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Showing posts from August, 2011

South Carolina Readers: Heads Up!

Go listen to this very fine poet!
St. John of the Ladder Orthodox Church 701 Augusta Arbor Way
Piedmont (Greenville), SC  29673
St. John of the Ladder Orthodox Church is centrally located in the Greater Greenville Area near the intersection of US 25S and I-185 (the ‘Southern Connector’), and can be accessed via Interstates 85, 185, 385 and US 25.

A Woven Journey: A Cooperatively Written Short Story

What follows is a short story cooperatively written by the Hero’s Journey Class (May 2011).
Hope E. Rapson, Writing Instructor
Class Members
Julia Cline Sarah Cline
Christopher McCort
Haley McCort
John Mark Porter
Jerryana Williams

A Woven Journey

     The yellow and red oak leaves crunched beneath Wallace’s worn black sneakers as the sixteen year old headed toward his thinking thicket. His mind filled with flashes of faces staring at him in the high school hallway. Were those eyes filled with pity, laughter, confusion, curiosity? Were those mouths talking about him? Were they speculating about his parents? Spreading rumors about the strange car in his driveway last night? Wallace had to get away and work through this; he needed to be alone.
     Crossing the dry stream bed, he though he heard the creaking of the rope of his tire swing. “Probably just wind,” he mumbled to himself. He pushed back the shrubbery, and out of the corner of his eye he saw something tumble onto the yellowing grass.…

Ed Pacht on How Nothing is Something

I recently received this message from Ed Pacht, a regular reader, and I am posting it with his permission.

In the course of writing a response to that good article on workshops, it occurred to me that you might find some value in this piece. I've been trying to write every day (today was day #434) and some days have been without much inspiration. Some have a kind of writer's block, and that is what I make myself write about. I call the results, "Nothing Poems." This is one of those, which will be gathered together into a chapbook entiled, "Nothing: Poems about Not Writing Poems."

Why do I write?

I have to write.
When words within my head
jostle one another for a place
upon the paper or the screen
that blankly sits before me,
I have to write.
I have to set them down,
to let them speak,
to say the things they wish to say:
profound thoughts of highest wisdom,
incoherent babblings of an empty mind,
something worthwhile to be said,
or not.
I have to write.

Interview with Orhan Pamuk

The Turkish writer, Orhan Pamuk, was a winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature. He passionately embraces his Turkish identity and sees himself as a bridge between the East and West.  Pamuk's work is rooted in his beloved Istanbul, but he explores themes of universal human experience and yearning. An outspoken critic of those who limit free speech, he faced imprisonment in 2005 in Turkey and now lives in Mumbai. His eight novels include several international best sellers such as My Name is Red, Snow, and now The Museum of Innocence. 
Reporting on the recent resignation of Turkey's highest ranking military officers, Christopher Hitchens explains, "cooperation between ostensibly secular and newly pious may have had something to do with a growing sense of shame among the educated secular citizenry of big cities like Istanbul, who always knew they could count on the army to uphold their rights but who didn't enjoy exerting the privilege. The fiction of Orhan Pamuk, Tu…

Paul Greenberg on Writers' Conferences

I went to the Arkansas Writers Conference the other day to talk about writing.
Talk about writing? Rather defeats the purpose, doesn't it? Like driving somewhere to walk. Or attending a conference to learn how to pray in solitude.

But I accepted the invitation anyway. I had a few things I wanted to say about the tendency to teach writing as a process. Much like churning out pre-cast concrete, no doubt. Or producing a political speech that, you can tell, has been written by asking all the politician's advisers for their, to use another unfortunate term: input. Because that's the accepted process. As in processed cheese.

There's a reason Mr. Lincoln wrote his Gettysburg Address, and the ineffable Second Inaugural, alone. Writing should concentrate thought, not diffuse it.

But we live in the age of writing coaches. You find them everywhere:

•At corporate headquarters.

•At conventions of writers, which is an interesting concept in itself, considering what a solitary busines…