Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Creative Writing

I've learned most of what I know by teaching it.
That's why I did my School Days seminar last fall.
Read all about it:



In a surprise raid, a local blogger was apprehended today for impersonating a writer. TravelinOma was indicted on several counts of fraud, including teaching without a license, extorting hush-hush particulars from "students" and philosophizing sans a Ph.D.

TravelinOma (a Mormon, of course,) was nabbed on her way to church Sunday morning. An onlooker was heard shouting, "School Days was a scam! I want my money back!" Oma has published over 57 posts (the equivalent of 390 pages) since September 1st, presenting herself as a wordsmith of sorts. More than 300 different readers have been conned into leaving comments or sending emails, many on a regular basis!

In an exclusive interview she answered the question, "Why? Why'd ya do it?"

Behind Bars

TravelinOma said, "Honestly, I never thought I'd be found out. I know I'm just a scribbler, a hack. But I wanted to give it a shot. Writing's the only thing I've ever been good at. And I thought if I set myself up as a woman of letters, I'd be able to practice—you know—be motivated. It just grew from there. It got out of hand.

"I devised School Days hoping ace writers would sign up, hand in their work, and I could learn from them. They did. I admit it—I preyed on innocent young bloggers. What got into me?


"I'm guilty, but I'm not sorry. I've learned a lot these past few weeks, from my students and from my research. Jail won't silence me. Lock me in a cell with my books and a pad of paper and I'll carry on. Other (legitimate) writing teachers give me hope:

"Anne LaMott said, 'Try not to feel sorry for yourselves, when you find the going hard and lonely. You seem to want to write, so write. You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories . . . This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won't wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.'

"Monica Wood wrote, 'I have been asked why I teach writing, since statistics hold that 99% of writers will never actually publish anything. True, perhaps. But what an appalling criterion for teaching people to write with more intention, more craft, more delight. To write means to live thoughtfully. To respect your inner life. To engage with the world. Why shouldn't everyone aspire to this richness?'

"Natalie Goldberg said, 'Writers live twice. They go along with their regular life, are as fast as anyone in the grocery store, crossing the street, getting dressed for work in the morning. But there's another part of them that they have been training. The one that lives everything a second time.

'"Writers are more interested in living life again in their writing than in making money. Now, let's understand—writers do like money; it's just that money isn't the driving force. I feel very rich when I have time to write and very poor when I get a regular paycheck and no time to work at my real work. Think of it. Employers pay salaries for time. That is the basic commodity that human beings have that is valuable. We exchange our time in life for money. Writers stay with the first step—their time—and feel it is valuable before they even get money for it.'"

Writer's Block

TravelinOma will not be gagged; she will continue her scribbling even while in exile. She pleaded with this journalist to communicate her motto:

"Word warriors, unite!
Write, write, write away!"

Homework: Do any or all or be inspired

~Write a newspaper article about yourself.


Grandma Lizzie's House said...

What a clever article. With your permission, I would like to use it with my 6th graders. Hopefully it will inspired them to use their imagination when writing.

marta said...

hee hee. you are one of a kind, mom! this was a cute pots. i love your storytelling abilities and School Days was a huge hit. we all loved writing right along side you. you'll have to post it again this fall!

marta said...

i meant a 'cute post'. where is my editor when i need her?

Travelin'Oma said...

Grandma Lizzie, you're welcome to use this. I'm flattered you'd want to.

Diane said...

This post among so many, proves just how creative you are. I remember it well from the first time, and enjoyed it again today.