Monday, June 26, 2017

ENTERTAIN AND ENLIGHTEN YOUR READERS WITH YOUR LIFE STORIES

I was supposed to meet at Young Harris College for a preview of classes coming up soon. But I could not be there Saturday morning.

I am excited to be teaching on Wednesday afternoons, beginning July 12, 3:15 - 5:15 p.m. through July 26 at YHC for the Institute of Continuing Learning. This is an organization formed to give opportunities for furthering education in many subjects to adults in our area.

Over the years I have taken beneficial classes at ICL. One of the best was with Kay Lake who taught several courses in computers. Kay taught without making one feel ignorant or dumb. She carefully explained everything and made books for us to bring home.

Some years ago, I taught memoir writing there to a large class of adults. I will be teaching the same subject again. With three classes of two hours each, we will only be able to hit the most important subjects: what to write, where to begin, what to leave out, and how to organize.

We can write about our lives in short true pieces. We can tell the important stories that entertain our readers. We are not writing an autobiography. We can write about a certain time in our lives and not try to include the entire span.

We can tell our readers about what was important to us and what we want them to know about us. If we are writing for our families and not for the public in general, we don't have to be a professional writer. But we do want to entertain and enlighten our readers. We don't want to spend hours and hours of time writing a book that no one reads. We want our writing to be the best it can be so we share our work in class and get feedback from classmates.

My students tell me they enjoy my classes, and I see how much they learn. You can visit ICL by going here to see the bulletin and list of classes and instructors.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Time to Register for Writers Circle Classes. Don't wait until a class is cancelled to send your registration.

Each of these classes must have a minimum of seven people in order for the class to make. If you wait until the last minute, the class might be cancelled for lack of interest. Be considerate of the instructor and of moi and get your registration fees in early, please.

For more details on each class, visit www.glendacouncilbeall.com and check out the Studio Schedule.

Now taking registrations for Karen Holmes' three hour poetry class on July 15, 1:00 - 4:00 PM
Have a Little Fun and Learn Something, Too: The Poetry of Thomas Lux
$40 fee.
 Send a check or pay with PayPal. Class size is limited so don't wait to register.

You don't want to miss Tara Lynne Groth when she comes to Writes Circle on August 5, 1 PM - 4 PM for a workshop, Email Marketing for Authors.  She is an expert on using the Internet to build a brand or platform. Her classes are always filled to the brim, so register now.
Fee $45

He will teach on Saturday, 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM,  September 9.
Fee: $45

Send your check along with the completed application form found at the top of the home page of www.glendacouncilbeall.com   Copy form and print.

Glenda C. Beall
581 Chatuge Lane
Hayesville, NC 28904

Friday, June 16, 2017

Take two characters and create a conflict.

In the creative writing class I am teaching at this time, we are talking about characterization. I favor character-driven stories and books, so I pay great attention to how I form my characters.

I think it is a mistake to spend a paragraph or two describing a person in your story. We want to learn about this person as we read the story, just as we learn about someone in real life. 

We can describe a person's looks as soon as we see him. And we can describe the person's voice as soon as we hear him speak. But it takes a while to understand the motives and actions of a person.

A recent assignment I gave my students was to help them give the reader a good image of a  person without overtly telling the reader what he looks like, sounds like, thinks and does.

Put two people in a setting together. Let them have a conflict. Have the two  people work out the conflict and resolve it. In doing so, help us to see the two people and understand why  they feel as they do and why they act in a certain way. 

As author, Terry Kay, said at our recent conference, A Day for Writers, there are three major players involved in your story. One is the author, second is the characters, and the third is the reader. What we leave out is as important as what we put in. We can show by the character's actions and his words that he is angry, loud, a bully and more without telling the reader, "he is angry, loud and a bully."

Describe what the character looks and sounds like when he is angry, loud and his actions when he is a bully. The reader will fill in what you leave out but you give the clues.

In a short story I wrote, Big Al grabbed his ex-wife's wrist and squeezed it, hard. 
He yelled at the waitress complaining about his food. 
He demanded his ex-wife come home to him, and later threatened her.
He ran his  hand over his ruddy face. 
He laid his  cowboy hat on the seat beside him. He opened the two top buttons on his cowboy shirt. 

The reader creates in her mind just what Big Al looks like from the actions taken and the  type of person he is. 

My students wrote some excellent short stories with their two characters and their conflicts. Maybe you can do the same. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Final Schedule for Writers Circle this Year - A great line up!

Our summer and fall schedule for Writers Circle around the Table is complete. Today I listed Richard Krawiec as our instructor in September.

Poets will love this class. Richard will teach us how to organize a poetry book. 

Even if you don't think you are ready to publish that book now, you will learn what you need to do when the time comes. 

Visit our Studio Schedule page to see all the classes that will be held this summer and fall.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Kathryn Stripling Byer, poet, a friend to many, an activist and advocate

In honor of Kathryn Stripling Byer, first woman Poet Laureate of North Carolina, 2005 - 2009, who passed away today from cancer

I met Kathryn in 1998 at the John C. Campbell Folk School and bought her poetry book, In the Midst of the Harvest, one of my very favorites.

We had a connection even before we met. She and I grew up about 30 miles from each other in SW Georgia. Her memories of the farm where she lived often find their way into her early poems. They take me right back to  my childhood.

I was fortunate enough to take a few classes with Kathryn, who became a friend, and she was generous to help me with my poetry. She wrote a nice blurb for my chapbook, Now Might as Well be Then. She featured me on her blog where she posted several of my poems.

In 2014 she and I worked on a writing conference held in Sylva, NC at the Jackson County Library. She would never take any payment for what she did for NCWN-West which she was instrumental in bringing to fruition. 
On May 6, 2017, she taught a two hour workshop for our one day conference, A Day for Writers. She  was frail from the chemo treatments, but she insisted she could do it and she did. Her evaluations were outstanding with most just wishing it had been longer.

She said she was glad she did it and even talked about the  next time she taught this class. I was concerned about her health, but she seemed to  feel she was going to be fine. Doctors often hide the hard truths, I think.

I admired her for her forthrightness and down to earth personality. She never let ego interfere with her relationships with writers and was quick to compliment others. She offered a helping hand to any poet who was serious about their work. Although family was of utmost importance to her, she attended writing events all over the country and in other countries as well. 

Her poems have been put to music in a number of ways. You can see them on YouTube. 

She was not afraid to speak out about injustice and had definite opinions about government and those in power. She was an advocate for our environment, civil rights for all, and for peace. She was an influencer who was respected by writers and non-writers. She wrote letters to those in congress and made her voice heard on issues about which she was passionate. She did her research and I, like many who followed her, knew we could count on her when she spoke or posted online.

I am in awe when I realize I was friends with such an important and good person,  one who has  touched so many lives in one way or another, and I just took it for granted. If I sent her an email, she would answer promptly. I knew Kay was one who would do all she could for our writers and even for a stranger who was in need. 

We will never know what all she did for NCWN-West as she helped members and the organization stay afloat in the early days. If she had a friend who needed help getting a book published, and a book that Kay felt was worthy, she would not rest until that book was accepted by a publisher. 

I believe the poetry of Kathryn Stripling Byer will be lasting, and she will be known by generations to come. Hers was a voice stilled too soon. I am sad for myself and for her family and I am sad for those who will never have the opportunity to know her. 

The Still Here and Now
For Ruth
Wesleyan College, 11/6/04

This fragrance I’ve never been able to name,
floating past on the skin of an eighteen year old,
still invites me to stand on the loggia again,
afternoon ticking down into dark,
asking What am I doing here?
lost among strangers with hair more
bouffant than mine, clothing more stylish.
Soon I’d learn the words for what I couldn’t find
in my closet: Bass weejuns, madras, and Villager.
As for the name of that scent mingling
now with aroma of barbecue served on the porch,
it would have to be French, I imagined,
Ma Griffe, L’air du Temps, Insouciance,
not my mother’s stale Emeraude clinging to me
from our goodbye embraces. Now dusk would be
shrouding my father’s farm, doves mourning
out in the empty fields. I knew my way back
to all that. Don’t think for a moment I didn’t
wish I had the courage to set out for home.
But just then the sun set. The lamps bloomed
like story book tulips. The campus unfolded
around me its labyrinth that like a medieval pilgrim
I’d walk until I reached the center where I’d find
no Rose Window as I saw later at Chartres
sifting light down upon us, but tall classroom windows
that shook when the Rivoli train passed. I still walk
those pathways at night, dreaming arias spiraling
forth from the practice rooms, each dorm a beehive
of desk lamps and phones ringing endlessly.
Time, say some physicists, does not exist.
Sheer Illusion. Each moment a still frame,
as though in a movie reel unspooling out to the edge
of the universe. Each now forever.
So let my first afternoon darken to first night.
Inside a small room overlooking a golf course
and woodland, a small bed waits,
heaped with my unpacked belongings.
I slowly walk toward it, my nostrils still seeking
a fragrance I now name Siempre because
the next day I sit down to learn Spanish,
not French. In my best cursive
I write my name on each blank sheet I’m given.
The ginkgo trees flutter their luminous handkerchiefs:
Buenos Dias, Bonjour, Wilkommen.

Again and again I come back
to the start of this journey. I stand looking down
at the fountain, as if to say Here I am.
There you are, water sings to our gathering voices.
The loggia is filling with girls wanting supper,
and now she whose fragrance awakened my senses
so many years back brushes by and the wake
of her passage still trembles around me.









Thursday, June 1, 2017

Have a Little Fun and Learn Something, too. The poetry of Thomas Lux

If you are a  poet you don't want to miss Karen Holmes' class on Saturday, July 15, 1 - 4 p.m. at Writers Circle around the Table in Hayesville, NC.


Karen is an excellent poet whose book, Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014, is highly praised. Karen lives in Atlanta where she has had the  opportunity to meet and study with some of the best poets in the country.

We are fortunate that she will be teaching in Hayesville, NC , our rural area in the Smoky Mountains, where local writers and poets can have the opportunity to learn from Karen about poet, Thomas Lux, who recently passed away. 

The New York Times called Lux a “poet who wrote of life’s absurdities,” and the Atlantic wrote that his “quirky, wily, incorrigibly uncanny poems left their mark far and wide.” Indeed, poets all over the world praised his poetry and his devotion to teaching in articles and social media posts upon his death on February 5 this year. His poems, while wildly original, often also have a warm undercurrent of joy. (Read more about him at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/thomas-lux )

"What makes Tom’s work special, and what can you learn from him and his methods/beliefs about how to craft a good poem? 
In this workshop, we’ll look in depth at some of his poems, and we’ll apply his principles to our own work through writing prompts. You’ll leave with the start of a brand new, fabulous poem (or two) that sound like you, but maybe with a little pinch of Tom thrown in for good measure." Karen says about this class. 

Have a Little Fun and Learn Something, Too: The Poetry of Thomas Lux
Fee $40.00  - Class limited to ten students
To register for this class click on the Studio Schedule at the top of this page.
Instructor: Karen Paul Holmes


Karen Paul Holmes is the author of the poetry collection, Untying the Knot (Aldrich Press, 2014), which tells a story of loss and healing “with grace, humor, self-awareness and without a dollop of self-pity,” according to Poet Thomas Lux.  She was chosen for Best Emerging Poets 2015 (Stay Thirsty Media), and her poems appear in many journals and anthologies, including Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, Atlanta Review, Cortland Review, Poet Lore, and The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol 5: Georgia(Texas Review Press)). She has studied with Lux as well as other well-known poets, such as Dorianne Laux and Denise Duhamel.

Karen splits her time between Atlanta and Hiawassee, GA.  For the NC Writers’ Network, she originated and hosts a monthly Writers’ Night Out in Blairsville, GA.  Karen is also a freelance business writer and has taught writing at the John C. Campbell Folk School and elsewhere.  www.facebook.com/karenholmespoetry

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Place left for one more student


 Creative writing with Glenda Beall

    
Write fiction or personal essays (nonfiction). Write true stories about your life or write fictional stories based on your life. 
Write from your imagination. Create unforgettable characters.
In this  class we can write true stories or fiction but we will write short pieces each week.

Learn what editors reject, what they read first, and learn what your classmates like and don't like so much about your stories from feedback in a respectful and friendly manner.

Space limited to five.

Tuesday afternoons, June 6 - June 27
2 - 4 p.m.
Eight Hours of Class -  $ 35
Where: Writers Circle Studio, Hayesville, NC
Directions given upon registration

Email: glendabeall@msn.com

Sunday, April 23, 2017

We are now taking registration for Creative Writing Classes in June

Beginning the first Tuesday in  June, we will hold two hour creative writing classes each week from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

In these classes we will learn what makes a good story, why editors reject your submission, the short and the long stories, true and fictional.

We will write from prompts or not, share our writing with the group and get feedback in a friendly and respectful manner.

Write the truth about your life or write about your life as fiction. 

Write short stories from your imagination, create characters who are unforgettable.

We have fun and sometimes we even shed a tear, but we bond and enjoy our time together.