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Saturday, July 24, 2010

The summer doldrums have hit...big! To counteract this, I took a day trip to Berea, Kentucky, where the wonderful liberal arts college is located. A friend and I walked around the town, visiting the outstanding craft shops staffed by students, and which offer their work for sale.  To me, there is nothing quite so envigorating as a college campus. The young people that surround you are enthusiastic, full of life-affirming energy, and happy to be doing what they're doing.  My friend asked one girl in a shop, "Are you a student here?" She replied with a big smile, "Yes, I am." That smile was infectious. I spent many years on college campuses teaching and learning (for one cannot do one without the other), and I cherish my time there. As a result of my trip, I was able to sop up some of the students' energy for myself and my writing. If the doldrums have hit you, spend some time around students. If their energy doesn't encourage you to keep going, why not?  Give it a try.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Have you ever tried writing a play? I've written two plays, one for elementary school level and one for high school level. It's difficult...a totally different type of writing. You can't describe anything. Everything has to come out in dialogue and/or an actor's interpretation of the words. Everything! And if there's not enough action dialogue, it becomes boring. The actors have to get up and move around or throw things or something...something to keep the emotional level at a peak. It's so totally different than writing a story with descriptive passages. At first I tried using a narrator to describe a character's emotions. But that's a bad play. I had to work my dialogue so that the characters displayed and talked about what was going on inside them. It's a great work out for a writer's brain and talent. It's also very exciting to move your characters around and make them do what you want. All writers should (I believe) try writing a play. Stretch yourself into another dimension. It's a kick.