Lightning and thunder; pouring rain; screaming wind scraping sharp ice claws across your throat as you try to breathe; blinding sunshine and bursting bulbs; squawking birds and children’s laughter at the sea side. Like the extremes of the seasons, emotion is a powerful thing. When emotion is channelled through words, that power delivers an experience for the reader to share.
Last month, our Rowdy Rhodes lost his very dear friend Robert Gannon. Although Rowdy was expecting the passing of his friend, when it actually happened, he was swept into the vortex of human emotion. This tumult of feelings gave great flow to Rowdy’s pen. Artists of all kinds must have a vent for expression. The current of emotional experience is amped up and must have an outlet so the system doesn’t blow.
We, and various other publications, have benefited from Rowdy’s overwhelming need to express himself during this time of grieving. You’ll notice no less than four articles contributed by him to this edition of IN. Since he is a main player on this stage, I thought it appropriate to give him the space to let it all out.
And so, if there is a theme to this edition, it is depth and details. It is about how details are highlighted by engagement and emotion, and how the expression of these details can convey the emotions of their origin to produce a good read.
The sense of things, the feelings, reactions, and emotions that our expriences, environments, and relationships evoke for us – these are the raw materials that we as writers fashion into organized, sharable structures with the written word. And let’s not forget that this is the month we celebrate St. Valentine – a custom from Europe during the Middle Ages due to the beginning of the mating season for birds in the middle of the second month of the year (i.e. February 14). And so from Chaucer we have Parliament Of Foules in which he writes:
For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne's day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.
In the early 17th century, John Donne wrote:
HAIL Bishop Valentine, whose day this is;
All the air is thy diocese,
And all the chirping choristers
And other birds are thy parishioners;
Thou marriest every year
The lyric lark, and the grave whispering dove,
The sparrow that neglects his life for love,
The household bird with the red stomacher;
Thou makest the blackbird speed as soon,
As doth the goldfinch, or the halcyon;
The husband cock looks out, and straight is sped,
And meets his wife, which brings her feather-bed.
This day more cheerfully than ever shine;
This day, which might enflame thyself, old Valentine.
From An Epithalamion On The Lady Elizabeth And Count Palantine Being Married On Saint Valentine’s Day, Verse I
Since we are birds of a feather, to support you in the translation and expression of your experiences into good reads, we present to you – with love – our February edition. Our USA Today best-selling cover author Sue-Ellen Welfonder is intimately aware of mysteries of emotion and the power of expression. Just see if you don’t fall in love with her passion.
INside Authors introduces Rick Chiantaretto, who evokes emotions of a darker sort, and Donna Lancaster, who will impress you with her ambition toward the positive. Anne Allen educates on the exercise of naming fictional characters. Jennifer Edelson, with regard for meticulous detail, points up the importance of being actually factual, and Peggy Bechko coaches us on the nuances to consider when creating great titles. Ken Robinson noodles through the advantages of e-books, while Helen Dunn Frame teaches us how to take satisfying revenge using a pen.
Joyce Faulkner takes a specific look at the use of details in creating great fiction. Karen Braynard helps us appreciate well-written junk mail with an eye toward the fact that somebody is getting paid to write that stuff; why not you? J.R. Kambak helps us focus on the exactness of language in writing dialogue for a script. For Valentine’s Day, you may want to wax poetic for your sweetheart, and Charles Ghigna is here to guide you through the creation of the perfect poem.
In the event that you are tired of discussing emotion and St. Valentine all through February, Char Milbrett offers relief with Top 10 Resources related to tangents – get distracted. Another focus other than emotion for you this month might be creating successful queries. Torry Meeks and Joan Neubauer both have your back in that department. Torrey follows up his article from last month with your next step of writing the query letter to the trades. Joan provides an outline for making a start as a freelancer and discusses five elements of the query.
Rowdy Rhodes gives us nine steps to write solid short stories, and Anthony Ackerley delivers sound reviews on three books about writing. Rowdy also reflects on the lives of two great writers, Ryszard Kapuscinski and Sidney Sheldon, who passed away January, 2007. Let their life accomplishments inspire you. And, if you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of site management, Rowdy provides us with a bit of an amusing rant on the topic. Sue Rich adds to the discussion on detail and feelings in her article on writing descriptions.
Go forth and engage with life. Channel your experiences onto the page. Create!
Inkwell Newswatch (IN)