Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Independent 2015 Poetry Contest Winners

Three great poems. Congratulations to the winners, the judge, and the readers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

CAM Raleigh and North Carolina Opera Excerpt 09Apr2015

I tried and failed to pull open the door; however, a young woman who turned out to be CAM-Raleigh Director said, “it’s open,” and indeed after a harder, stronger pull, the door opened. My visit planning to CAM Raleigh and the North Carolina Opera paid off for getting in the door!

Inside were white walls, concrete floor, floor-to-ceiling glass. The online pictures don’t do the place justice. In the atrium, the baristas were setting up. After appropriating a high table covered with a floor-length black table cloth, its high chair, I hooked my messenger bag over the chair back. “I’m not here to interrupt you, but I need to be an interloper in your space. Thanks for your understanding.” The baristas didn’t object. Although I thought I had brought along a book to read, my black leather messenger bag contained only my journal, so I pulled it out and began journaling. After a few moments setting up while I focused,  concentrating on the deckled journal page, one barista offered a glass of wine. “I like journaling,” he said. I’d found my tribe. He poured a glass of red wine and I thanked him, set the wine glass down, but continued journaling.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Intensely Right Words

Writers, technical or creative, need to draw on a wide realm of experience.

Every writer, technical or creative, has the same access to the million or so recognized words in our language.  Writers want to be to words what Michelangelo was to Carrara marble. he carved his David from a block of marble abandoned for years in a quarry. Most sculptors considered the block too narrow to hold the top half of its own weight, essential in sculpture. Michelangelo placed David's hips in the block's narrow part, turning the hips at an angle to work with the flaws, not against it.

How, then is successful writing measured? Mozart's Die Zauberflote was so beloved that patrons arrived at the theater three hours early to get a seat.  Charles Dickens novels, serialized in America, were so popular that readers would line the docks in New York harbor to watch as the ship from England bearing the latest installation rose on the horizon.

Who will mine the quarry of technical writing? Who will be the artisans of online documentation? What hallmarks will their successful writing contain? Mark Twain admonishes "a powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words, the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt."