As I write this . . .

February 26, 2012

And, the winner is . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — aawriter @ 3:25 pm

Regardless of the weather, there are two parties I attend every year.  For over 10 years, a group of select friends and I have honored the Oscars with our own celebration(s.).  This year nine of us will be in the same state, and the other two will participate through “Skype®.”  No matter what the vehicle for attendance, we’ll all be there, dressed to the nines, and ready to mimic, – as is the case with this year’s Best Picture nominee “The Artist” – sing, dance, and vote for the names we’re absolutely sure will be called to receive their new eight-pound-three-ounce “golden” boy.  The “cast” only calms down for the required 2 minutes to announce the winner and hear the “thank you” he/she then offers.

At our celebration, there are a dozen “Oscars,” all ready to be presented to their deserving winners.  Gingerbread covered in “gold” icing never looked so royal!

Commercials, of course, – just like the Super Bowl game – give us the opportunity to refresh our champagne, grab another hors d’oeuvre, mix, mingle, and of course “powder” our noses. No detail is left to chance, including that most coveted gig at the real Oscar ceremony – the seat filler.  Two of our gang will inherit this honor from the previous year’s designees, and while it may seem like a benign character impersonation, at our party it’s certainly not.  Our seat fillers take their roles to heart and are stocked complete with face paint, extra gloves and jewelry, and at least three wigs that can be used to change their crowning glory to blond, brunette or redhead in less time than it takes to remove a ball cap.

Of course, each attendee selects which actor/actress they want to portray, but in the true Oscar spirit, we have one cast member position that is non-negotiable. Albeit male or female, one attendee is designated in advance to dress as “a writer” – with identifying costume characteristics being left solely to his/her interpretation.   I’m sure you can imagine some of these “costumes.” After all, where would movies, novels, plays, music and lyrics be without writers?

As I write this, my jewelry, gown and shoes are on the bed. Like all celebrities, I’ll need assistance with hair, make-up and dressing. One of my long-time friends will be over in a couple of hours and we’ll both “assist” each other in preparation for our walk on the red carpet. And, of course, we’ll be ready for our close-ups – just in case Mr. DeMille decides to honor us with his presence this year.

Copyright © 2012 A. Adams – All Rights Reserved

February 23, 2012

Happy . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — aawriter @ 11:28 am
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As I write this, I’m preparing to attend another writer’s conference – in fact, two over the next four months, spanning the width and breadth of the continental United States. Those who know me, know this is what I like to do best. This is where the “real stuff” goes on.

As everyone knows, when gas prices go up so goes the price of airfare. And, by the time, you factor in the cost of hotels and meals, conference registration fees, gratuities, etc. it literally pays to attend the best writer’s conference you can find – and one that has all the right features such as plenty of workshops and lots of opportunities to meet with agents, editors and other representatives of the publishing industry. For most writers, the sole purpose of attending a conference is for their work to be picked up by an agent or publishing house. If you have worthy ideas, quality work and a better-than-average presentation this purpose can be achieved in record time. An additional bonus is the opportunity for networking. When writers attend conferences away from their home territory, the cost usually runs about $2500 – all the more reason for their free contributions to their local community to be valued and appreciated. For those who don’t appreciate such contributions, the explanation could be as simple as them being in a “different world” than a writer. My loyalty and praise will go toward the writer every time.

During this past week, I’ve received several apologies, comments and narratives concerning my decision to shut down a writer’s group for seniors. My decision was more than appropriate, and in truth, should have been implemented several months ago.

What is foolish, is when a writer’s group facilitator realizes that his/her efforts are unappreciated and not respected. It is not admirable for the facilitator to continue to use efforts, energy and resources to “give them what they need” – it’s foolish. My initial emotion upon closing down the group was relief not to have to continue my efforts in vain.

But here’s another side of the equation – it does a writers’-group facilitator “good” to be able to look back at such an experience and laugh. I don’t consider what I contributed to my community as a waste of time; but, instead, another lesson learned. And, here’s another positive note on the experience: while this is the first writer’s group I’ve ever shut down in 17 years of facilitation, the experience brought me to my senses and told me it was time for me to concentrate solely on my writing. Those that didn’t learn where the resources are, what to do with them, or how to appreciate them will simply have to ask someone else or do exactly what I did as a beginning writer: attend a writer’s conference.

In the aftermath of all of this, I received a new and very tantalizing offer. Several months ago, when I was initially approached about this same opportunity, I declined – citing extensive travel and writing commitments in two separate communities. All of this was true at the time. However, now all of the parties have come together again to renew their offer. It’s a winning scenario for everyone – but especially me. Not only does it offer new opportunities, but it also contributes toward my current writing projects. So, while I may have felt pangs of relief and foolishness, albeit later followed by laughter, upon closing the writer’s group, the appreciative increase reflected in the bottom line of my bank account coupled with being surrounded by writers who are not in a “different world,” were major factors in accepting this offer, but the best one of all is that I’m happy.

Copyright © 2012 A. Adams – All Rights Reserved

February 17, 2012

Good family, good times, … good writing!

Filed under: Uncategorized — aawriter @ 12:22 am

It’s been a great week for me. I’ve had the pleasure of writing with two other members of my family – on their turf and mine. We’ve reminisced about old times, new expectations and how the writing world has changed.  The end result has been a short-story piece that is sure to make even the most cynic of readers and writers laugh.   It‘s been a collaborative work, and since I’m the “middle child,” each one of us have seen the same incident from a different perspective – and with potentially different consequences.

This is what happens when writers write – not talk, but write.  The simple facets of everyday life tend to be overlooked, but when three writing minds gather it’s a different story.  Ours’ is one that will make the younger members of our family continue to laugh for generations to come.  When I’m dead and gone, my grandchildren will understand their grandmother’s thought process so much better than I did mine.  They will see the true window of my soul, and understand a little more about genetics than most.  Writing is a wonderful way to reveal small truths that might otherwise be forgotten – simply because they are of such dry humor and many who hear them just didn’t “get” it.  Oh, well.

Good writing comes from environments of people with open minds and willing to explore. While we may think the good times with family and friends come naturally, many times they do not.  Take a look at reality television to prove my point. Good writers understand that completed ideas and stories come from a process – they don’t just pop up and finish themselves.  The process is one that has to “perk” for a little while, and while not every facet of a particular incident lends itself to good writing copy, significant ones tend to be remembered.  This past week has yielded several ideas – compliments of good family, good times, and good writers.

 

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