Lust & Fun

Lust & Fun

Goddard College MFAW alum John Schmidtke:

“Okay,” I said. “But just in case, what’s the residency’s theme?”

“Lust and fun,” Elena said. 

My foot came off the gas a bit.

“Lust and fun?”  I asked.

 

“Yes,” Elena said.

Let me pause right here to confess that while I attended Goddard, lust took over my life.

I cheated on my wife Mary almost every night for two years.

Toiling in the Labyrinth: On Reading Literature Critically

Toiling in the Labyrinth: On Reading Literature Critically

My purpose for reading literature critically rests on two sloping planes. On the first plane is pleasure—experiencing the epiphany of understanding, a resolution to my inquiring mind. In other words, the Aha! moment. It’s the immediate gratification of critical thinking, which may be a purpose in of itself. However, beneath that first pleasurable plane, for me, is the second, more self-reflective plane.

Embracing the Personal

Embracing the Personal

“It all just feels so… personal.”

N is a new student of mine, one who has worked in the theater industry for years, but never written a play before.  He called me before our first week of class, and I could tell he was feeling intimidated by the process of playwriting.  We discussed some exercises he could do and some of his favorite plays and playwrights, and I think I assuaged the majority of his concerns.  His one lingering reservation:

“It’s just so personal.”

From Fear to Yearning to Write Fiction Now

From Fear to Yearning to Write Fiction Now

“Fiction is the art form of human yearning.” – Robert Olen Butler
“We are living in the most fearmongering time in human history.” – Barry Glassner
“I think what we need to do is to remind people that the Earth is a very dangerous place these days. That ISIS is trying to do us harm. And that the president’s commitment is to keep the country safe.” – Sean Spicer

What Is Writing For?

What Is Writing For?

What is writing for?
 
I confess that, after having taught creative writing for more than 35 years and read tons of student writing I don’t remember and tons of good and great books by good and great authors I also don’t remember, I sometimes find myself wondering if we really need any more new writing.

Amtrak Writer’s Residency: Rail Tale

Amtrak Writer’s Residency: Rail Tale

I’m writing to you today from the Amtrak quiet car, on a southbound train somewhere in New Jersey. Although the Amtrak Writer’s Residency Program is “currently evaluating the future of the program and do not have a timeline for when the next submission process will launch,” you can still pay out of pocket for a DIY Amtrak residency. That’s what I’ve been doing in 2017, now that my full-time teaching job is in Virginia and my fiancé is a theater director in New York.

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