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bitterandcurt

erikadprice

bitterandcurt:

I keep seeing and talking to people who fret over how to write PoC characters because they feel like they can’t win either way. They don’t want to make them the villain because of the unfortunate implications but they also feel trapped into making them perfect with no character flaws.

Guys. There’s an easy way out of this.

Have more than one person of color. The reason you keep having trouble with this is because your cast of a dozen important characters has exactly one character who isn’t white. That’s why it makes it seem like they are representing or speaking for their entire race.

Have a more diverse cast and treat them like three-dimensional people.

And for the love of all things good, keep intersectionality in mind. A White gay man and a Black gay man likely have very different experiences within the gay community because of their race. And a Black gay man and another Black gay man are likely to have extremely different life experiences as well.

Having an all-white cast is a choice. It’s no less of a choice, no less contrived than having a more diverse cast. People like to say that they feel like trying to have more diversity in their cast takes away from the storyline because they have to try to intentionally insert different races into their casts. But picking “Black” or “Middle Eastern” or “Asian” or “Latino” is no more contrived than picking “White”. One of them is just constantly fed to us as “normal”.

Seriously. All of your fretting can end if you just stop having tokens.

Write tons of POC with a variety of backgrounds and write all kinds of queer people and disabled people and people of all different kinds of genders and financial situations and countries of origin and families of origin and types of personalities and mental health statuses and experiences and fears and drives and strengths and weaknesses and etc etc etc just do it, okay??

(via equuslupus)

emilicity

scratchedlines

emilicity:

I want to write
my history
of us.
And it will be
like all histories,
not totally true,
not at all
comprehensive
or even objective
but I promise
this to you,
I will be
honest
and
my honesty
is more than
I’ve given you
to date


but how
can I write
a history
when it’s still
taking place?

corlin

scratchedlines

A Page of Writing Advice from Me, to Me

corlin:

Just write. Just write for fun. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. Let it become a source of joy for you.

Take apart the works of your favorite poets, short story writers, essayists, and novelists. Tinker with them. See how they work. Create something with their parts.

Don’t be afraid to finish things. Don’t let yourself amass only beginnings of things. You learn the most from endings and endings get you whole works.

Take great amounts of time and effort to connect with your favorite writers. Make the writers your friends. But still steal from the writing. The writing should mean more to you than the writer.

Give yourself assignments. If you’re going to read books on writing, actually do the exercises. This is how you can create your own creative writing class: one student and one teacher, and only the best reading and writing assignments.

Learn to work hardest when you don’t want to work at all. Think continuously about what makes you want to write. Never let that passion go, even when you feel consumed by self-hate and self-doubt. Write as a way to connect with yourself, with others, with the whole universe. Do it today. Just write.

yeahwriters

edgeandvoidfriction

We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the “ideas” with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.

Or at least we do for a while.

Joan Didion, The White Album

I just reread this essay, and I think it’s an important one for writers to read—not to be better writers, I think, but to be better humans outside of our writing. I definitely fall victim to the need to narrativize things that happen in my life, to want to say x happened because of y because of z. And yes, life is a series of chains reactions, of “fate” or whatever you want to call it splitting off like branches on a tree because of the decisions we make. But it doesn’t all have to make sense; it doesn’t have to tie up neatly. If there’s a gun on the mantle in the proverbial first act of my life, it doesn’t have to go off in the third.

I’m having a hard time believing this right now, granted how certain negative past actions of mine are resurfacing in what seems like a karmic rage, but we need to remember that life is fucking random. Dwelling on the past events that lead to our current situation is, a lot of the time, useless. I know it sounds trite at this point, but if life is a non-narrative, there’s only moving forward.

(via yeahwriters)

midnightxmasquerade

edgeandvoidfriction

midnightxmasquerade:

Teach me a foreign
language;
that I may articulate
these feelings into words
that exhibit
the weight of my thoughts 

For these stanzas appear
so pallid upon the page;
stagnant script that
fails to speak the
secrets
burning in my fingertips

The music resounding
in the marrow of my bones
stains this stage so silently;
regardless of style and
expression

Am I bound by endless
repetition?

Poets paint their passions
so effortlessly..
their wounds bleed beauty
onto parchment,
But me?

..Mine is a repertoire
of recyled renditions—
I cannot weave these
whispers
into works of art

I cannot write of you
the way I wish I could..

portersnotebook

edgeandvoidfriction

portersnotebook:

Page one hundred and sixty-three out of two hundred and four.
Computer pages, single-spaced in twelve point Times New Roman.
Fifteen years in the newspaper business and I recognize things like that now, my days spent with Cheltham Bold, Franklin Gothic, headlines and deadlines. I’ve written for the paper and laid out its pages, grown to love the place. It taught me a trade after all. Worked in it still drunk from the night before and raised glasses with co-workers on New Year’s Eve and when Obama was elected.
Both times.
Most of my life has had to do with the written word in one way or another.
The novel is in its fifth edit in four, maybe five years. It now feels like a book. The stack of pages on my right is now larger than the one on my left.
There is an agent waiting to read it, though she does not represent me yet, she’s done well my a couple friends of mine.
When I’ve finished going through the line-by-line I’ll go back and add two crucial scenes. I can see the sign posts and the world of it around me. As long as I listen to the bird in my chest I think I’ll be alright. He has a better view of the land after all, wings have their advantages.

portersnotebook:

Page one hundred and sixty-three out of two hundred and four.

Computer pages, single-spaced in twelve point Times New Roman.

Fifteen years in the newspaper business and I recognize things like that now, my days spent with Cheltham Bold, Franklin Gothic, headlines and deadlines. I’ve written for the paper and laid out its pages, grown to love the place. It taught me a trade after all. Worked in it still drunk from the night before and raised glasses with co-workers on New Year’s Eve and when Obama was elected.

Both times.

Most of my life has had to do with the written word in one way or another.

The novel is in its fifth edit in four, maybe five years. It now feels like a book. The stack of pages on my right is now larger than the one on my left.

There is an agent waiting to read it, though she does not represent me yet, she’s done well my a couple friends of mine.

When I’ve finished going through the line-by-line I’ll go back and add two crucial scenes. I can see the sign posts and the world of it around me. As long as I listen to the bird in my chest I think I’ll be alright. He has a better view of the land after all, wings have their advantages.

ivegotstoriestotell

edgeandvoidfriction

Poetry Friday - Long Story Short: from foster care to fame by Queen Sheba

ivegotstoriestotell:

image

I think it’s intoxicating when somebody is so unapologetically who they are - Don Cheadle

This quote above is very fitting for the wonderful woman I’m about to write about. I had the pleasure of meeting Queen Sheba back in August 2013 at the Marquis Slam in Fayetteville, NC. She was a feature at that slam. She’s a firecracker and she keeps it real. And that reflects in her work. 

Long Story Short: from foster care to fame is a book of poetry and short stories that she defines as too big for the stage. She covers a variety to topics - family, friends, relationships, God, roaches (I’m serious about the last one. Did you watch the link I shared about her yesterday?). She has her own way with words. She paints really interesting pictures. I think her work pushes you to open your mind and think broadly. I found myself sitting and thinking after a few of her poems and stories. What does it really mean to her? Because I’ll never really know and what does it mean to me? I think we all can appreciate work that makes us stop and think.

Her line breaks are more suited for speaking (reading out loud or performing), but it’s not too distracting for reading. A lot of the poems in here are free verse, but she has some haikus that serve as section dividers. Those are good and interesting as well. Some of my favorite pieces are off-beat-i-tis, a short story about the awkwardness and struggle of dancing off beat; cardinal, a poem; civil rights comes to pizza hut, one of the moments she’s encountered racism being a person of color adopted into a white family; the woods, a poem about taking a trip with her family; roach motel on central drive, about roaches and the company you keep; espn: extra special poets network, this poem is a really interesting dissection of spoken word artists; haiku for all wing clippers, and dear God, it’s me sheba, a letter to God. I realized I liked a lot more poems and stories, but I wanted to keep the list short. 

It’s a really good book. It’s eclectic. I like the idea of short stories and poems going together. That definitely inspires me to maybe put a book with a mix of those two things since I write both. Please go buy it! It’s $17 in her etsy shop. She also has some spoken word CDs and some other books for sell there. 

Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook. She’s really cool. Oh, she probably thought I was weird because at one point, I was kind of staring at her, but it’s because I was trying to figure out if she was the same poet that was featured on Verses and Flow and she was. She’s also gorgeous and has neat tattoos so I couldn’t help myself lol. Check her out! Buy her stuff! You won’t be disappointed.

dailydot

edgeandvoidfriction

explodingdog:

dailydot:

Writing a story by explodingdog
more comics here

I did this for the Daily Dot.

explodingdog:

dailydot:

Writing a story by explodingdog

more comics here

I did this for the Daily Dot.

(via rewritingalexandra)

referenceforwriters

edgeandvoidfriction

10 Things Your Freelance Editor Might Not Tell You—but Should

referenceforwriters:

1. You should avoid the temptation to hire someone to edit your first draft.

I know you’re really excited that you finally finished that book! I’m happy for you … you should be happy for you. Celebrate it! But don’t send it to an editor yet. Put it away for three weeks and then reread, making…

(via yeahwriters)

the-girl-that-no-one-ever-knows

scratchedlines

a return to writing

the-girl-that-no-one-ever-knows:

It feels so good to be back.

Like coming home. Like opening a door and finding everything on the other side just as you left it. A little dusty, perhaps, but the stacks of books are there, precarious as Jenga blocks, the loose sheets of paper flutter on the desk, blocks of your old text illuminated by the sunlight slanting through the blinds, just as it has always done in the late afternoon. You lightly touch the back of the chair and feel the grooves where your fingers, and the fingers of all the people who owned this chair before you, have rested in pensive moments. You pull it out and see the imprint of yourself and all the people who have ever sat in this chair for hours upon hours, in the night and in the day. You glimpse the light scratches on the wooden floor where this chair has been pushed back, in resignation, in frustration, in anger, in satisfaction, in relief. You have no way of knowing what your attitude will be when you stand up next time, but you grit your teeth and slide yourself into that seat anyway, edge up close to the desk like pulling up a seat next to a friend at a party. And it is a party, you know.

And by that, you know it doesn’t mean that every moment will be delightful. You will have your bright moments of joy, of course; those are what brought you back, those are what make this all worth doing, the dressing up, the showing up. You will have gleaming flashes of inspiration that almost blind you, dizzy whirling moments when you lose yourself in a dance. You will put down words that taste sweet and rich and delicious when you try them in your mouth, you will find old friends and laugh with wild abandon, and you will be looked over and given approving smiles from attractive strangers.


But all parties have their highs and their lows. You will get tired, your arms and fingers and mind exhausted from the whirl. Your mouth will ache with how hard you have been kissing characters, and words will fall slowly from your lips and your pen to crackle and wither on the floor like autumn leaves that have lost their luster. You will say things that you thought would never say and wish you had never thought. You will knock elbows with a stranger and start a fight you didn’t mean. The evening will go to your head, making you feel invincible, make you loathe to spill another drop of ink. Push yourself too hard, and it will leave you aching, curled up in a corner and hiding from the world that expects too much from you. You might end up heaving everything you wanted to keep, just chucking it in the bin in a final act of desperation. You will hide in the shreds of your dignity and pray that no one saw that, that everything will be forgotten in the morning. One day you may show up in entirely the wrong outfit for the occasion, or perhaps worse, the exact same outfit as someone you hate.


But none of these things mean that you shouldn’t show up for the party. True, it might end in a hot mess, but how will you know unless you go? Don’t let them say you didn’t try. Put on your warpaint and walk into the room like you own it. If you put it on paper, you do. You own mansions, castles, entire nations, an ever-expanding universe. Just go in there, and start to drink it in, drink it all. Start to dance and don’t care if anyone is watching. If you do it right, they’ll all be watching, waiting, wishing. If you’re uncomfortable, just sit this one out. If the party is a bust and nobody cool is there, leave. But don’t let them say you didn’t try. More importantly, don’t be able to tell yourself at the end of the day you didn’t try. Don’t lie to yourself either. if you lie to yourself you can’t tell the truth on the page, and yes you have the tell the truth, especially when you weave your fictions. That is truth’s real home and you must make it right.


So pull out that familiar chair and take a seat. It fits you just right. Pick up the pen… doesn’t it warm instantly between your fingers? Look down at the pristine pages in front of you, and prepare to make them a sloppy drunken mess. Everything is just as you left it. The world has been waiting for you. It’s like coming home, like opening a door and finding yourself blinded by light and all the things you loved.


It feels so good to be back.

mikeyj529

edgeandvoidfriction

mikeyj529:

burn the plagiarists down
effigies of the basest writers
unoriginal word thieves

paste them with bullet holes
and watch the void leak
in copious streams to ground

we learn from each other
with every turn of phrase
but our hearts know truth

so, please—take care
writers pleasure their words
don’t make whores of them

theparisreview

edgeandvoidfriction

The more realistic you are the more you threaten the grounds of your own art.

Saul Bellow (via theparisreview)

walkinginsolitude

edgeandvoidfriction

walkinginsolitude:

Some people have day jobs, some people make hungover youtube videos of their poetry, some people say cucumber better pickled.

How to “become” a writer

- Laurent H

(via burningmuse)

thesensualityofwords

edgeandvoidfriction

The Big Picture

thesensualityofwords:

It’s been a long week and words have refused to be my ally. I look at the time and I see it ticking away with nothing to show for it but a blank page.

I write now for those nights that made me into a writer. Those nights that gave me endless inspiration. Those nights that made me into an author, a poet. I love the girl who gave me my first heartbreak. That time I may have been harsh but then who was I but a lost lover who had lost the most precious gift he ever experienced. Now, looking back at those hundred poems I wrote, I thank her for making me describe myself in words because I am here partly because of her.

My words could fill up water in someone’s eyes or so I’m told. I am happy I have that effect and how naturally it came to me so I am also scared, scared that the same magic of weaving words might fade. But I guess that is every writer’s nightmare.

I still have it tonight and I feel better. This blank sheet looks filled now and with thoughts that may appear random but they all come through together in the big picture,

The big picture you ask? That I can still write for myself, for this blog and for my sanity because without my words, this world could simply eat me alive.

acneplace

edgeandvoidfriction

Snippet From My Writing Journal #1

acneplace:

     If you want to write well, or write better, be prepared to bruise your ego all over. Sure, I’ve heard the saying many times before and maybe I’d even conceded to the accuracy of the phase once upon a time, but things are different now. It’s easy to talk about the ego bruising when one’s work is not up for criticism – objective as it may be – and less easy when one’s work is actually being critiqued or criticized. I’m talking about the poetry workshop of course. 

     I’ve tremendous respect for my professor and classmates, which means I mull over every bit of their comments on my poem for long time. I sap praise – I’ll admit – too eagerly; conversely, I flinch from criticism, even though it’s not personal and even though I know it’ll better my craft. I’d never imagined that I’d be so flustered about my writings, what people thought of them specifically, but here’s the main thing I’ve picked up from that: I take pride in my writings. Pride is good, because it compels one to strive for, and maintain, betterment. On the other hand, pride can also lapse into self-pity – when I despair over my mentor’s comments for instance – or into arrogance, such as when I refuse to heed my peers’ advice. The challenge is to integrate the critiques directed at my work and the essential components of the work into a refined piece of art which is still authentic to me. And to, bluntly put, get over myself.

     Writing is strenuous and painful and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It demands gracefulness in the process, and if you are anything as clumsy as I am, good luck, get ready for the hell of a ride. And yet, god, just what a journey it takes you into. What adventure.