Last week, I spent my mornings with 12 charming writers (nearly 8 to nearly 12 years old) at Writers and Books' SummerWrite 2015. What pleasure working with these children, and their creative writing is truly exceptional. I loved the way they captured voice and made me care about their characters.
In my sessions, I ask them to give shout out compliments about what they loved in each others' work. One little girl said, "I never heard words put together in that way. It's all new to me and I want to think about it." I think her response is exactly right. The work was stunning.
Consequently, I have be comparing my experience with these young writers to my reading of stories and poems recently published in journals that I've just discovered or have followed for quite some time. The children's work is stronger because it truly deals with narrative (ethos & pathos), not artifice. Currently, there is a lot of facade in work. Glib language, that poses as hipster chic, or a journalistic "tell style" language that is flat. Personally, I prefer the storyteller that draws me in immediately, like Russell Banks. I like texture.
And so, the summer drifts along. Weeds grew in our gardens in my absence. Today, I will resume my editing intensive. On Friday, I did pick an abundance of burp-less cucumbers and along with blueberries have become the latest go-to- mini meal.
Yesterday, we traveled West to visit our Mennonite neighbors. Bought a joyful bouquet of summer flowers. I'm planning on painting them today. Hopefully the watercolor will capture the essence of these flowers that make me feel so rich.
The next week will take the course of As the Crow Flies. A week to call my own.