Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ligonier Valley Writers to host creativity workshop

Here is a post from Judith Gallagher:

Judith Vollmer to Teach LVW Workshop on Creativity

"Everything in life is writable about if you have the guts and the imagination. The worst
enemy of creativity is self-doubt," wrote Sylvia Plath, who was no stranger to either creativity
or self-doubt. If you're wrestling with how to write something, whether it's a poem, a story, a
memoir—anything, join us for a workshop that will help you conquer self-doubt and access your
most creative self.

Ligonier Valley Writers presents a creativity workshop by award-winning poet Judith
Vollmer at the Ligonier Valley Library (120 E. Main St.) on Saturday, November 9, from 2:00 to
4:00 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

The workshop will feature two prompts. “I’m inviting writers to make poems that bring
to life on the page more than one element of craft," says Vollmer. "So, rather than simply telling
a story or describing a set of images, we’ll use a toolkit that holds several kinds of strategies. I
want poets to feel that they can do more than they thought inside a poem, since a poem as it’s
being composed can surprise us with invitations, detours, and mysteries.”

Judith Vollmer is the author of five books of poetry, including most recently The Water
Books, published by Autumn House Press in 2012. Her previous collections have won the
Brittingham, the Cleveland State, and the Center for Book Arts prizes. Her book Reactor, which
explores place and devastation, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and
was featured in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. Vollmer is a recipient of the Chancellor’s
Distinguished Teaching Award of the University of Pittsburgh. Her web address is http://

For more about any LVW events, publications, and contests, visit www.LVWonline.org.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Interesting question for writers!

Here is a question from Handling the truth...on the writing of memoir by Beth Kephart that I think should be asked by all writers.

What do you expect of others as you read, and what do you expect of yourself as a writer?

She poses this question to the students in her memoir class and her book includes a number of their responses. I like this question because expectations often decide outcomes. If we have a clear understanding of what we want to accomplish when practicing our craft, we are much more likely to accomplish our goals. I believe that our answer will change as we evolve and grow as writers, so we should ask this question of ourselves again and again. 

Thanks for reading. Keep your mind working, your fingers on the keyboard and your dreams alive!

Jim Busch

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Why are writers like the NSA?

Why are writers like the NSA?

Writers and the National Security Agency like to eavesdrop!

Writers are keen observers of human interactions. They use their eyes and their ears to collect details that they can use to bring their characters to life. Like many writers I keep a notebook where I squirrel away ideas and observations that may find their way into a story. I am particularly fond of recording snippets of conversation that I hear during the day. 

For example, earlier this week I was walking into the Panera restaurant (one of my favorite collecting spots) in Uniontown. I held the door for a couple who appeared to be in their mid sixties. The man said "You shouldn't let her get under your skin...cut her some slack...after all she is eighty two." The woman's sharp reply was "Well then I guess she's been eighty two for the last 40 damn years!"

I'm not sure how but I am sure at some time in the future this couple may appear in one of my pieces. Other artists have to go to the art supply shop for their materials, we writers can find everything we need where ever we go. The problem is our materials degrade very rapidly if they are not stored properly. Keeping a pocket memo book or carrying a journal allows a writer to trap these elusive gems of human existence and to store theme for future reference. 

Remember, eavesdropping is rude, but if you're a writer, its not eavesdropping, its research!

Let us know what you think. Please use the comments section of this blog to share your thoughts on this or any other writing related subject.

Keep writing! Thanks--LVW              

Saturday, October 5, 2013

You are a writer

"If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is. Who am I? What right do I have to speak? Who will listen to me if I do? You are a human being, with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion, many of us will listen. We all need stories to live, all of us. We live by story. Yours enlarges the circle."--from How to Write Advice and Reflections by Richard Rhodes

A bit of encouragement from your fellow writers.

Welcome to the Ligonier Valley Writers Blog

Welcome to the Ligonier Valley Writers blog. The LVW was formed to provide encouragement and support to local writers. Throughout the year the LVW sponsors writing contests and writing workshops as well as a nationally respected writing conference each summer. The Loyalhanna Review, published annually by the LVW provides local writers, artists and photographers with a high quality showcase for their work. This blog is intended to be another tool we can use to support local authors and artists.

This blog will offer information of interest to local writers and readers. A number of LVW member will be contributing to this effort and we hope you will share your comments as well. Much like an author sitting down to write a novel, we don't exactly know where this work will takes us but we hope you will come along for the ride.

Thanks for reading and for your support.