|The author, Dane F. Baylis|
Due to a declining participation, there will be no further poetry workshops held at the Vita Art Center in Ventura this cycle. There is a possibility that this venue and activity may be revived down the line but, for now, the workshop is going dark.
AND THE BEAT GOES ON
It Ain't Over 'til It's Over!
Just got up from the dinner table. Tonight was a real treat. Using some things from the garden and some things from the market (we do our shopping on Sunday mornings, so things were as fresh they could be), a tasty and different repast was enjoyed. You might have read this blog the night I made the suggestion that, if you wanted to make nuanced references to food in your writing, then it might behoove you to learn your way around the kitchen. With that in mind, if you were writing something that took place in Italy or an Italian household, could you get away from pasta marinara? How about a simple meal of bruschetta for an appetizer, enlivened with the addition of Thai basil along with the usual sweet basil, followed by penne, red potato and green beans in a homemade pesto sauce? That was tonight's menu. Step away from the trite and mundane and become authentic.
What else today? Well, in the spirit of simple doggedness, I turned around a short story that had been rejected a week ago. Did I just hit the submit button or drop it in another 8 1/2 X 11 1/2 envelope with a new SASE? No, this is one of those moments when I am given an opportunity of circumstance. The work has been out of my hands, and off my mind, for about six weeks. (Yes, a journal that actually turns things around in their published time! I was just as shocked as you might be.) So this was a chance to look at it with fresh eyes.
I won't say the changes were staggering at this point, but I found a number of areas where I could clarify, tighten, or simply state in a better manner, something I had let pass before. Like I said, the changes weren't earth shattering, but they did smooth out some places and improve flow. There was even a place where I simply felt I could say something better, more in keeping with character and tone. All in all, including putting together the cover letter, SASE, and a trip to the post office, a little over three hours effort. But I am happier with the piece and feel it better represents the tiny advances that occur in skill and perception over several weeks' time.
It's all about the nuances. If you stay with the stale, or simply repackaged, then after a while that is what you will be recognized for. Instead, if you're always learning and fine tuning, then you may become known as a voice that continually brings something new and intriguing to the stage, and dazzles an audience awake as opposed to lulling them to sleep. But then, that's just my humble opinion.
Meanwhile...live, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis