply excited about this for a few reasons:

  • Gaming + writing = super fun writing
  • Gaming with teens = radical creativity at play
  • I haven’t taught teens before, but I have taught lawyers and teens have to be immeasurably more fun (with apologies to my lawyer friends)
  • My next YA novel (out spring of 2016) includes radical ideas about mental health (like the fact that sometimes the person with the disorder is the perfect person for you to date)
  • It took me at least 10 years to figure out how to work with my brain to get novels written and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned and hear what works for other people

Below are the class listings. Click through either title to go to The Loft’s site where you can register. Also look forward to future posts about mental health, gaming and writing. If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address, comment, tweet, social or email me (contact info is at the bottom of my about page).

I’m Gaming As I Write This

In this class, we will play the role-playing game Fate Core, which allows us to design a world and characters as part of the game itself. We’ll use the game as a series of writing prompts and look at the differences and similarities between gaming and the narrative structure of short stories and novels. We’ll explore what makes for sympathetic characters and great conflict, and how we can apply that to our own writing. And we’ll discover how to create satisfying resolutions as our characters interact with each other and the game world. Fate Core is a pencil-and-paper roleplaying game in which the players create together the world they’ll play in; no previous gaming knowledge is required.

08/03/15–08/07/15 | Weekdays | 2:45-4:15 p.m.

Ages: 13- to 17-Year-Olds

Reg $131.25 | Mem $118.13 | Low inc. $91.88


Outsmart Your Brain: Writing with ADHD, Anxiety, Depression or Dyslexia

Writing can be tough enough, but what do you do when your own brain becomes one of the stumbling blocks? Author Rachel Gold has published two novels (with more on the way) and drafted many more despite having ADHD and Anxiety. In this class, we’ll learn just enough about how the brain works for you to understand how to make it easier to focus and write. You’ll also learn when not to focus and why trying harder doesn’t work. We’ll explore the science of willpower and discover that there are better ways than just pushing through. Students will get to explore how their own brain works, when they feel over-stimulated or under-stimulated, and how to change these levels so that writing is interesting and not overwhelming or boring. We’ll work with movement, sound, visualization, breathing and play to make writing fun and engaging even when our brains feel hyper, scared or sluggish.

08/10/15–08/14/15 | Weekdays | 2:45-4:15 p.m.

Ages: 13- to 17-Year-Olds

Reg $131.25 | Mem $118.13 | Low inc. $91.88