Writing Gives You Wings

You’ve seen the memes all over the Internet, I know. They tell you we’re a weird bunch. Weird, unstable, emotional, eccentric, crazy even. It’s a cultural cliché that in order to be a writer, you must be a bohemian, jobless, penniless, loner who, at times, indulges in a good-sized dose of narcissism balanced by self-deprecation. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? The thing is, that's not exactly what it's about. And those aren't necessarily the characteristics that make a writer a writer. The thing is: being a writer is hard. It’s really hard. Actually, it’s really, really, really hard. Not just because the craft of writing is challenging, but because of what is required for the craft to come to fruition. Not to mention the thick skin required to withstand frequent rejection. At the Tucson Festival of Books this year, I had the opportunity to hear Alice Hoffman speak during a Young Adult Fiction panel. Near the end of the session, a mother from the crowd stood...
Read More

The Space of the Unknown

The process of creation happens in the present moment. Michelangelo said of his journey as an artist:  “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” Alchemists knew this process well—the act of fashioning “something” from “nothing.” Solve et coagula, that is, "dissolve and coagulate" meaning nothing new can be built before we break the old and we make space. Before a project is revealed, the artist may not (and most likely doesn’t) know what the final work will be.  The artist may have a vague idea about theme, or character, or scene, or tune, but the work reveals itself during the process of creation. It doesn’t happen during a planning phase or a crafting session. The artist, the writer is a channel—one who is willing to go into the space of the unknown, into the space of uncertainty, and be present in that space long enough for the work to reveal...
Read More

Brand New Blog!!

I finally did it!  I created a blog.  Folks have been asking me recently:  Do you have a blog?  Have you started a blog yet?  When are you going to start your blog…?  I’ve been reluctant. Then, yesterday, Kristina Walsh sent me a link to a video.  She said: “KL!  Check out this composer!”  It was the second link that I had been sent in two days time about a TED talk–which are all equally amazing.  The link she sent was to Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Chorus 2.0. It’s one of the coolest things I’d seen in awhile.  And I thought to myself:  I should start a blog.  And the the first post should be about the Virtual Choir.  In those moments watching the Virtual Choir it was as if technology no longer seemed a plastic divider between people, and I started to feel it could be a real means of connection.  I got the chills. I’m an old-fashioned writer.  I write by hand.  I don’t have a...
Read More