Writing Workshop Wednesdays (15)

In classical mythology (who doesn’t love mythology?), the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne are referred to as the nine muses, each responsible for protecting an art or science:  Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (lyric poetry), Euterpe (music), Melpomene (tragedy), Polyhymnia (religious music), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), and Urania (astronomy).  Personally, my muses are my two daughters.  Initially motivated by a diagnosis of cancer, I wanted to have some sort of record of my love of reading for my girls.  Thus, the conception of AuthorGroupie.blogspot.com which has evolved into AuthorGroupie.com.

In an effort to convince my English 111 students of the validity of being referred to as authors (aren’t we all authors of our own story?) and after reading their memoirs, I assigned them the task of completing my author interview, Ten Questions.  As responses are trickling in, I, once again, am amazed at my students’ creativity, honesty, and sense of humor.  Mr. Carter writes in response to, “Who or what is your muse?”

“My muse would be the fact that if I don’t write I will receive a bad grade. I think that’s enough motivation for anyone to sit down and write something amazing.”

So, for this week’s Writing Workshop Wednesdays, who or what is your muse?

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i knead A editer!

640px-We_Can_Edit

Reading is my passion.  Being transported inside a character’s head or to an unknown locale  makes me speechless when an author writes well.  In fact, on more than one occasion, I have been  known to grieve when the conclusion of a novel arrives.  Usually, a replacement novel is one of the only means of rescuing me from the depths of reading despair until the replacement novel’s conclusion.  Thus, a cyclical cycle of addiction and sorrow emerges, worth every savored word on the page.

So, it comes as no surprise I enjoy reviewing books, sharing books, gifting books, discussing books, decorating with books, etc.  Saturday I received a novel in the mail for the purposes of review for a blogging book tour.  Snuggled in bed I picked up this new read and ogled the front and back covers as I always do prior to reading page one.  Disappointed to find a spelling error on the back cover,  I did not abandon all hope and proceeded to open the book and commence my read.

On page four I found two additional spelling errors and another on page five which was when I made the decision to read no more.  This particular author, according to the brief biography, worked as a journalist.  So, I think this person in particular should know better.  However, I believe anyone who is pursuing a career as an author should definitely revise and edit for the cleanest draft possible for his/her readers.  To me, this is  an essential part of the author job description.

My English 111 students are on draft three of a Memoir Essay assigned on day one of class;  we are now two-thirds of the way through the semester.  Revisions will continue until each student is able to walk away with a clean copy in hand.  While enrolled in this class, these students are authors and should respect the craft of writing.

In the same manner, when I purchase a cupcake from the store, I expect it to taste sweet.  If the baker misplaces salt for sugar in the recipe, I would not expect him/her to reason, “It’s close enough.”   While undergoing surgery to eradicate the cancer found in my breast, my surgeon performed three procedures for a successful clear margins outcome.  I am grateful she did not determine “close enough” was good enough.

With this being said, authors please revise and utilize an editor (friend, peer, family, Writing Center, writing group) always.  Keep hope and grammatically correct writing alive for your readers.

Writing Workshop Wednesdays (12)

Last year a dear friend introduced me to The World Needs More Love Letters, and I absolutely fell in love with the purpose of this site as well as the backstory of this site.  Since then I have incorporated interaction with MoreLoveLetters.com into my English 111 Syllabus as a means of reinforcing the impact of the written word.  So, for today’s Writing Workshop Wednesdays, use this rainy day (if you are in the Midwest) to create and send a letter to a special someone (or two or three . . .) in need of encouragement or praise, but do not sign your name.  The point is to use your words in a positive manner for someone else, not for the purpose of being acknowledged.  Peruse those in need of letters here if you cannot think of a recipient on your own.  If you know of someone in need of a letter, please post in the comments section below.  You truly will be glad you did.

writeonpaper

Writing Workshop Wednesdays (10)

My English 111 classes recently read Alice Walker’s “Beauty:  When the Other Dancer Is the Self,” which revolves around an eye injury a young Walker received at the hands of her brother.  As a result her eye is a “. . . glob of whitish scar tissue, a hideous cataract . . .”  (Kirszner and Mandell 36).  The scar in question inevitably results in Walker’s self-loathing until her two-year-old daughter inspects the eye with childish wonder and reveals to Walker, “‘Mommy, there’s a world in your eye'” (40).

So, for the purposes of this Writing Workshop Wednesdays, I want YOU, the writer, to tell YOUR Life in Scars either visually as in the picture or in the below comments section.

Life in Scars