Monday, April 22, 2013

The Wannabe Journal
April 2013

The Academic Year at UD is finally getting close to an end.

It is spring I think.  The trees are in bloom and the allergies are making people change their contacts more frequently.  I had the pleasure to attend the Mad Anthony Writers Workshop recently. I was able to attend three presentation by distinguished speakers in the literary world.  I heard presentations by Jane Friedman, Sharon Draper and Sandra Gurvis.  I also had the pleasure to meet new people who are actively pursuing their writing passion.  My visit to this writing event which has been held for 8 years was very beneficial. I even had the opportunity to say hello to our groups inspiration...Nancy Pinard.  My weekend schedule did not allow me to take in her lecture on Sunday entitled "Your manuscript Revised"  I am sure it was well attended. 

What are our members up to: 

Bob O'Connor:  He submitted a homily from a Pastor Kennedy who is also a frequent lecturer for the LLI program.  Here is his story.

I am not without some training from a variety of low-level academic institutions, yet I feel compelled to write about the smartest people in the world.  I am not a scholar or the son of a scholar.  When I say I was born in LA, I mean Louisiana, not the city of angels.  Alas, I am just a country preacher, which means that I live in fear that one day someone will discover that I don’t know what I’m talking about, and yet I still feel compelled to speak.  There is one small caveat: I write the following words because there lives inside of me this underdeveloped sense of the comedic, the court jester, the clown, the stand-up comedian and because theology can be so demanding, I need a break and I go slumming in order to get a bit of relief.  I know that I seem irreverent to some of you, but I am a bit intense.  If you knew that writing something whimsical would keep you out of the psych ward at Miami Valley Hospital, wouldn’t you write whimsy? 
Out here in “Flyover Country,” we are considered naïve and corny.  Is it because we grow most of the nation’s corn?  If a city isn’t in a major-media market, it simply doesn’t exist.  Baseball announcers will say that a player for the Reds is the best “unknown” player in the country.  How is this possible?  Don’t they have the internet in New York?  In the age of instant news, when the “Computer” sees everything and everyone, how can there be unknown?  I suppose that since we don’t live on the coast, we are simply “toast.” 
But this antipathy toward Ohio goes deeper than market share?  I am at a loss to explain how utterly irrelevant our region seems to be except every four years when the presidential election motto becomes, “As goes Ohio, so goes the nation.”  Maybe I’ve just transferred by ancient “chip on the shoulder” from the South to the Midwest, my centuries old festering grudge against the rest of the world for considering the South as a bunch of hillbillies, and the problem is not in the national media, but in me.  If that is the case, I apologize for my psychological transference.  Perhaps you know a good therapist from Harvard who could help me get over the angst and accept my humble status in the nation.  I’m working on it.   
Since we make most of the food, and in case New York and Los Angeles hasn’t gotten the news, have most of the water, and basically invented everything that matters in America, and since we are in control of who lives in the White House, you would think that people would pay more attention to us.  But, alas, that is a naïve idea, isn’t it?   
There’s a lot of uncelebrated wisdom, creativity, and ingenuity in our region.  Just because we have good manners, a certain Midwestern reticence, and respect doesn’t mean we are a bunch of nincompoops.  I am aware that the virtues are no longer newsworthy.  After all, the people in the know, the people who poke such fun at us, while transforming the “Seven Cardinal Sins into the Seven Cardinal Virtues of American Excess,” are much more exciting.  
To those who are so smart, so cute, so sarcastic, so ironic, and so self-important, I can only say that we will always be here.  While they keep making the news, we will be providing beefsteaks and beer.   After all, maintaining a sense of coastal self-importance by putting down Middle Earth (The Midwest), requires a tremendous amount of energy.  This, in turn, will require a lot of food and water.    
What happens when the nation becomes entirely dependent on our food and our water?  We will share.  After all, that’s what we have always done.  We are good people.   
Besides, if the water level in the oceans continues to rise, the Midwest might become the East coast, and then who will be the object of derision for the scorners and mockers?  Whatever the future may hold, please enjoy a great steak at The Palm in Washington, D.C., and try to remember that flyover country is not only the feeding house of the nation but also the watering hole.  Have a joyful, wonderful day and may God bless those who know they are better because of where they live. 
Since you are smarter than the rest of the country realizes, I’m sure you knew that my opening rhetorical strategy is called the “Southern con.”  Southerners have pretended incompetence ever since Reconstruction in order to secure sympathy and take advantage of unsuspecting Yankees.  Those of us who speak with a drawl are aware that it is the first indicator of abysmal stupidity.  As one of my fellow Southerners puts it, however, “It is a great advantage for your enemy to assume you are not all that bright.” 
Now, please excuse me.  I am late for a bit of outpatient surgery.  The doctor has to help me get my deeply embedded tongue out of my left cheek.  RWK     
Jude W:   I'm in Rome with my Deep Writing group but will see you next month!  Bring home some good wine from the street fair's.

Linda:  Don,  I have been a "party pooper" recently regarding the writer's group.  When I took on the UDLLI presidency, my "free time" diminished greatly.  I do hope to return when my term ends as President.  Please grant me a "Leave of Absence".

Your request has been granted.  It is called a sabbatical.  

Martha: Don,  I really dislike missing the Wannabe's but I have an event out of town that day.  I still plan to return to the meetings soon.  Thanks for the message.  Martha W.  Our Meeting on the 19th of April included the following updates:

Don P
Shared his books on genealogy and family history that he has created over the last few years.  He recently published a novel of short stories which he is famous for within our group.  The Peacock Speaks is available on Amazon.  He is in the middle of editing another series of short story's for next book.  He is also going to be a guest lecture on self publishing for the LLI class on the same subject. 

Don H.  Introduced the group to a new book entitled:  Wired for Story by Lisa Cron.  Here is a description of her book from Amazon. 
July 10, 2012
Imagine knowing what the brain craves from every tale it encounters, what fuels the success of any great story, and what keeps readers transfixed. Wired for Story reveals these cognitive secrets--and it's a game-changer for anyone who has ever set pen to paper.
     The vast majority of writing advice focuses on "writing well" as if it were the same as telling a great story. This is exactly where many aspiring writers fail--they strive for beautiful metaphors, authentic dialogue, and interesting characters, losing sight of the one thing that every engaging story must do: ignite the brain's hardwired desire to learn what happens next. When writers tap into the evolutionary purpose of story and electrify our curiosity, it triggers a delicious dopamine rush that tells us to pay attention. Without it, even the most perfect prose won't hold anyone's interest.
     Backed by recent breakthroughs in neuroscience as well as examples from novels, screenplays, and short stories, Wired for Story offers a revolutionary look at story as the brain experiences it. Each chapter zeroes in on an aspect of the brain, its corresponding revelation about story, and the way to apply it to your storytelling right now.

Sounds like something I could use...

Rosie H:  She read a poem/short story that she wrote for a friend.  The title of the story was "Hand-me-downs".  It was a very powerful story that affected us all emotionally and intellectually.  We encouraged her to enter the story in the Dayton Daily News short story competition.  You can tell she is a good poet from her choice of powerful words. 

Rosie H is also  working on a presentation for a proposed UDLLI class on Painting & Poetry, where students will attempt to write poetry which describes an already accomplished painting.
Rosie also mentioned that this Sunday, April 21st will be the last in this season's series of an Evening of Poetic Art at the Fine Art Center at Town & Country Shopping Center. Come between 5-7 PM for another interesting event.

we discussed Wanda B's illustrations and poems for a children's book. She showed us about a dozen excellent illustrations but she only intends to use about 6, with accompanying poetry, perhaps to be self-published using Blurb.

A long discussion ensued about ekphratic efforts, which is essentially the joining of more than one art, where arts are combined to enhance and stimulate new art by virtue of the mixture of the forms. For example, poetry (song lyrics) added to music or vice versa; painting & poetry; film arts & music; story composition (writing) accompanied with music, or any other combination of arts. We talked about which form comes first, but concluded there is no particular order; it is left to the imagination of the artist. It is so interesting when one not only prompts, but augments another artform.
Long live the Muses and their wonderful mother, Mnemosyne!

Don Q:  Talked about the art of self publishing eBooks. 
We are continuing to see more and more authors jumping to self published eBooks.  They are called Hybrid Authors.  The reason is money and royalty's.  There was a recent article in the New York Times in the last week about Agents are now helping authors self publish their clients books and coordinating the services necessary...again money and survival are the motivations.  Interesting business. 

Here is what I recommended to the student who are part of my LLI class on Thursday's

  1. Since Kindle and Nook have 85 % of the market publish through them at a minimum.
  2. But if you wat to be more complete then publish your eBook using Kindle Direct and Smashwords.  That will cover 95% of the distribution.
  3. DRM is not recommended but if you use Kindle you cannot avoid it. 
  4. Watch out for hidden fee’s, such as manuscript changes when you use BookBaby.   
  5. EPUB is the standard for eBooks.
Our Meeting next month is on May 17th.  Again we will meet in the LLI Lounge on the 2nd floor of the River Campus Bldg of UD's new campus on South Patterson.  We hope you can attend.  Have a great week. 

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