Get out your pens! Head for the future by writing big!
My mom died three years ago and long before then, I knew I’d be writing about how it would all go down. Somehow, so did she. I was barely a teen, when after a particularly disturbing episode in our family’s constant chaos, my mother jerked my elbow towards her oversized chest and through her teeth spat, “Don’t you EVER write about this!!”
Sassafras Lowrey: these words can’t wait for spell check
(Word Count: 478)
From the moment my father gave me Go Tell It on the Mountain and told me,
“Read this and you’ll know more about who I am,”
I knew one thing was inescapable:
I would need to read that book, get back to him about it, and keep on reading and reading—
I don’t know why you write, he said (in a text). You don’t believe in anything. But is that true?
I am a would-be artist, for now content in the sadistic pursuit of mastery.
I once met a newly-retired cereal executive who asked me what I did for a living. I said I was a writer. He said, hey, what a coincidence, he was thinking of becoming a writer. “Hey, what a coincidence,” I
Goddard College MFAW alum John Schmidtke:
“Okay,” I said. “But just in case, what’s the residency’s theme?”
“Lust and fun,” Elena said.
My foot came off the gas a bit.
“Lust and fun?” I asked.
“Yes,” Elena said.
Let me pause right here to confess that while I attended Goddard, lust took over my life.
I cheated on my wife Mary almost every night for two years.
Though the newest version of the Echo is decent, you can get a better response to life if you use your own voice—i.e. the Personal Echo. The Personal Echo is in high demand because it offers the gift of someone else controlling your life, but doing it in a way that feels as if you are talking to yourself. And truly, what writer wouldn’t want that?
I was welcome to stay at her house as long as I wanted, but had to come with her out to the ranch to meet and feed her horse, Kansas.
To blog or not to blog–that is the question, writers. Whether it is nobler to essay than to blog is a serious matter, and not everyone can do it or do it well.Because to do it well, one must face the truth of blogging and accept it: it’s a genre. It has rules. It requires… attention to craft.
My purpose for reading literature critically rests on two sloping planes. On the first plane is pleasure—experiencing the epiphany of understanding, a resolution to my inquiring mind. In other words, the Aha! moment. It’s the immediate gratification of critical thinking, which may be a purpose in of itself. However, beneath that first pleasurable plane, for me, is the second, more self-reflective plane.
I am an unabashed Language Freak. Word Freak. Sentence Freak. Grammar and Punctuation Freak. I am deeply in love with what William Golding called “that massive instrument” the English language. For me putting words down on paper is like playing a finely tuned piano. No wrong notes, please! My instrument is too precious to misuse.
A writer’s most valuable tools are not the pen or keyboard but rather her ability to listen, to pay attention to things, and to know the right questions to ask.
“It all just feels so… personal.”
N is a new student of mine, one who has worked in the theater industry for years, but never written a play before. He called me before our first week of class, and I could tell he was feeling intimidated by the process of playwriting. We discussed some exercises he could do and some of his favorite plays and playwrights, and I think I assuaged the majority of his concerns. His one lingering reservation:
“It’s just so personal.”