Shortcuts in writing are hogwash

I need a description of an attic in an old New England estate–any takers? I’m willing to pay $100.00 for the best one.

Well, not exactly. I’m lucky if I have $25 in my bank account.Attic

But, sometimes, Lord, I trip over a moment that needs refining, and I can’t move forward until that piece is done, and done right. That means, I have to dig in, research, study images, or, even better, visit an old estate, walk up into the attic–feel, taste, touch it–only then can I write it.  Any less, is hogwash–incomplete.

 

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Hope in the Midst of Dystopia

Dystopian fascination is explored. Interesting perspective on why out youth are drawn to the dark and despairing themes of dystopia. I think too it can embody a paradigm of hope and morality.

A pastor's pensees

20131004050534!Katniss_EverdeenThis past weekend I went with some friends to watch the second installment of The Hunger Games series. When I looked around at the audience, it was clear that just by our presence we raised the average age of the movie theater. What is it about this movie that is attracting young people?

The book’s theme has been described as disturbingly “dystopian”. For those that are only vaguely familiar with the term let me explain. There was a sense of irony this past week in that the day we observed the death of JFK we also celebrated the opening of The Hunger Games. The assassination of JFK, along with a few other events in recent history (the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the space shuttle Challenger disaster, etc), have marked the end of the dream of “Camelot”. In other words, the utopian dream, that humans can achieve more…

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Novel Immersion–making progress

Updates on writing:

I have been at work on my novel and 130 pages in now and feeling good about its direction.  I was waffling with the pov and tense,  but I have settled on the traditional– third person past tense. It works best.

I have a new title too which is perfect. Yet, I will not share any part of my novel until it’s published.

I realize that the genre a crucial piece, and so I will stick with dystopian–even thought it is ripe with other elements and I’m not sure about the saturation of dystopian. I hope mine is not overdone. It is written with adults in mind, so that is one aspect that is different (maybe). I’m definitely not writing with teens in mind.

My goal is to complete a draft in a month (maybe two).  It is a lofty goal, but I think I can do it. Each day I have a new scene, a new idea. I’m immersed so completely that I am drained, at times. I can write up to 10k words in a sitting if I’m focused enough–with few distractions. But then there is the returning for edits, the evolving of a new idea or strand, and on it goes. Always a process.

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment or feedback.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connecticut Common Core Melee

Nonfiction Alert:

The standardized  testing in Connecticut, and across the country, has continued to baffle educators. The interruption of testing that comes from another source, that interrupts the unit, the lesson, the flow, is jarring and not appreciated by most educators. Yet, no one speaks out. Standardizing education has been in the works for a solid decade or more. An article published in the Hartford Courant, Jan 17, by Elizabeth Natale, English teacher at Sedgwick Middle School in West Hartford, CT., released a torrent of complaints from so many educators that her article went viral. I wonder why it took so long for someone to speak?

The teachers are the best ones to judge and design what a student needs, and how to deliver it (most of the time). Teachers across the country want what is justly theirs-the freedom to instruct, to be creative, to be authentic. 

 I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again–silence is complicity at its finest. Real reform can only happen when teachers speak, provide the input. It can be done.

Here is my take on it all–printed in the Hartford Courant. http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/letters/hcrs-18414–20140123,0,6515555.story

Article: “Why I Want to Give Up Teaching”  http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/hc-op-natale-teacher-ready-to-quit-over-common-cor-20140117,0,6264603.story

 

 

Happy Birthday Virginia Woolf

Happy Birthday Virginia Woolf

woolfandsisterv woolf

“For it would seem – her case proved it – that we write, not with the fingers, but with the whole person. The nerve which controls the pen winds itself about every fibre of our being, threads the heart, pierces the liver.” ― Virginia Woolf, Orlando Virginia Woolf was born on this day in Kensington, England, in 1882.

My words pale, trip and fail, aside the brilliant master, so it is only right she should take center stage in this post.
(above pic is she and her sister, playing Cricket)

Publication Updates–The Milo Review

bluewinterFlash accepted by The Milo Review Spring Edition (online and print).

Editor, Peter Jelen, of Bareback Magazine contacted me with the good news that the editors have selected “Coveted” for their upcoming anthology.

“The Seized” will be published this month (Jan 24th) in Linguistic Erosion.

I have a few works still be considered and have completed a collection of poetry (surprised myself).

Why I’m writing poetry, I don’t know.
Procrastination. Need to start integrating Elise’s voice into my dystopian work.

Thanks for dropping by.