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It's fraught with favourites of us all: fathers, father figures, fatherly advice, geese, the numeral nine (9, in various forms, in particular, the sixth month of the sixth year, etc; Father's Day is/was the 18th and this is our 18th issue) and the NBA championship — at this writing virtually in the hands of my guys, the Miami Heat — my goodness, the list is endless. Life is grand.
So I dedicate this issue both to my own excellent dad (yo, F.C.), and an honest to goodness surrogate dad to kids around the world, IN cover boy Father Goose (aka Charles Ghigna). If I'm half the man Dale Jung is when I'm his age (see http://www.jungLove.com), I'll be blessed. If I reach half the audience the good Father G has reached, I'd be golden (as in egg). I'm the first to admit I’m neither, and’ll likely die trying to be both.
However, while editing padre Goose's interview, or should I say treatise, on kids’ lit, for this glorious FD/Heat edition, I had (like) a revelation (... man!). In his words I perceived a kindred spirit, a voice in the blackness, a cooler head prevailing, a guy who's got it right.
Any observer of this column will have read between its lines and sensed a conflict between my love of how-to, and how. Now (brown cow) a huge weight has been lifted from my Biafran refugee shoulders, the vapour has crystallized and Father Goose, the Goosestomper, in a voice soothing as a sage, articulates my predicament and, indeed, its resolution.
Dig this quote, from Ghigna's exclusive June INterview, the entirety of which comes highly recommended from the X corner:
"Stop attending workshops. Read other writers if you must, but for heaven sakes save your soul and stay away from how-to workshops and conferences. At worst, they’ll drain you of your creativity. At best, they’ll have you writing like everyone else. Keep what little originality you have left from childhood. Protect it. Nurture it. Let it run wild. That’s all you have. That’s all you need. The only way to learn to write is to write. There is no other way. Workshops and conferences can only take you away from the real work, the real world of writing."
The Goose has quacked, or gagged, or yodeled, or whatever geese do. ‘Nuff sed.
However, this is IN, and we can’t, and don't, necessarily agree. If we did we’d be out of business. So we remain, steadfast and ever-vigilant, in our mission — to bring you the best darn how-to in how-to-dom, written in a way that acts not as a powerful narcotic sedative, but as high-definition illumination (I myself ripped off a 12-pack of AAs for my halogen flashlight).
To wit, the always enlightening and authoritative Anne R. Allen offers up more of her trademark, tantalizing tips for neophyte scribes — a must read for all trepidatious tellers of tales. Ken Robinson shoots straight from the brain on the vicissitudes, and value proposition, of articulate description. Buzz Burza, in his inimitably... well, fatherly... fashion, fires off an update on an infamous young Indian lit favourite daughter, and Peggy Bechko brings more bait to the stream where people like us angle for agents.
In INside Authors, Roy Austin and Anthony Ackerley dance to decidedly different drummers on their authorial ascent, but once ink is on page they both know what it’s taken to get there, and impart their wisdom, as esoteric and academic it may, at times, seem.
Oh, yeah. Our dear gallivanting gal Jennifer Edelson is both on holiday and a virus victim, so I'm sure we all wish her a hot time and a quick fix. Or is that a quick time and a hot fix?
Happy Father's Day, all. I love you, Pa.
IN (Inkwell Newswatch)
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