Blogging at First Church of Metaphor

September 17th, 2012

If you’re looking for my current blog, please visit First Church of Metaphor.

Waking the Dreamer Within 2014

September 16th, 2014

wakingthedreamer-150x300-billieortizpresents After a successful launch in 2013, the Waking the Dreamer Within Festival is back! You’ll find workshops on dreams, art, writing, movement, and more. I’ll be offering a creative writing session, a poetry workshop, and will be moderating a open-mic poetry night on Friday, October 17. You can sign up for the whole weekend or go a la carte. I hope to see you there!

Waking the Dreamer Within

March 22nd, 2013


Mark your calendar! There are a number of wonderful workshops planned for this conference, which will celebrate metaphor in its many manifestations. I’ll be offering writing workshops and hope to see you there!

Dreams and Sandplay Workshop

September 17th, 2012

I’ll be offering a workshop with Cynthia Swan in which we’ll “read” our sand trays as if they were dreams:

New Workshop!

April 16th, 2012

Dream Interpretation for Writers

Using Dream Interpretation to Enrich Your Fiction and Improve the Critique Experience

Offered by Laura K. Deal, Ph.D.

Certified Dream Work Facilitator and 20-Year Veteran of Critique Groups

Curious about your dreams? Curious about how to make dreams in your fiction richer with symbolism? Dreams and fiction share the language of metaphor, so understanding dreams is an excellent skill for writers to develop. Come learn about dream reading, a simple technique for exploring dreams in groups, and an important tool in any writer’s toolbox for giving and receiving critique, creating richer characters, and playing with imagery. We’ll combine writing prompts with dream reading, offering everyone opportunities for insights into dream imagery and self-awareness.

1p.m.-5p.m., Saturday, May 12, 2012     Caritas Spiritist Center

5723 Arapahoe Avenue, Ste. 1A, Boulder, CO 80303

$45 ($40 for Caritas Members)

To register, or for further information, contact Laura —

Workshop is limited to 25 participants

Laura K. Deal is a practicing Metaphorian who is compassionately curious about what makes us all tick. She’s a Certified Dream Work Facilitator and belongs to three critique groups, as well as Pikes Peak Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, BroadUniverse, and the International Association for the Study of Dreams. Her fiction has appeared in Wolfsongs Vols. 1 and 2, Space Sirens, and Cricket Magazine, and her poetry  in Mise en Poem and Asinine Poetry.  You can find her at and


The First Church of Metaphor

December 27th, 2011

I recently launched a new website/blog, the First Church of Metaphor, which brings together my interests in writing, dream work, visual arts, music, and inspirational quotes and videos. Sometimes, an idea takes hold which can’t be denied. When that’s an idea for a story or novel, I have to write it. In the case of my new website, the idea grew over several months, becoming clearer and clearer until I really had no choice but to give it a try. I hope you’ll stop by and see what you think. Happy New Year!

NaNoWriMo Reason for Monday: If Whiney Writer Can Do It, So Can I

October 31st, 2011

Yesterday I talked about how much fun it is to have a community of people all playing the same wildly creative game. Because it’s wildly creative, we learn to laugh in the face of our common experiences. Grappling with the muse can be like wrestling a slippery octopus, and humor is a reasonable response to the absurdities that arise. I have a friend who says, “Only the truth is funny.” We find something funny when we recognize our own experience in it, and so having the insider’s view makes this even funnier:

There are three more videos coming about Whiney Writer’s NaNoWriMo experience, coming Nov 10, 20, and 30th. (You can find them at The Wild Writers or on You Tube.

Whiney Writer is also blogging about her experience with NaNoWriMo over at The Wild Writers. Today she’s talking about getting ready. Be sure to check back with her on November 28 to see how she’s doing.

Meanwhile, go write that novel!

NaNoWriMo Reason for Sunday: Community Fun

October 30th, 2011

I’ve been writing every day for twelve years, and I quickly learned that to balance the time I spent alone at my computer, listening for the story inside me, I needed community. I’d always had a supporter in my sister, Karen Robinson, who awoke in the pre-teen me the possibility, the glorious potential, of writing my own stories. She led by example, being older and very clever, and my earliest efforts had plots and characters very much like hers. I found community as an adult in my critique groups, and at conferences, discovering some of my truest friends among writers. I found it in groups of dream workers, where I found my spiritual home, and where I could play in the stories offered by not only my unconscious, but by others’ as well.

NaNoWriMo Winner 2010 badgeAll of that was more than enough for a long time. Then in 2008, I decided to try NaNoWriMo, mostly to shake up a writing routine that had gone stale. To my delight, I discovered a whole community of fun, intense, and creative people. I asked questions on the forums of the kind that a Google search wouldn’t answer. I received thoughtful and generous answers. I went to local write-ins at cafes, and met some of those fun, intense, and creative people in person. I found camaraderie on list-serves for other writing groups, as people asked, “Who else is doing NaNoWriMo?” As for the buzz on the internet, I read it with an insider’s point of view, finally understanding what it meant to be joining the fun and taking on the challenge.

I hope you’ll be part of the NaNoWriMo party this year!

NaNoWriMo Reason for Saturday: Because I Can

October 29th, 2011

By doing NaNoWriMo, I’ve discovered that I can write that much, that intensely, for a month at a time. I can listen that closely to a story, and get it down on paper in a blaze of concentration and intensity. I can make a commitment to myself and keep it. This is the basis of my writing life–a commitment I made to myself in September of 1999 that I would give a part of each day to writing stories. It was hard, in those early days, to grab time away from my job as a mom with little kids at home, but it was crucial for my emotional well-being. I needed the intellectual escape into creating a world of my own, writing a story that I would like to read. I needed to make a commitment to myself, that I would honor the work I’d been called to do. I promised myself I’d write a page a day. A page of story, or if I were between books, memoir exercises I found in Writing From Life by Susan Wittig Albert. Every day, every week, every month, every year. As anything one does daily for months, it became a habit. As anything one does with the conscious intention of honoring spirit, it became a practice.

Fast forward nine years. I had over a dozen manuscripts filling my trunk–the result of enjoying writing first drafts more than revision–and I’d been circulating revised and polished manuscripts for a while. I was frustrated with not “breaking in” to the publishing world with my novels. I needed something fun. I had an idea for the next book in my queue. I debated about trying NaNoWriMo. Then I had a dream, of an ancient ancestor, and I saw that my dreams wanted me to write the ghost story “Birdie’s Journal.” What November of 2008 proved to me was that I could spend longer hours in the chair and feel even better about myself at the end of the day.

I couldn’t do it every month, because I can’t edit other work while I’m doing NaNoWriMo. I admire writers who aren’t pulled away by their obligations as parents and householders and are able to write a few thousand words every day. Maybe one day, when my nest is empty, I’ll find that I’m one of those writers. Since I’m not there yet, I’ll plunge into NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo Reason for Friday: Living Well is the Best Revenge

October 28th, 2011

Some people think we shouldn’t write a novel in a month. Some people think Wrimos aren’t “real” writers. There will always be naysayers, but my husband taught me the following mantra, which I happily pass along to you: Renounce unsuitable people. Why listen to people who tell you not to play with your own creativity? They’re only saying it because they’re telling themselves not to play with their own creativity. Why not jump in and play a game with a hundred thousand or so like-minded people? It’s a game in which you stand to claim great rewards for your effort. And if you don’t “win”? You’ve learned something about yourself, and clarified your priorities, and maybe set the story aside to think about some more. Not everyone is called to write novels. But we are all called to explore our creativity. The more we can speak the language of metaphor with one another, the more we’ll understand about ourselves and the better the world will be. I know my world’s better when I play than when I don’t.

Collage for my 2011 NaNoWriMo novel

And if you don’t think you’ve got creativity? I encourage you to get in the habit of listening to your dreams. Your day dreams, your night dreams. Write them down. And if you don’t remember, make a note of how you feel, or if there’s a song in your head. Listen for your imagination. Noodle around on a piano, or make a collage. Even if you don’t do NaNoWriMo, you’re hereby invited to play in your creativity every day, because living creatively is the best kind of living there is.