The summer of my discontent…

If cops are so worried about safety & privacy in having their names revealed to the public, perhaps they should stop killing the unarmed?* The victims’ names and reputations are immediately dragged though the mud on news channels everywhere, even if the info is unsubstantiated and simply backs up a cop’s version of events. (Statistically speaking, it’s impossible for all this violence to be justified & responsive.) If you’re man enough to shoot down a teen, sir, why not be man enough to claim it? Step forward, you four officers stopped by EMT workers from beating a person to death. You’re called New York’s finest for a reason, no? Let’s see your faces and know your names! #Illwaitrighthere

*I am nearly speechless with anger & grief over escalating cop vs. person of color violence taking place within the last two months. Someone must be held accountable, and that person is not the young, dead and unarmed, his name slandered, her past sifted through for all hints of impropriety. In what other community is a person given paid leave after murdering another human being? I’m over the excuses, the illegal chokeholds, the unbelievable insensitivity given to recent deaths. I’m over the thin blue line.

Leave a comment

Filed under A Bit of Real Life, quickie, Surreal

Workshopping: It Ain’t for Kids

So every several months I think of my different writing workshops, what I’ve gained, friends I’ve made, others who have vanished after half a session…The whole shebang. For the most part I’ve been great with taking criticism, critiquing others (I think), and making sure that even if what I’m reading is garbage, I can give the writer some sort of positive takeaway. That’s the way it works.

Then there was Flight. I’m giggling just thinking about it, because I don’t think I take myself too seriously and my experience is one writers, or anyone who thinks they’re just killing it, goes through.

I thought this one out. Did a proper first draft and all. Short story shorter, a college-age teen is off to visit her divorced dad in another state and is stopped at airport security. Turns out a prized keepsake is on the Prohibited Items list and, refusing to give it up, she doesn’t board the plane. Turns out mom waited outside, expecting this change in plans.

Having gotten wildly good feedback on my last effort, I was vaguely sure this would go over as well. (btw, I still keep all my typed & handwritten comments from colleagues in a special box; I keep saying I’d like to type it all out one day when really, seeing the mode of communication and personal handwriting is what pulls me back, pleasantly, in time.)

This is where I start chuckling. After a week, I sauntered into this living room like, boom, where’s my deal? Where’s U Iowa begging me to lecture? What’s up? I downplayed this because no one likes an arrogant person & it’s not really in my nature, but I felt I was in a zone.

“And now, I’d like Nira’s primary reader to begin a synopsis of her work.”

This is where the smugness started to melt away. Kindly, politely, and with absolute concrete examples and conscious criticism, my fellow workshoppers began to detail how awful this story was. It was the voice, their tone of voice that did it; it was the tone I’d given a teen kid once who’d brought in a story about killer clowns in the suburbs and was never heard from again.

typing

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under General Writing, Workshop Short Story