#1: What was the most valuable learning experience for you from the Duende group study this semester? (Please focus on one to three elements of the experience.)
I think the process of working with diverse editors to choose pieces to include in Duende was most valuable to me. A committee decision is not easy when everyone has different opinions and thoughts and priorities. It was largely a good experience and has definitely helped me as a human being and an editor.
#2: What specific professional skills are you taking away from your experience with Duende?
My editing skills have improved and been challenged in a good way, and the use of Submittable will be helpful to me as I work toward opening a small press of my own.
#3: How would you evaluate your own participation in the group study? What are you most proud of? Is there anything you found particularly challenging? If so, what kind of support would have been helpful?
I am not sure I would give myself high marks, though my effort and desire to be helpful was good. There was a learning curve that was tough for me, and my own schedule (being on the road a LOT) and taking care of family demands (elderly parents included) made it very difficult to take on all of the requirements of the group study. I did well in the beginning and really worked to keep up with the fiction coming into Submittable so that I would not have to pull all-nighters at the end. But, I struggled with some of the assignments and with learning the process, so I have to be honest and say that I probably could have done better.
#4: If you are not a Level 8: Are you planning to participate in the group study next semester? If so, what focus would you like for your work next semester?
I’m still undecided. This was way more of a commitment than I anticipated and I am struggling between the need to finish the novel in progress and the desire to learn more and participate in what I believe is a much-needed platform for under-represented writers and artists.
Our online journal features poetry, prose and VISUAL ART from diverse artists around the world. Submissions are free and the deadline for our Fall issue is May 15, 2015.
Welcoming your prose, poetry, hybrid work, translations, collaborations & visual art to DUENDE: the online literary journal of Goddard College’s BFA Program. DUENDE seeks authenticity & soulfulness, earthiness & expressiveness, a chill up the spine. Submissions accepted until May 15, 2015 for our Fall 2015 issue. Read more at duendeliterary.org.
I had the great pleasure of speaking at the Alachua County Public Library yesterday, for the Writer’s Alliance of Gainesville. www.writersalliance.org What a great experience!
I shared my experience publishing The Pecan Man to a very receptive and gracious audience. Check out the link to see some completely animated photos of my silly self. At least I’m not boring!
The Pecan Man is still available on Amazon.com in print or digital format. Sales are GREAT and so are the reviews.
If you know me or have read The Pecan Man, you’ll know that I give a lot of credit to Gainesville Poets and Writers’ group for helping me complete the work. Their feedback and edits were invaluable, especially for the route I eventually took – self-publishing through Amazon’s programs. Recently, GPW member Donald gave a copy of my novel to Don Smith, who heads up a couple of book clubs in Gainesville. Long story short, they picked it up for their April meeting and invited me to attend the discussion. A first for the group and a first for me.
The meeting was held at Books-a-million and the group of approximately 12-15 people gathered in a cozy corner. I noticed as each sat down, they reached over and put slips of folded paper into a golden goblet. These, I learned, were questions the group would use to randomly discuss issues or observations they had with the story.
My job, for the first hour, was just to listen and take notes. I would have time to speak or answer questions later. Have to say, as far as writing goes, that hour was as golden as the bowl of questions on the table. To listen to a group of people discuss the characters I birthed, and the story I wrote, was nothing short of a gift. To say that it was a positive experience for me is like saying the Suwannee River holds a few drops of water.
This is a group of people who read an amazing range of literary works, and have credentials I’ll never touch. And yet, a majority of them connected to the story and the characters and had mostly positive comments to make. Even the negative comments weren’t really negative…especially since it always helps to know what works for some people and what doesn’t.
I came away from the meeting feeling encouraged and motivated and validated. What a blessing I received.
Onward and upward!!