BRAINSTORMING BLOG ARCHIVES
By Bonnie Stanard
While scanning our blogs from 10-plus years ago, I’ve found excerpts that might inspire us to either revive old manuscripts or start new ones in 2023. Many of these writers have come and gone from the workshop. Ilmars Birznieks and Alex Raley have passed away; Mayowa Atte, Chris Mathews, and Shaun McCoy moved away.
Updates on some of our active members quoted below: Ginny Padgett (former moderator) is recovering from hospitalization. Mike Long is on hiatus from writing. Len Lawson is assistant prof at Newberry College, currently writing and publishing poetry. Monet Jones has moved to another workshop. If there are updates regarding other former members, please leave a note.
|Fare thee well, Johnny|
It is with sadness that we say goodbye to Cola II member Johnny Bloodworth, who passed away in December. He brought the latest chapter of his novel to the December 5 Skype meeting.
The Columbia II workshop, which went virtual in response to Covid, will return to in-person meetings beginning 5:30 PM, Monday, January 16 at offices of Turning Pages located at First Christian Church (2062 N. Beltline Blvd. in Columbia, SC, across from Barnes and Noble). Beginning and experienced writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry are welcome to visit our workshop. Our thanks to Kasie Whitener, who has kept us going through challenging times and was elected 2023 leader by default.
It is with affection that we think of the following writers and with admiration that we read again their ideas about writing, taken from our blog archive.
— In October, I went to my first writing conference and I learned the same lesson I learn every time I dive into a new environment: I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Meredith Kaiser
— Writer’s block is the result of exposure to literary kryptonite. Apparently the walls of my den are lined with it! I guess I’ll pull up my big-girl panties…and keep trying. Ginny Padgett
— I know that I need to learn more about writing. I know that I will never learn all there is to know about writing. I know that my work will never be perfect. Vikki Perry
— I ask myself, "Why write?"… what will become of all those printed words anyway? Shouldn't trees be saved and this nonsense of words on paper be stopped? The simple answer is that I write to assure myself that I am here, that something in my life has meaning, if only for me. Alex Raley
— Two dragons guard the road to writing productivity; the first is a lack of time to write… The other is the writer’s mental attitude; there is enough time to write but you don’t feel like writing. Mayowa Atte
— The important thing to know is that practice makes us better, and, as long as we keep grabbing those opportunities to practice, no matter how brief, we will get better. Janie Kronk
— When I began writing fiction, I tried to include every thought, detail, and event that could possibly be related to the story… Obviously, repetition crept in on kitten’s feet with tiger paws. Alex Raley
— We independent writers are sometimes treated to a different standard than the indie booksellers wish for themselves. Mike Long
— We cultivate the writer’s instinct by building up individual ingredients. By living full and vital lives that enrich our experience. By picking the right stories to tell. By reading and writing ceaselessly. Mayowa Atte
— Spoken words can insult; written words can destroy. Monet Jones
— Fiction is about life and life is not concrete/sequential. Alex Raley
— Confidence, it is a writer’s secret weapon. Mayowa Atte
— The biggest lie about publishing you'll read on the internet is that it isn't an odds game. Shaun McCoy
— People who write memoir …seek meaning in the timeliness or the universality of their experiences. Laura Valtorta
— I heard a reading by the well-known poet Galway Kinnell. He said that he is often asked to reveal the meaning of a poem. His stock reply is, “. . .shall I read it again?” Alex Raley
— Conflict is the ticking time bomb in riveting writing. Chris Mathews
— Our best writing seems only to titillate the senses. The business of writing has become more commercial than controversial. LenLawson