Tag Archives: writer

My Aesthetic Manifesto

As the fall semester comes to a close, I reflect on how my first year in graduate school flew by and what I’ve learned as a writer and about myself.

First, updates! VONA (Voices of Our Nation) is the best workshop I had the pleasure of attending this past summer. I connected with wonderful writers of color and it rejuvenated me in ways I couldn’t even put into words. I now have another family that I will always be connected to until I die. It’s amazing, really. Continue reading

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AWP and other things

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AWP is, as I’ve been describing to non-readers and writers, is the Comic-Con for word nerds, with networking in the mix. Some people can find this networking aspect at writing conferences in general, exhausting and inauthentic. I get that. But because I’m not daunted by this at all, I always enjoy these conferences. Also, there was a book fair! I had to buy all the books (but not really, some books were free) and support not only my instructors at school but to the upcoming writers of color as well.  Continue reading

The MFA game

“Why are you applying to these programs at this point in your life? What are you hoping to gain from this experience?”

I’ve been mulling over that question all day regarding applying to MFA programs. It’s one of the questions from Tom Kealey’s book, The Creative Writing Handbook and I posted on a previous post three years ago. So as I embark on this MFA game, I struggle with this question because I’ve wanted the MFA so bad, but why? Continue reading

New and Improved!

Re-visiting this blog, I realized how much I enjoyed it, even though there were a small portion of folks reading my posts. But I enjoyed it overall!

After two years, I’m going to be contributing once more but with more of a focus which will once again, include my MFA process (take 2 for real this year), posting my work (more on that later), posting play reviews, my experiences in SF (location change!), book reviews (I miss writing them for my blog), and so much more!

I made business cards with this address on them and I hadn’t contributed in two years. Feeling rejuvenated with having a steady writing schedule now, making time for writing and also being part of a writing workshop, I’m on a roll and I don’t want to lose that momentum!

A few weeks ago, I went to a Blog Your Book Panel which provided some helpful information on how to put my work out there. There have been a number of people who have been discovered on blogs (’cause many people have one now) so why not contribute to my writing blog that I so enjoyed before?

So, dear readers that are still with me – the beginning of April will have more of a steady agenda of upcoming posts and a bunch more fun activities for me to share with you! I can’t wait to talk about writing and books with you all once again!

Letters to a Young Artist

Edited by: Peter Nesbett, Sarah Andress, and Shelly Bancroft

Published by: Darte Publishing LLC (2006)

A young artist asked a group of established artists “Is it possible to maintain one’s integrity and freedom of thought and still participate in the art world?” and this pocket sized books contains written responses from these writers. The book contains letters from Jo Baer, John Bladessari, Cai Guo-Qiang, Yoko Ono, Yvonne Rainer, Adrian Piper, William Pope. L and many more.

Not being familiar with 85% of these artists, I couldn’t gauge the level of their popularity. Their messages about art were consistent across the board – as an artist, just Do. At least this is the message that I culled from the small book.

As a writer, I was able to relate to the advice and support these artists provided to the “young artist.” At the end of the day, all artists must create, love what they do, put aside the monetary success, and express themselves the only way they know how to in their medium. I think every artist should own this and read it as their own support group. In the vein that Writing Down the Bones and Bird by Bird are compassionate to the budding and accomplished writer, Letters to a Young Artist provide the same sentiment to aspiring and accomplished artists everywhere. To have an idea of what some of the letters are like, read Yoko Ono’s letter here.

In short, an inspiring nugget that reassures every artist why they are doing the work in the first place; they hear it from those who have been there and know what to expect in their future.

Joseph Gridgely says it best: “It’s the stuff that has nothing to do with art that has everything to do with art.”

Player Piano

imageAuthor: Kurt Vonnegut

Publisher: Dell Publishing (1952)

From Wikipedia:

“The novel follows Doctor Paul Proteus, an engineer at the Ilium Works. The novel takes place in an America of the future where machines run everything and do everything, making people almost afterthoughts. Specialization is the norm, and all of the wealthy upper-class people have doctorate level degrees, with eight years of schooling for everyone; consequently it creates a society of well-educated thinkers and not doers. Paul seems to be on his way up the ladder of success in this techno-utopia – a perfect wife, a fast-track position at Ilium Works and a shot at a major promotion. But he is plagued with doubts about what modern life has become. Through a strange series of events, Dr. Proteus joins a revolutionary organization called the Ghost Shirt Society and even becomes its leader, at least in name. These Ghost Shirts, their name taken from the Native American Ghost Dance, succeed in destroying much of Ilium’s mechanized infrastructure. Yet, they realize the lack of hope in their mission, and at the end it becomes clear that their goal was to give man hope instead of revolutionize society.” Continue reading

Screen Free Week – Last Day

My last day without visual media was a struggle. The weather was gorgeous, it was Easter Sunday (which doesn’t mean anything to me since I’m not religious), and I had plans to visit a friend’s house in the afternoon.

Since I’ve been walking everywhere to save train fare, I was going to walk to Williamsburg from my friend’s home in the Financial District but opted instead to take the train home. When I arrived, all I wanted to do was cuddle up with my Beatles biography book and read. However, since I did say I was going to show up to my friend’s place in Chinatown, I forced myself to keep the engagement. The purpose for this Screen Free Week is to be more social and connect with people after all.

I arrived later than I expected (talk about Huge resistance) but we had a blast. She made yummy sweet potato casserole, I brought cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine  and we played a round of Scrabble. I would’ve stayed longer but work in the morning awaited me.

When I left her building, the rain came down hard. I wanted to walk the bridge back (again, save train fare) but there was no way I’d make the thirty minute walk across the bridge dry. I took the train, got home, took a shower from head to toe, and curled up with my Beatles biography book. Still a fascinating read.

What did I learn about myself through this Screen Free Week?

1) I spend a lot of time watching moving pictures

2) When I spend time not consuming visual media, I spend time planning my future consumption of visual media

3) I don’t write as much as I should even when I’m not consuming visual media

Can you say movie addict? Just a little bit? Yeah.

The last fact is apparent when I recount a dream I’ve had, write down my thoughts, or peruse handwritten notes on other stories. I have so many ideas but there’s no execution or follow through. It’s easier to say, “Well then I’m going to have to change that!” and not do anything at all versus realizing that making writing a priority (like exercise) will be much more effective.

I guess that’s where I’m at. Consuming visual media can be accomplished without bingeing (when I go without time with a certain thing, I overdo it) and in small doses. And of course, making writing a priority.

Since I am part of a writing group, the upcoming meeting will force me to complete something before we meet. I need to have a piece of fiction completed by the end of this week. Pressure pushes me to work than on my own.

Today, I have many shows to catch up on! I can’t wait. And reading of course. 🙂

My next self-imposed ban? Chocolate. This is a hard one. My love affair with chocolate  has always been steady, intoxicating at times, passionate, delicious, and new. When I eat chocolate after the month again, our relationship will be even more solid. Until then, eat chocolate moderately.