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Showing posts from April, 2010

Poverty drives creativity

When you think about it, writers owe American bankers a big "thank you."  American banks and the people who love them ruined our economy.  Hedge funds, leveraged against unstable options imploded, catapulting us into (let's call it what it is) the Great Depression of the 21st Century.  My mother warned me.  She said my generation was headed for that destination arrived at most often by hand-basket.  And she was right.  Still, I hold no grudges against the criminals who control my destiny.  If not for the many of us who are now unemployed, art would be dead.  Think about it.  Remember the anti-art movement of the late 20th Century?  The way the radical right pounded the National Endowment for the Arts?   Thanks to Sarah and her Tea Party, they have bigger fish to fry.    Consider this - your ill-fated leisure feeds your curiosity creativity. Would you be reading this blog, writing your novel, considering your next essay if you were fully employed? Of course not.

Not a competitive sport. . .

The cafe where I do my creative work is on an empty little street in the center of my lost little city.  St. Paul scrambles through this recession with the heart of a street fighter; fierce in determination to make it through the night - committed to keeping the lights on, the traffic moving, the appearances upbeat. Before the lunch crowd descends, I make my way to the corner table by the window.  It's a privilege to live like this - unfettered by the nonsense and worry other assign to "security."  Those of us who write and fend like this are not entitled to worry.  The life is a good one; simple and clear. And so we don't.  Instead, we take our mornings in bright sunshine, filtered through dusty windows in shabby cafes around this struggling town - and when the muse assaults, we roll over, play dead and write for a living. Before I was old enough to know how hard this would be, I imagined writers as one considers Fitzgerald, Hemmingway - or even Sincl

Never written a play? Try it!

Those of you who have never considered writing a stage play might rethink your decision. Writing for the stage is an attractive way to get the voices in your head onto the computer screen. If you're clever enough to advance your play to production, seeing your work dramatized is as exciting as your name in print. I speak from experience. My first dramatic efforts were produced in 1957 when, at age eight, Miss Nelson (my third grade teacher) commissioned me to write a Thanksgiving play for our class. The compensation was, I recall, recognition at the annual Thanksgiving all-school assembly. And so it came to pass that, early on, I became hooked on writing dialogue and direction. In the years to follow, I wrote plays for the congregations I led. (Yes - that's right. I am a professional clergywoman, remember?) No one is more appreciative of creativity than the mothers and fathers of senior-high children; especially when the off spring are cast in rol