Casting shadows: The upcoming second Writers and Readers Festival in Ubud. Starting already on the 19th of July Jan Cornal offers a professional/self development retreat. Here what she wrote to us advertising this event:
You ve made it to Paradise, and now what!
Still not quite living the life you want to live?
What s stopping you from embarking on that creative project, new business idea, or finding the love you dream of?
Over 6 days in a creative and supportive atmosphere learn how to reflect effectively on the past, bring that knowledge into the present, and create your future story.
Using meditative writing techniques, creative visualisation and dream mapping, writer/facilitator, Jan Cornall will show you that everything you have experienced in your life, both positive and negative, can be used to create the life you would like, but only dream of having.
Each day Jan will guide you through a series of exercises to unlock your talent, deal with fears and obstacles, build your confidence and find the power of your expressive voice.
You will have a chance to examine and refigure old attitudes to; love, work, money, power, health, spirituality, creativity, community, world, and more, as you learn to create the plausible scenario for the rest of your life.
WHERE: Daily workshops, Indus Restaurant. Jln. Raya Sanggingan, Ubud.
WHEN: 19 - 24 July. 9.30am till 1pm, Cost for the course is Rp. 3,000,000, discounts available for Bali residents. Contact Ubud.com for further info and some fantastic deals for the workshop including half board accommodation starting from less than US$ 400 for the whole week and make sure to have a look at Jan's website as well.
Jan Cornall is a writer, performer, teacher, and facilitator, based in Sydney Australia. Apart from her work as a playwright and screen writer, Jan also runs Write Here, Write Now, Writing Workshops and Writing Retreats.
A student of the Dzogchen Master, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu (Tibetan Buddhism) for many years, Jan brings the influence of Buddhist philosophy and meditation techniques to her workshops, providing a popular mix of writing and meditation which produces startling results.
Update: We found an article from Chisato Hara in the The Jakarta Post of October 02, 2005 :
Cornall: Turning life into art
Actor, musician, song-writer, playwright, screenwriter, meditation guru, poet, mother and woman -- these are some of the many caps that sit comfortably together on the head of Jan Cornall.
'I didn't really start out to be a writer,' said the Australian poet, who participated in the Utan Kayu International Literary Biennale 2005 in late August, and who is returning to her 'adopted' country for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2005.
Born to schoolteacher parents and raised in a small country town in Victoria, Cornall initially sought to follow in her parents' footsteps, entering a teacher's college. There, however, she discovered her true love -- speech and drama -- through Max Gillies, an actor known for performing caricatures of politicians -- and who taught one of her classes.
'I was totally committed,' she recalled, attending or working at a local theater every night and on weekends, even when she had become a teacher herself.
Eventually, she became a full-time actor in an experimental theater group, the Melbourne Tribe (now the Australian Performing Group), which heralded a new breed of Australian theater. She also frequented the Pram Factory Theatre to fulfill her appetite for creativity.
'I read a book recently that spoke of creativity as a religion ... a few years ago, I said that creativity is my addiction ... but religion, yes,' she said.
In 1974, Cornall went abroad to travel -- 'as all Australians do' -- touring England, Europe and the United States, where she 'ended up' in Oregon state on the northwestern coast. Working as a waitress and doing odd jobs such as tree-planting to support herself, she remained in the U.S. and expanded her creative repertoire by taking percussion lessons.
Her newly tuned skill led to a stint as a conga drummer in an all-girl Latin jazz band, Baba Yaga, named after a witch of Russian folklore.
Perhaps her natural 'ear' for rhythm was already apparent in childhood, when she used to write poetry, then sing it so that poetry became song.
Cornall returned to Australia and to the Pram Factory Theatre in 1978, when government funding for the arts had become available, and when the group was looking for a resident writer. They suggested she apply for the position, although Cornall pointed out that she had never written a play before.
She proved her talent with her first play, Failing in Love Again (1979). The musical was drawn from her trip to the U.S., where she met 'the love of my life' and began her exploration into failed loves following his departure.
'The play explored the myth of romantic love from all (sexual) orientations,' she said, through its five protagonists searching for love.
It was a hit, and audiences flocked to the Melbourne show, even hiring buses to travel down from Sydney.
Ironically, Cornall met her future partner, theater director and writer Brian Joyce, on the day after the opening of Failing in Love Again.
'So then, I was a writer,' said Cornall.
A cabaret version was created to tour arts festivals, and other plays followed: Better than Het, as in heterosexual, on gay politics even before the term had been coined; and Worse than Perverse, about power in relationships.
'I've always been ahead of my time,' she replied as regards her highly contemporary subject matter.
By 1982, Cornall was pregnant with her first child, a daughter, while continuing to write and perform, this time a one-woman show called Woman on the Run, about a down-at-heels multicultural waitress named Aroma Billings.
'I have always been interested in other cultures,' said Cornall. 'Australia is a very multicultural society.'
She kept performing for a year after her daughter's birth, then 'fell into a heap' from exhaustion.
'I was a good feminist of the 1970s. I had to have everything -- a career, a family.'
So she 'hung up my performing shoes', and for the next 10 years, dedicated herself to playwriting and screenwriting -- the latter a new experiment prompted by a friend who approached Cornall at a show opening. Cornall had never written a screenplay before.
The resulting feature film was Talk (1993), starring the then relatively unknown Richard Roxborough (Moulin Rouge, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).
'If you wait around, think you're going to write, you never will,' said Cornall. 'Act as if you are a writer, call yourself a writer and just do it.'
Cornall credits her mother, a librarian who was also a writer, poet and artist, in giving her the 'greatest gift of creativity and to always have a creative process happening, a creative form of expression'. However, her mother never achieved artistic recognition and suffered from a depressive illness for most of her life; as a child, Cornall constantly strove to find ways to make her happy, drawing pictures, singing songs and even buying her a self-help book.
'In my psyche, I have the part of me that can feel so defeated, or must fight for faith, belief that happiness is possible,' she said, adding that this was also the driving force behind her workshops.
'I'm determined that (workshop students) will find their voice, whether they are published or not published ... Writing is a means of finding your own voice, something my mother never found -- or found, but couldn't sustain.
A member of the international Buddhist community Dzog Chen, based on Tibetan Buddhism and led by one of the few living masters of the faith, Chgyal Namkhai Norbu, Cornall has created a technique called meditative writing that she uses in all her workshops.
The technique, by utilizing breathing and relaxation exercises in a guided meditation, is a means by which Cornall draws out sensuality and the energy of life into a written work -- and so bring the writing to life.
'If I can be in the moment, fully into the present moment, then writing can be really easy ... and it works both ways, (that is) writing as a conduit to the present moment.
'Wherever you are, try to diminish distracting thoughts and bring yourself into an awareness of where and when you are... Once you clear away the past and future, creativity just arises.'
During the UWRF, Cornall will be holding two workshops: 'Eros and the Divine' on sensual writing on Oct. 7, and 'Inspired Writing Intensive', a 2 1/2-day workshop from Oct. 12 to Oct. 13 focusing on turning the experience of the festival into writing.
'It's open to anyone, of any genre,' she said, and all that was required was participants' interest in writing. Cornall also provides workshops in Australia on preparing for publication, and is known among her students -- several of who have now been published or ventured into self-publication -- as a 'creative or literary midwife'.
Her second year at Ubud, she underlined that the festival's 'main success is that it has opened the door, particularly to Australia as regards Indonesian literature. As a result, a number of Indonesian writers have traveled to Australian writers festivals this year in Darwin, Byron Bay and Melbourne. And next year, I am sure there will be more of a flow on from this year's festival.'
Although she may have ventured far from a straight career in teaching, Cornall is certainly a teacher, sharing the experiences gained on the journey to finding her own voice with others, so that they may discover theirs.