Spring Online Writing Workshop (March 7-28, 2015): Storytelling Principles for All Writers

Originally posted on Tananarive Due Writes:

Are you working on a novel, short story or screenplay and want to improve your writing? Do you want to participate in a writing workshop from anywhere in the world?

Here’s what Wayne said about our January workshop: “I have been on a ‘natural high’ from the beginning of the first class. No synthetic drug can duplicate this and it’s all you and Steve’s fault. Thank you both!!!”

Dog Writing Advice -- Sit & Stay

Do you want input from a writing professional on your pages?

Are you an author or screenwriter who wants to understand more about PLOT, CHARACTERIZATION and VISUAL DETAILS in your writing? Are you struggling with writer’s block?

Our unique approach is useful for writers of all levels–whether you’re a beginner or you have already published or produced your work. 

Authors and screenwriters Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due are offering an online writing workshop March 7-28 to help you whip your project into…

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Leave My Stuff Alone

Originally posted on Running Through My MInd:

My stuff is my stuff. For example when someone comes to my room and takes my stuff without permission I get angry. Why cause it’s MINE, the only reason someone has a right to use my stuff is when I allow them to. For example I’m in my room, I’m reading my book and my friend comes in “oh hey, can I use so and so” and then I respond with either yes or no. And if i don’t allow them take my stuff and they do, it’s stealing, plain and simple.

So please can someone come and explain to me why people think its okay to appropriate culture. Cause I’m stumped, I’ve thought about different reasons why it’s done and I haven’t been able to come up with a valid reason. The only acceptable reason I’ve seen is privilege, that’s right privilege.

Now before I get into this let…

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Book Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Book Cover

Book Cover

Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson

Published 1999

YA Fiction

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Goodreads

Summary

Melinda is a friendless outcast at Merryweather High. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, and now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. It is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and who is still a threat to her. It will take another violent encounter with him to make Melinda fight back. This time she refuses to be silent.

My Thoughts

Speak was not an easy novel for me to get through. Laurie Halse Anderson’s language was viscerally powerful and her metaphors gave me pause countless times. The main character, Melinda Sordino, is a tragically sympathetic character. My heart almost-literally bled for her throughout the whole book. Anderson did a great job of tackling such a triggering subject matter as rape in a piercingly artistic fashion. I was literally seeing the world through Melinda’s eyes, and her story was emotionally tasking to read. I became emotionally invested in her character, and by the time I got to the end, I wept. I wept because Anderson had taken me on an emotional roller coaster ride with Melinda and I didn’t know how to feel when it ended.’

The ostracized Melinda let me in to her inner thoughts with an unceasingly witty internal commentary. She grappled with not speaking, something I could definitely relate with. She closed herself off from the world. Yet, she also grappled with her art project throughout the novel, and by the end, the reader could definitely feel fulfilled that Melinda had found her voice: both literally and artistically.

If there was one thing I took away from this book, it was this: If we don’t express ourselves, we kill ourselves little by little, slowly by slowly, everyday.

Favorite Quotes:

If people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time. – Melinda

I just want to sleep. A coma would be nice. Or amnesia. Anything, just to get rid of this, these thoughts, whispers in my mind. Did he rape my head, too? – Melinda

He says a million things without saying a word. I have never heard a more eloquent silence. – Melinda

It wasn’t my fault. He hurt me. It wasn’t my fault. And I’m not going to let it kill me. I can grow. – Melinda

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White-Skin Privilege Checklist

Originally posted on Just Desserts:

In 1989, Peggy McIntosh, Associate Director of the Wellesley College for Research on Women, penned the essay, White Privilege:  Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack (Andersen & Collins, 2013, pp. 49-53).  She stated that her work in women’s studies led her to realize that although men work from a base of unacknowledged privilege, and that much of their oppressiveness was unconscious.   This is when she considered how women of color stated that white women are oppressive, too.  This helped her to understand why white-skinned folks “are justly seen as oppressive, even when they don’t see themselves that way”.   She began to list the ways in which she enjoyed unearned white-skin privilege and had been “conditioned into oblivion about its existence”.

The following are the examples that Dr. McIntosh provided of the ways in which white-skinned folks like me have privilege simply because we have been born with white-skin.

1. I can…

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