But deadlines and life roll on!
Working hard on my deadlines, tho I am in a bad place with Book four!
Edits on the previous books in the series to prepare for paper versions have been farmed out (for pay to a professional editor) and I am praying someone to edit my newest book, a collection of my short stories! Due out in October!!!!
Trying to work hard also on the five writing assignments that bring in the dough to pay for the editors!Spending my money this way instead of going to conferences. Reading Flannery O’Connor for instruction and inspiration.
We need to have respect for ourselves and our craft and work hard at it. We need to constantly challenge ourselves and to share our craft (as writers and performers!) with everyone, especially those not blessed with a home life that is rich in words.
There is nothing elitist about valuing quality.
Nor, however does it diminish your (and my) creative efforts to have perspective on our skills, our innate talent, the level we have achieved in our craft, our ability to transform the lives of others as speakers, our commitment to taking our craft, poems,. short stories, whatever to others. Especially to teach others, a particular skill all of its own. Even some great poets and writers of other sorts are not good teachers, despite their own excellence.
So it is with a glad hear that I welcome the resignation of the woman who was selected in a totally bizarre process, to be NC next poet laureate. Unfortunately, from her letter, I do not think she really understands, has perspective on herself and the contribution she can make in a very demanding role. I was also saddened to see the comments made on the statement sent out by the past poets. Obviously the commenters , like our current governor do not take the arts seriously nor do they understand the role of a teacher. Poetry is not an elite art form. It is the gateway writing form for those who love words–nursery rhymes, songs. If the Governor wanted to take the role of poet laureate out of university environment he could have asked the arts council to send him some song writers of note–but of note, who have proven themselves at their craft, who have proven their social commitment by more than offering proceeds of a book and who have proven that they can electrify the state’s youth, introducing them to the joy of working with words, their heritage of literacy as North Carolinians of all economic and social levels.
I was trying to decide what to blog today when I realized that the poem I just posted on Goodreads, a poem that has been published, but I did polish it a bit, might be of inspiration to some of you out there in the writing and performing worlds. I didn’t have a photo of a Sandcastle, but thought you might like this one of balloons at the beach,
by Joan Leotta
I see the sandcastle in my mind,
a truly elegant design!
High sculpted walls,
sleek tall turrets,
encircled by a moat.
My hands shove,
scoop and shape.
But when it’s done
My grand landscape,
It’s not much more
than a hill of sand
with bumps and ridges—
not so grand!
No matter that soon,
a swelling sea
will roll in to claim
the work from me, for
I see the sandcastle in my mind,
a truly elegant design!
Some people wonder why I write so many different kinds of things–I read widely as well, btw.
One of the reasons I write so many different types of literature from the journalistic article to poetry to essays to short stories to novels, to non-fiction books is the challenge. I’ve just begun to work in essays and I find I am enjoying the rigors of flash fiction as well. Seeing how flash fiction differs from poetry, even prose poetry (a contradiction in terms????) sharpens my senses and brings on a rush of productive juices.
I just discovered another challenge–the vignette. Oh, we all write them into our long poems, our novels and even our short stories–often we string together a series of vignettes to tell about our past, our college years, etc.
But I have never before considered the art of this particular form on its own. So, I’m sharing this with all of you–my next challenge–the vignette–and there is a publication outlet–alwaqys important to me (I love an audience–the performer in me.)
The world of literature nowadays is so diverse, open-minded and thriving in experimental works, that there doesn’t seem to be any single form of written art missing from it … you would think
. But there is.
It’s rare for a literary magazine to accept the “vignette” as a publishable piece of literature. Why? Because it is not a “proper story.” We beg to differ.
So, what is a vignette?
from this website:
“Vignette” is a word that originally meant “something that may be written on a vine-leaf.” It’s a snapshot in words. It differs from flash fiction or a short story in that its aim doesn’t lie within the traditional realms of structure or plot. Instead, the vignette focuses on one element, mood, character, setting or object. It’s descriptive, excellent for character or theme exploration and wordplay. Through a vignette, you create an atmosphere.
Vine Leaves, will entwine you in atmosphere; wrap you in a world where literature ferments and then matures …
Wishing you all a happy fourth. I have been lax in posting. I try to find things that will be of use to all of you and have not succeeded recently. Now I have a question, please feel free to repost it on Facebook, wherever, if you are curious as well.
How can I “let the reader in?”
My storytelling took a huge leap forward several years ago when I breathed easily enough on stage to take advantage of the lack of a fourth wall and let my audience in through participation. Now I am struggling with that same concept for my reading audience.
How do you do it?
What exactly does this mean? In fiction? In a poem? In an essay?
I want audiences to be touched and then to have their own imaginations fired, but in the last few months I have received a critique from several folks that my poem did not
“let the reader in”.
So, this is something to think about. I want to hear what you have to say.
My essay To Fly is featured in this month’s issue of sasee.
Read it,and leave comments if you like it, please, at www.sasee.com
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