A timely post with the elections coming up. Who will be the greatest supporter or killer of the arts?

bornstoryteller

“You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something, sometime in your life” – Winston Churchill

The world is a dangerous place to live – not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.

– Albert Einstein

The Day The Music Died

What Happens When The Band Stops Playing?

Normally I talk about Theater Arts, as it is the discipline I am most involved in.  Theater is one of the first things to go in schools when budget cuts happen. Then the other arts slowly follow suit. Art is probably the last to go usually. Why? Because it can be displayed every day. It lines the hallways and shows off the student’s work, alongside their poems and essays and graphs and charts. It looks good, it is visually accessible. Theater, Music, Dance…not so much.

Sure, photos and montages…

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Tale Spinning

I hit the night dirt running, Baby, and I’m out for blood and raw meat. The acacia tree branches twined around in a killer way, letting us rest. The sun set, the heat rising off the savannah slowly fading away, and my pads nestle deep into the tall, cool grass. It hides us as it hides our meal…but I can smell it. Them. Things for me to bring down. Yum.

My mate, She, growl s with a hunger that I can match, if not out consume. She catches up to me at a pace I admire, her flanks muscled and powered for action. She’s hot as the sun, golden in her fire, and her panting breath next to mine only goads me on.  She may not be in heat right now, but that won’t matter. Later, for now it’s about  the kill, the warm sticky fluid filling our mouths and…

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While I have been slumbering, figuring out what to say/do with this blog, someone “liked it’ this morning: rereading it, it gave me a renewed sense of purpose. I am job hunting, and that has taken over most of my concentration. Today I have two interviews, both for Director/Manager of Education position in arts administration. This post already has helped clear some of the cobwebs I’ve laid in my own way. Thanks for the like, Isurrett2.

bornstoryteller

One of the most disturbing things that I have heard  from a student was:

“Why should I try? I’ll only be working at McDonald’s.”

I was an Artist-in-Residence for a year for a large school district in Westchester County, NY. Still early in my profession, that statement was both a shock and a revelation of a point of view I had never considered before: low expectations given, and projected; leading this student to live  that that is all they can do. The young lady who said that to me was in a ninth grade repeat class. Most of them, I was told much later, were on their THIRD repeat of ninth grade.

Yes: she was a third timer.

It was not that working at McDonald’s is such a negative job, but the expectation of that is all she could expect in life is. There are jobs that many would never…

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Writing Critique Partners: POVs


If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own. ~Henry Ford

An art whose medium is language will always show a high degree of critical creativeness, for speech is itself a critique of life: it names, it characterizes, it passes judgment, in that it creates. ~Thomas Mann

I enjoy writing, but hate editing. I’ll do it, but it is a painful experience. From what I’ve read, a good number of you agree. Recently, I wrote two longer stories for submissions as opposed to the shorter/flash fiction I put up on Tale Spinning. For those tales I knew that if I was to have any chance of success they would have to be edited.

Luckily, I had a number of people I could call on to give my work an editorial eye. What I found enlightening was, through five different POV’s (points of views), that all who responded to my call saw something different. Grammatical changes pretty much were the same, with punctuation styles varying from one to the other.

What changed was how they approached the work: solely as Editor; solely as a reader of the genre; or a combination of the two. This allowed me to take what was offered, evaluate what I wrote through others eyes, and then edit myself to the point I felt I produced the best work possible.

To see the results of this: Nyctophilia (entered for the Figment/HarperCollins YA Defy the Dark contest). If the link does not work for you (and I think it only works in the US): go to Figment and type in the name of the story in the search box. I’d be interested in your comments, as I do think this story is publishable. The other story has been submitted, and only time will tell (both submissions had a September 1, 2012 cut off).

I want to thank the following for their time and effort: Golden Eagle; Allan Douglas; Roy A. Ackerman; Lisa Vooght;and someone who wishes to remain anonymous. The links are to their blogs. They are all well written, all interesting, and all very different POVs. Check them out.

Writers:

  • How do you edit your work? 
  • Do you hate editing your own work?
  • Do you have Beta Readers/Critique Partners?
  • Are you part of a writing group?
  • If you have an editor that you work with consistently, how did you find her/him?

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