BOOKS ARE HERE

The UPS man just delivered the first batch of my Desert Breeze books In Print!
They are no longer e only! I am soooooooo excited.
Gwen Pfifers covers are even prettier when you can hold them!
Thank you, Gail!
I am starting small. Hope to have to reorder soon….
If you want to buy them, try this link
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=joan+leotta

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LettersFromKoreaCoverArt

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Late, so late, white rabbit cries!

I will be a bit late, still doing the poems for Tupelo, have other deadlines , but I do have my topic–inspired by my work with Tupelo Press

http://www.Tupelopress.com

then hit on the 3030 project’
My poems are on each day, listed in alphabetical order

Form and Technique

Warning–this is a longish entry

Find the Right Form, Then Make it Look Easy with your Technique

That’s really what good writing and good performing are all about. Finding the right form for the expression of your ideas and then making it as if it were completed with ease.

This is how I often feel--life is like meeting waves.

This is how I often feel–life is like meeting waves.

Form
In performance the right form can mean, using puppets, props, degree of audience involvement, length of performance, using the fourth wall, interacting with the audience, live, film, music, and more. In writing form runs the gamut from poem to flash fiction to short stories, novels, essays , creative non-fiction, standard non-fiction and then there is the whole genre thing—literary, mystery, humor, and more. Often, the creative thought chooses its own form somewhat like the Harry Potter concept of the wand choosing the wizard.

Which brings me to what I am going to share with you today. I am not sharing the work itself because it will be produced in February but has not yet been published.

The name of the work, now a ten-minute play, is “Pinpoint Wisdom” It first saw the light of page about five years ago as a short story. I wrote it as a challenge to myself, to those in the creative world who were slamming my entries to various short story contests, rejecting them out of hand because they were not “literary” fiction. I decided to try my pen in this genre. The saying/ question, “How many angels are on the head of a pin?” came to mind. I like this because it seems deep but in working out my tale

The story came into being as a dialogue heavy work in which I determine that the wrong question is being asked by th echaracters. My critique group liked it. Using their comments, I polished my story and sent it off, waiting to be embraced by the literary journal world. A few “reading fees” later, I determined that my cost was exceeding any benefit of seeing the tale published and put the story away for a while.

Various contests challenged me to remake it,–as an all-dialogue short, a poem, and more.. Still failed. Finally I saw the Ft. Point Channel contest. 10-minute play involving dance.
Hmmm, my characters dance in the story. I groaned. The discipline of play writing is not for the lazy or faint of heart. Because I ‘m a performer, I can shift focus to staging easily. But when I do it for myself, I don’t have to meet the conventions of stage formatting which is a pain in the neck to write for those not used to it.

Sigh. I researched the form, and doubled down . Hours later it was done—first draft that is. Then I polished and polished again. At last, I sent it in. Then, I forgot about it.

Amazement! My play was accepted and will now be produced! The right format for this thought was stage. But it took me five years to find the right format.

Technique
And in shaping it, each time I had to submit a program that was well crafted enough for technique to promote the tale.. Technique should never be in the way/ It should be your box of tools. The house or finished piece should be smooth and lovely. All of those times you hit your finger with the hammer, that’s all forgotten,. The crooked nails you had to pull out and replace, the changes of size, color, etc—none of that should show in the finished product. Of course you have to know what kind of house (format) you are building. Each time I switched, I had to re-think technique, so the constant reshaping of my work was a graduate course in creative writing.
Persistence, attention to craft and to the demands of each form. Now my work will live in a different way, as a play! My first. A director and actors will interpret my work for an audience. As a performer, it makes me rethink how I shape and present the words of others when I am on stage. Humbling. Exciting!

So, don’t give up on a piece that is languishing in your computer. Maybe it should be presented in another form. Don’t skimp on the craft of that other form and format. No matter what, rethinking and reshaping will give your mind a creative boost.

See below for the playbill with my name in it as playwright—Mine is one of six ten-minute plays being offered on the Valentine’s weekend in Boston.

So, I just found the playbill in my email(draft). So exciting!
I cannot thank Ft. Point Theatre Channel enough for selecting my show, Pinpoint Wisdom!.
The play is being produced on Feb 13 and 14, contact for tickets(free) is below)
https://www.facebook.com/events/328361430684525/ is the FB page to find out more about everything…

Tickets
Tickets for Channel/Dance are free. You can reserve a seat below or just show up and take a seat until we are full! Half the seats will be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.
FORTPOINTTHEATRECHANNEL.ORG

Promised Post Coming..in the meantime

poets jan 13Check out these photos from the Poetry Reading by Poetry Revisited–I got to participate– at Barbee Library on Oak Island

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Amazing Grace! First Play Accepted!!

This morning I received an email from Marc Miller at the Fort Point Theatre Channel in Boston. He was asking questions to a long list of recipients about music and more for production of plays. I emailed him asking why I was on the list and he quickly responded that my play, Pinpoint Wisdom had been accepted for production!!!!!!!!

I had missed the December 17 email due to an overactive spam filtering from my current email provider and subsequent loss of some emails in other dealings with them.

Yes, the December 17 email gave me the wonderful news that my play will be one of the six shorts produced for the Feb 113, 14 festival!!!!!!

Here is the “skinny” on the festival. My play listing is at the very end!

8 pm, February 13-14, 2015
Atlantic Wharf
290 Congress Street, Boston, MA

Curated by Courtney Peix and Marc S. Miller

FREE

Click here to reserve a seat.

Channel/Dance, coming on Friday the Thirteenth of February and Valentine’s Day, offers endless possibilities for good luck and good feelings when ten of Boston’s adventurous choreographers collaborate with painters, photographers, playwrights, and other artists to create short movement works with imaginative and far-reaching visual and audio impact. Add the ingredients of a half-dozen of the briefest of movement-themed plays, and the result is an invigorating performance experience that surprises with its twists and turns.

Contrapose Dance and Fort Point Theatre Channel have assembled eight teams, each joining choreographers with artists from non-dance disciplines, to collaborate in inventing performance works of under six minutes each. Juxtaposed with these movement pieces, the evening features six new plays, each less than two minutes long. Selected from 80 submissions received from playwrights around the world, each has a connection to dance.

This collaboration with Contrapose Dance will be the thirteenth in Fort Point Theatre Channel’s always surprising and exciting Exclamation Point! series of short new works.

A Glimpse of What to Expect

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At Channel/Dance, Nick Thorkelson and the Wondertwins will blend animation and dance

Roll over artists name for online links where available.

Courtney Peix (Contrapose Dance) and Daniel J. van Ackere: Under a canopy of white, dancers will perform on a platform embedded with LED lighting, echoing Starry Night, a permanent Fort Point installation created by van Ackere and Lisa Greenfield.

Mariah Steele (Quicksilver Dance) and Anne Loyer: In manipulating Loyer’s wearable sculptures, Steele and dancers will explore the idea of networks, both natural and technological.

The Wondertwins (Billy & Bobby McClain) and Nick Thorkelson: The dancers moving in concert with Thorkelson’s animation will suggest robots programmed (badly) by an engineer who’s been watching too much television.

Audra Carbatta (Audra Carabatta & Dancers) and Olivia Brownlee: The theme is coming and going as the collaborators flip the traditional way of creating a movement piece, with Brownlee’s music created to match Carbatta’s choreography.

Kelley Donovan (Kelley Donovan & Dancers) and Mark Warhol: To the accompaniment of Warhol’s solo music for clarinet, Donovan and dancers will develop a dance that investigates the internal world of transformation.

Nicole Pierce (EgoArt, Inc.) and Rick Dorff: Balloons held aloft by helium create Dorff’s environment for Pierce’s dance performance.

Maggie Foster, Caitlyn Schrader, Silvia Graziano, and Douglas Urbank: The collaborators are working on the subject of social norms of feminine idealism. The performance will include an audio recording, an accompanying text, and film projection.

Annie Kloppenberg (Annie Kloppenberg & Co.) and Peter Agoos: Ideas under development

PLUS six very short plays,
directed by Jaime Carrillo, Amelia Lumpkin, and Cait Robinson. The plays are:

Cherry Pierogis, by Kelli Burton (New York) centers of the long-ago memory of a treasured evening.

Dancing the Constellations, by Greg Vovos (Ohio) joins a man who doesn’t believe he can fly with a woman who knows she can.

Expressionism, by Katelyn Beaudoin (Massachusetts) introduces two people to the joys of dancing anywhere—even the subway.

Interpretation, by Mary Driscoll and Forrest Walter (Massachusetts) pairs a middle-aged former gay disco dancer with a haughty, tired, and successful theatre director.

Lift Up Your Crazy Legs, by B.W. Shearer (Australia) asks, “Must we dance?” and answers, “Is there any choice?”

Pinpoint Wisdom, by Joan Leotta (North Carolina) imagines the encounter of a jogger with dancers on a very small stage.

New Year, New Blog Goals

Hoping to better serve all of you by changing my goal to do just that! Will try to write a blog on the writing and performing process at least once a month. I have found blogs that discuss the creative process for a particular piece to be helpful and will apply that here in IMG_3029the hope that what I do may encourage you. These will happen around the third week of the month. I hope that like the picture of a hidden corner in an alley in Rome, these pieces will offer a platform for delving into your own hidden, unexplored creative corners.

At least once a month, starting in February, I will host someone , again on teh creative process, who will provide a different perspective.

Whenever, I find them, I will post market opportunities and or performance and writing links that I have found useful to share them with all of you!

May 2015 be healthy and full of work satisfaction for all of us!

Joan

Link and soon a Note on Revision

http://christianpoetsandwriters.blogspot.com