Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How to Avoid the Slush Pile

I aim to find out tomorrow. So, title today should be How to Avoid the Slush Pile? And by Friday, with luck, my blog post will be Here's How to Avoid the Slush Pile!

The Writing Room's class, by that title [the former one] is tomorrow, Thursday, at 6:30.  The prolific, talented, and award-winning Jillian Weise will be teaching. If you're in the area, join us.

Info and how to register:

Jilllian Weise: How to Avoid the Slush Pile 
What happens to your manuscript when it arrives in the office of a magazine? Who reads it? What are they looking for? What are they appalled by? How do they make decisions about the work they publish? When can you expect to hear a response? This class will focus on the business side of creative writing, and give you a few Dos and Don’ts to help you navigate the publishing world. Instructor has worked on the editorial board of The Paris Review and currently works as an editor for The South Carolina Review.
Thursday Feb. 25
6:30- 8:30 pm
Innovate Building Conference Room,148 River St. Greenville
$25/ $20 Emrys members

About Jillian:
Jillian Weise's work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Tin House and Washington Square, among other magazines. Her novel, The Colony, will be published in March. Her  books of poetry include Translating the Body (All Nations Press, 2006) and The Amputee's Guide to Sex (Soft Skull Press, 2007). A Creative Writing Fulbright Fellow in Argentina in 2007, she is currently an Assistant Professor at Clemson

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Writing Workshops at Earthfare start TODAY

Monthly Workshops: Out of Your Head and Onto the Pages 
These monthly writing workshops are designed to stimulate creativity and generate ideas for fiction and nonfiction. Short in-class writing exercises will inspire new work and deepen your writing. Come prepared to write in class, to share your exercises without fear or self-judgment, and above all, have some fun.  All levels, beginner to experienced.
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 pm
Dates: Sundays, Feb 21, March 21, April 18, May 2
Location: Earth Fare Community Room, 3620 Pelham Road, Greenville
Cost: $5 cash. Please pay at the door. 

Instructor:  Me! 
Hope to see you there...

Saturday, February 13, 2010


When it snows around these parts, we get excited.

Today, the landscape has changed.

The ground is fallow, winter exposes the bones of the garden.

But today the snow covers everything like a costume-- it all looks a little different today.

<--My friend in the shade garden, to the left, has a snow fro.

The gargoyles are shivering. None too happy with the cold. 
Waiting for spring.

. . .the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the window-panes, which vanish with the warmth. Soren Kierkegaard 

 The good thing about fallow ground is that it's preparing for growth. I think the creative cycle is like need fallow time.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Typewriter Blues

Does form dictate content?

Quills to fountain pens to typewriters to electric typewriters to word processors to laptops.

The writing instrument must affect how we think and write.

I can't imagine writing on a manual typewriter. Or-- let me rephrase that-- I can't imagine editing on a typewriter. My process is so fluid, that dancing cursor at the end of each word  pulses and guides like a wee fairy. Tinkerbell!

Some writers I know write in longhand, then type up their manuscript on a computer.

I take notes by hand sometimes-- but I usually have trouble reading my own handwriting.
Penmanship was never my thang, ya'll.

I wonder what and how we'll be writing 20 years from now. It boggles the noodle.

This is a picture of my grandmother's 1940-something Smith Corona manual typewriter. It is in pristine condition, as is the owner's manual. Alas, the ribbon is not. No ribbons anymore to buy and replace it. The typewriter, itself, can fetch a princely sum on Ebay.

So, for Christmas she got an electric typewriter. Yeah, I know. I didn't think they made electric typewriters either. But they do.

I spent the afternoon trying to figure the #$@! thing my grandmother could type her recipes and lists and sympathy notes. When you get 85, you write a lot of Sorry for Your Loss messages.

So we did figure it out finally...[that's her, in a practice run] It's  more complicated to use--with all its codes and keys-- than a computer, and I told her so.

She said she was too old to learn anyhing knew.
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