oh the things we could have done….

oh the things we could have done, if we only took the first step.

Yet here I am, a city deer starring at the blurring headlight sun, one foot hanging, delicately balancing, refusing to take the first step.

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I had a lot of plans this year, plans which I have absolutely sucked at. Life, my impossible high standards, and fate aside (it’s been on heck of a year emotionally), I have made inlets this year: poems and plays published, a job in teaching, another prospective job (I’ll blog about it later) in teaching play-writing to little nugs, work beginning on my graphic novel as well as my kid’s books (yay!!!!) and an ever growing blog audience (you guys rock).

…But there’s on thing I linger on…….

Releasing my ebook of plays.

It’s been available on the Nook now for a month, maybe two. Tucked away, unpublicized by my fear of something.

And the insane thing, I don’t much care how much money I make. It’s low priced, I might even put it a bit lower.

All I really want if for people to read my previously published plays and maybe, if they like them, throw up a show of their own.(Though a bit of an extra income is always nice as well.)

I need to release it and move on. I need to figure if five people buy it and read it, it was worth the effort of editing and the pain of my ego.

I think I’m going to do it this week.

Stay tuned.

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When words aren’t enough…..

Note: written during the weekend of another Hallmark holiday, Father’s Day, where I find myself lost once again so I take to the paper and write something, I’ll be rewriting for the rest of my life.

Image

I found myself in the sterile room,

snow blind, a blizzard

of you.

as the doctor’s tongue snaked

charmed out symbols, I coated

myself with words: selfishness,

bravery and faith.

and the silent bargains serenade

angels, the bleat from

my lips to the eletronic  pulse

… . … . … . … .

You need a lung

but my words were dull,

unable to cut the

supple folds of my

skin. You needed

everything

 

all I could give you was a sonnet.

Lit nerds shaming (just what the world needed)

bookwarRuth Graham’s new article on why adults should be ashamed to read YA literature seems to have brought all the literary snobs out of the wood work. You know the type, your friend who only read Joyce in public or lament much to loud and publicly about poetry that rhymes. Of course this tends to be an issue, that comes to surface again and again and again. It isn’t enough to read, you have to read the right work.

When I was a child, the devil was Goosebumps. How could kids waste their time on this, there was no literary value…blah blah blah blah blah.

I was one of those kids wasting my time reading these poorly written crap, which they were, no moral, no plot development and frankly about half way through the book, I could tell you how it was going to end. But to my third grade self, there was nothing more exciting than getting my next book-order in with my new Goosebumps book.

Mind you, before those books I HATED reading. I’d only read what was required in school. And eventually I became bored with them and moved on to the classics (Fahrenheit 451, Tom Sawyer, etc).

Here is something to think about (from 2013): 32 million adults in the U.S. can’t read. That’s 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read:million adults in the U.S. can’t read. That’s 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read.

We do not need to be shaming people on their literary choices. Yes, there are more engaging and mind boggling works than YA (though some are pretty darn powerful like 13 Reason’s Why), but frankly as long as something keeps you reading, that is something.

And let’s talk about some of the classics, with a plot break down:

Old man and the sea: Old man goes fishing. Has a lot of regret. Finally catches his giant fish. Sharks eat it. He is defeated. Dreams of lions (dies).

The Catcher in the Rye: A whiny boy whines for way too long.

Need I go on? (Don’t get me started on Pamela.)

In all, Graham’s article seems to forget:

Reading is a personal choice and what is engaging or deep to someone is completely person.

Frankly, I challenge all of you to go reread Dr. Seuss’s work, there’s some deep social complementary in it.

And there is an art in simplicity in the ability to expound deep thoughts to younger audiences.

So go out, read what you want. Be it a magazine, a best seller or a classic and don’t let anyone give you crap for it.

 

Channeling your inner NPR/PBS

As I was driving on Tuesday to the semi-annual developmental workforce meeting for my teaching job, I took the hour plus mind-numbing drive to catch up on the world around me, by tuning into my local NPR channel.

But as my hand left the preset, I wanted to scream.

pbsThey were fund-raising again.

Now fans of NPR know there is one week (every six months or so) that you want to avoid: fund-raising week, were every show you love is continuously interpreted with a guilt inducing plea for funds:

“If you love this show, don’t you want to keep it on the air….”

“It is people like you who…..”

“If we don’t raise $$$$, your favorite host will be executed at dawn….”

Ok, maybe the last quote was made up. But, it’s probably only a matter a time.

After five to ten minutes, I’m usually so worn down that I wish I wasn’t broke and had copious amounts of cash just so I could offer it to NPR to just shut up during day one.

But, as I listened, today I thought different about it. Maybe as artist we need to be able to channel our inner NPR/PBS, that almost cocky, whining desperate plea that screams, “I provide a service, I deserve to be compensated.” Even if it means we turn off a few of our readers/watchers.

It’s hard, as an indie artist to make a living, harder if we fall into a trap where we are afraid to demand (or ask) for compensation for  work.

The reasons, I think are varied. I tend to struggle with not wanting to annoy people as well as sometimes not feeling qualified.

But, I think I might just give this a try.