Posts Tagged "reading"

Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

I mentioned in an earlier post that this was going to be a year of opportunities for me. This past weekend, I had an opportunity to represent Universit√© de Moncton, along with three of my fellow English department students, in the Atlantic Annual Undergraduate English Conference that was held at Dalhousie University in Halifax. On Friday night, we listened to Lynn Coady deliver a keynote address, approaching the topic of being unafraid to write despite having people against you. The next day opened the floor to the students from the Atlantic region, and I had the privilege to hear interesting papers about everything from mental illness through aerial dance, to comparisons of Monty Python’s Life of Brian to the Second Shepherd’s Play. Creative panels displayed the talents of students, who wrote about family war-time stories and read aloud their diverse and thought-provoking poetry. On Saturday afternoon, I had the opportunity to read my own poetry in front of the crowd. Interestingly, that same day was my father’s birthday. Allan Cooper is a poet, and because of him, I’ve been exposed to poetry my whole life. I have never read a selection of poems in front of others; I’ve always been reading just one or two. It seemed fitting that, on his birthday, I take the opportunity to read fully for the first time. This weekend, it hit me just how much I miss being an English student. I’m still an English major, but I finished my required courses ages ago and am just ticking off all my necessary, required courses, now. I especially miss writing critical papers–analyzing works of literature, or articles, and trying to find the mysteries in each. I think I might do a few on here–for fun–over the next little while. Why not? I have a few ideas in mind already. Attending and reading at this conference was a fantastic experience, and I highly recommend it to any Atlantic Canadian English student. Submit you paper or creative works next year, and take pride in your...

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A reading

Posted by on Feb 18, 2013 in Life in Writing | 1 comment

A reading

A few weeks back, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing a group of people that I knew from all walks of life read before an audience. There were five people in total: one is the head of the Writer’s Federation I’m a member of, one was my professor, one a customer, one a co-worker, and one is my father. Seeing these five people, all of whom have affected my life in different ways, work together so flawlessly was inspiring. The five of them had been meeting together to discuss poetry and draw inspiration from one another. What came from these meetings was beautiful poetry–some of which was read that evening. Cafe Aberdeen was filled with people, some of whom knew these poets, as well. It was very well-attended, and the cafe workers actually had to bring in more chairs to accommodate people. While the poets read, the audience, rapt and attentive, said nothing. The magic of poetry hung heavy in the air like snow on a branch. No one dared speak out of turn to break the spell. It was an inspiring night, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who left with an unfinished poem in my head. In fact, I saw a woman scrawling notes down during the reading, probably for later use. In honor of that evening, I wrote this one unfinished and unedited poem. It’s aptly named, I think; I call it “At a Poetry Reading”. Perchedlike a cat watching a birdon the edge of the stoolyou listen and watchattentivelyheld in balancesuspendedabsorbing every wordand never losing focusor waveringfrom the person who reads before you. When the poems are doneyou do not clapbut continue staring aheadin the pose you assumethat looks so uncomfortable to mebut you hold so effortlesslyit must be a second natureto you. Do you refrain from clappingbecause you didn’t enjoy it?Or ratherwere the words so powerfulthey shocked you into stillnessand led you to believethat no soundof appreciationcould really do them justice? Do youlike so many others in this roomhave your own wayof keeping the silent magic? This winter has been a bit strange for me, and finding inspiration for writing has been scarce. This reading was like a shining beacon in the (literal) storm that has been the past two months.  When I say literal storm, I mean that my house is currently sitting under a good six feet of snow! I’m not kidding!  I have a week of vacation next week, so there may be more blog posts forthcoming. In the meantime, I’m still regularly updating thisindiegameblog, as winter is a perfect time of year to sit inside and play...

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Burning the midnight oil

Posted by on Mar 20, 2012 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

Some nights, when I’m up really late and can’t get to sleep, I get some of my best writing done. Tonight is not one of those nights. I did, however, want to take the opportunity to talk about a talk and workshop I gave at the Moncton Library two weeks ago. I was very privileged to have been invited to come speak about my creative process to a welcoming group of 13-18 year-olds. I discussed inspiration, writer’s block and other things to a fantastic audience, then we paired off to do workshops. I was presenting alongside talented comic artist Rene LeClair, who did a comic and illustration workshop as I gave a writing one. A surprising amount of people in the group expressed that they had some trouble with writer’s block, so I took the opportunity to talk a little more about it to them. I don’t want to say that I have never suffered from writer’s block, but I’ve noticed that in recent years, I have had less trouble finishing what I’ve started than before. I think part of that reason is because I have stopped placing the bill of urgency on things to be completed, which is something I was guilty of in the past. I would get so preoccupied with finishing the work in a timely matter that I would lose focus of what was important: the actual writing. Last year, I started my NaNoWriMo project and had hit the 50,000 word mark, but I didn’t write the actual ending to the project until a full year later. My best advice for writer’s block is thus: continue with life. Find something else to write about. Give yourself exercises, like describing an item or a place. Take long walks and look carefully at the things and people around you. Start a field journal and write about your surroundings. Write. Write often, about everything. Take those experiences with you as you finish the work you’re stuck on. Also, never edit as you go. Once your words are on paper, leave them and come back to them later, with fresh eyes. If you get too caught up in the details of your own work, you risk being stuck in the details and never seeing the big picture. If you must, set time aside for editing, but try to make it a goal to write first, and edit later. A first draft will never be a perfect, groundbreaking piece of literature. You can progress from there and turn it into a second, third, and fourth. Everyone writes differently, so please don’t feel that I’m trying to preach. This is all simply what I find helps me if I’m stuck in a rut. If I pace myself and don’t think of finishing the work, I’ll find, more often than not, that the answer will subconsciously appear when I’m writing something else. That is the time that having a couple of spare notebooks lying around becomes very useful! And with that, I’m going to try and get some sleep. Sometimes, writing becomes such a force that it keeps you up at night, even if the things you have to say are, really, only for yourself. But on a note that is not directed to myself: a big thanks to the Moncton Library for having me to give a talk. It was my pleasure and an honor to be invited. Thank you! And with that, good night.K. (To add, Population 1 is still coming along nicely. Feel free to visit the blog and join the...

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