15th Anniversary Spotlight — Constance Kim

Each day for the 15 days leading up to the WAW Open House (October 7, 2012, 2-5 p.m.), we’re going to feature a current or former participant who’s completed a major project (book, film, album, academic credential). We’ll find out what they learned that helped them with their work.

Constance Kim, Meditate/Create, Women’s Poetry Project
Project: Connie-Kim Ponderosa (CD)

i love this tip:
if i’m stuck on a piece,
it helps to take a field trip
to a completely different environment
than the one i’m writing about.
so,
if i’m writing about trains,
i might want to take a walk through the botanical gardens,
or go to a wig shop and try some wigs on.
it works every time!

http://www.conniekim.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Connie-Kim/158654157500946

 

 

15th Anniversary Spotlight — Bronwyn Mauldin

Each day for the 15 days leading up to the WAW Open House (October 7, 2012, 2-5 p.m.), we’re going to feature a current or former participant who’s completed a major project (book, film, album, academic credential). We’ll find out what they learned that helped them with their work.

Bronwyn Mauldin, One Page At a Time
Project: THE STREETWISE CYCLE, a collection of linked short stories

Experiment. Try something new. Do the unexpected. Write something dangerous. Don’t have a character do the first thing you think of – have her do the second or third thing that comes to mind. Better yet, have her do the least expected thing. Terry has taught me how to take those kinds of intelligent, creative risks with my writing and with the business side of being a writer.

http://bronwynmauldin.com

 

15th Anniversary Spotlight — Cheryl Klein

Each day for the 15 days leading up to the WAW Open House (October 7, 2012, 2-5 p.m.), we’re going to feature a current or former participant who’s completed a major project (book, film, album, academic credential). We’ll find out what they learned that helped them with their work.

Cheryl Klein, One Page At a Time
Project: Lilac Mines, a novel from Manic D Press

At Writers at Work, I finally learned how to revise (a skill I made it through my whole MFA program without acquiring). Now I start a second–or third–draft with a blank page and paste in a few good parts rather than trying to sift through the tangles of my first draft. I rip things out, remove training wheels and put my characters in deeper jeopardy. Rewriting means letting oneself get tossed by the current, and I’m grateful to WAW for showing me it’s survivable.

http://breadandbread.blogspot.com/

 

 

15th Anniversary Spotlight — Julia Gibson

Each day for the 15 days leading up to the WAW Open House (October 7, 2012, 2-5 p.m.), we’re going to feature a current or former participant who’s completed a major project (book, film, album, academic credential). We’ll find out what they learned that helped them with their work.

Julia Gibson, One Page At a Time, Women At Work
Project: THE COPPER HAND (Tor Books 2013)

From Terry’s workshops I learned the necessity of community.  Writing is so solitary, and we like that part.  But without my writing compadres, several of whom came my way through Terry, I would have lost heart long ago.  Over time I’ve built a robust collection of critiquers, taskmasters, commiserators, tipsters, technowizzes, guiding lights.  Not all of them are writers or even readers, but they encourage me to succeed.  Who’s on your list of writing buddies and cheerleaders?

juliamarygibson.com

 

 

15th Anniversary Spotlight — Susy Zepeda

Each day for the 15 days leading up to the WAW Open House (October 7, 2012, 2-5 p.m.), we’re going to feature a current or former participant who’s completed a major project (book, film, album, academic credential). We’ll find out what they learned that helped them with their work.

Susy Zepeda, Meditate/Create
Project: Tracing Queer Latina Diasporas: Escarvando Historical Narratives
of Ancestries and Silences

When revising my dissertation, I learned to set small, realistic goals that I could accomplish and reward myself for, instead of overwhelming myself with a huge set of unrealistic writing demands.

Connect with Susy Zepeda on Facebook.

 

 

15th Anniversary Spotlight — Joan Kelly

Each day for the 15 days leading up to the WAW Open House (October 7, 2012, 2-5 p.m.), we’re going to feature a current or former participant who’s completed a major project (book, film, album, academic credential). We’ll find out what they learned that helped them with their work.

Women At Work
Project: THE PLEASURE’S ALL MINE: MEMOIR OF A PROFESSIONAL SUBMISSIVE

WAW taught me to retrain my ego to accept the fact that thoughtful critique of my work is the greatest gift another writer can give me.  The women in my group all but cured me of my tendency to overwrite everything, which freed me to do edits with a sense of excitement  rather than discouragement, embarrassment, or a sense of drudgery.  I did not start out being a writer who could finish a book.  WAW gave me the hope that I can be a writer who can do anything I set out to do, now.

The Pleasure’s All Mine

 

 

15th Anniversary Spotlight — Cara Chow

Each day for the 15 days leading up to the WAW Open House (October 7, 2012, 2-5 p.m.), we’re going to feature a current or former participant who’s completed a major project (book, film, album, academic credential). We’ll find out what they learned that helped them with their work.

Cara Chow, One Page At a Time
Project: Bitter Melon, a novel

I used to think that a great story had to have compelling characters, a strong voice, and deep themes. What I learned from Terry’s class is that it also needs a suspenseful plot, even if it’s literary fiction. The most important yet difficult plot element for me to learn was the central question, the burning question that motivates the reader keep reading. I struggled for years to create a good central question for Bitter Melon. As a result, one of the first things fans of the book tell me is that they finished it in two days because they couldn’t put it down.

 http://www.carachow.com

 

 

15th Anniversary Spotlight — Eric Poole

Each day for the 15 days leading up to the WAW Open House (October 7, 2012, 2-5 p.m.), we’re going to feature a current or former participant who’s completed a major project (book, film, album, academic credential). We’ll find out what they learned that helped them with their work.

Eric Poole, Crafting the Story
Project: WHERE’S MY WAND? One Boy’s Magical Triumph Over Alienation
and Shag Carpeting

When writing a memoir, create a thematic arc that gives your book a reason for being. Amusing or terrifying or heartfelt tales of your life are not, in this crowded marketplace, reason enough for a publisher to buy your book. Discover the “theme” of your life, something that sets your story apart and creates a journey for the reader. Terry is a goddess at helping you define this!

www.ericpoole.net

 

15th Anniversary Spotlight — Kim Dower

Each day for the 15 days leading up to the WAW Open House (October 7, 2012, 2-5 p.m.), we’re going to feature a current or former participant who’s completed a major project (book, film, album, academic credential). We’ll find out what they learned that helped them with their work.

Kim Dower, Poets At Work
Project: Air Kissing on Mars, a collection of poetry published by Red Hen Press.

[At Writers At Work I learned] how feedback can be so helpful when it’s given in a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere where participants are only concerned with the words on the page, what the poem means to them, what surprises they find. I learned that although comments are all subjective, and you can’t “please” everyone, diverse opinions create a collection and chorus of ideas that helped me gain a clearer understanding of what the poem means to me. Listening at WAW enabled me to get a stronger sense of my own voice and helped me develop and strengthen my poems and put my manuscript together.

www.airkissingonmars.com

September Poem of the Month — Joe Jiménez

The Gull

 

Tonight I am talking in the bay’s white fog,

a spot where the bay shuts its mouth,

and a gull glides near.

Stiff-winged, the gull sings the thick whistle

of an old wound.  Once, I stood

in the bay’s dark waters.

I was a boy looking at the arms of stars,

spindly tips, fingerless, sharp as mouths.

I do not wish these stars closer now.

I never did.  And though the gull gets nearer stars

than I ever Will, I do not envy the lone gull

its night air or its dark tail.  The gull must cull fog

with tiny eyes, its short black beak pushing

first, and I simply can stand

like a turned post in the white slow mud of wind,

an old log left behind by a long-left-behind bridge

or an old man who is dust in this damp sand.

Now I will long forget the dampness of this sand.

And I can stare at the wind like the stars for an hour,

for Will has lost its blessing, and I am washed

from the skin by the rattle

of waves, by cold air.  This white salt

in the water on the sand as dim

as the dead star reaching,

reaching into the gull’s dark white heaven.

I look away.  I wander into the wide night.

 

Joe Jiménez lives in South Texas with his two xolo itzcuintlis and an affinity for the Gulf.  He authored Silver Homeboy Flicka Illuminates the San Juan Courts at Dawn (Gertrude Press 2012), and his work has appeared in elimae, La Petit Zine, and the short film “El Abuelo.”