Saturday, January 05, 2008

Itsa major award, you know.

It apears as though I've been bonked upside the blog with an award by Beth. An award for Powerful Writing, if you can believe that. Hee! Some people are so silly.

However, because I am over my early-'07 snit of not wanting to be awarded things, I shall accept this "Roar for Powerful Words" and do my part to pass along the recognition, love, and accolades (which at first I typed "accoldates," and I kind of like!).

Here's the dealio with this thang: Seamus started a Shameless Lions Writing Circle and encouraged bloggers to "tag" other bloggers to receive the honor of "A Roar for Powerful Words." As Seamus explains:

"How does it work? Below are copies of the award that we can each distribute to those people who have blogs we love, can't live without, where we think the writing is good and powerful. I thought interested members could kick things off by publishing the award on their own blog, naming five people they would like to give it to (members or non-members), and accompany the image with three things they believe are necessary to make writing good and powerful. The recipients then do the same, passing it on to five other people, and so on."

Now, I'm not a member of the Shameless Lions Writing Circle, though I do have to admit that the thought of shameless lions writing, and in a CIRCLE no less, is intriguing, but that doesn't make my glee at being a recipient of this award any less. Why, I think I should name 2008 the year of "Gimme More Awards, Y'all!" because I'm all aglow over here, and I'm a person who likes the aglow.

(A quick aside before I move on: Albert the cat is drinking some water right now, and it sounds like someone is stirring macaroni salad. Ew.)

Onward then.

For the sake of clarity and truth, I'm going to hand this award off to people that I consider not only terrific writers, but good friends as well. If they were related to me, I'd be practising nepotism of the most obvious sort, and I don't even LIKE dead people all that much. These folks deserve to be awarded, as often as possible.

1) Topping the list MUST be my partner in writing, Kingfisher. This man knows from writing. From prose pieces of great power and passion to poetry of tremendous beauty and import to pieces so silly they make me laugh out loud, he can do it all, and CARES about the writing. Nobody more deserving, to my way of thinking.


2) JC. To say I love her like a sister would be an understatement. She is a steadfast friend, warm and understanding, patient and energetic, and a helluva good writer. She uses words adroitly and with flair, getting her point across so elegantly that I'm sometimes left breathless at the emotions packed within. To read her at her most heartfelt is to see into the soul of a real writer.

3) Along the same lines, but in a vastly different kind of output, is Rennratt. As a real-life friend she is strong, accepting, imaginative, and inspiring. As a writer, she is succinct and very often hilarious. She can say in ten words what would take me fifty to capture far less well, which is a skill I greatly admire.

4) Now one for whom writing comes as easy as falling off a leevee, my buddy Wordnerd. Oh, she'll TELL you she's not a writer, but when she's on a roll there is nobody who can tell a story like she does. Whether it's lighting her own nose on fire to remembering her Mama, when the spirit's in her she's got it going on. She's also been with me through some hard times, always there for me, and if she lived around the corner from me I'd be huggin' her neck on a regular basis. The poor dear.

5) Then an award for a woman for whom words are catharsis and salve, Tammie. She's a new friend, but it's already been decided that it's probably a good thing we don't live in the same town or there'd be some kind of explosion of hoopla going on far too often for the local constabulary to keep up with. Her blog is a torrent of words, a rush of activity, a tsunami of feelings that from time to time shouts out with eloquence. Her heart is borne on the sleeve of the internet, which is perhaps foolhardy and yet is admirable. She's a brave, funny, half-crazed new-found friend.

Within my nomination paragraphs I've listed many attributes that I believe make writing good and powerful, but I'll go ahead and list three out as the rules describe.

1) BE YOURSELF. Let the voices in you be heard. We each as writers have more than one way of being, or seeing, of telling. Explore each, stretch them out, give them some air. To do so requires bravery and confidence, which should be in the pocket of everyone who enjoyes writing.

2) LEARN TO EDIT. There's a Regina Spektor tune with the line"you can write, but you can't edit," which says a lot. I would suggest that any of us who think our first draft is good enough and we don't HAVE to edit is kidding themselves. This is a lesson Kingfisher taught me, and while it's humbling it's also of extreme value. When I'm writing "for real," there's never anything that doesn't get a second, third, or (if I have time) fourth look. Even my silly daily blog posts get a bit of a going over. There's no such thing as a "perfect" piece of writing, but editing can help you get darned close.

3) PLAY. If, as a writer, you get stuck on a theme, idea, personna, or mood, change it up on purpose. Too often when I'm writing Wordsmiths pieces, I kill my protagonists or spend far too much time setting up the 500-word stories and then having to rush the end. Or I forecast the story and fail to let it tell itself. These are my ruts, my safe places. When writing for a purpose like WSU, therefore, I've started trying to NOT do those things. Sure, my basic bent might be to wreck mayhem or write in the third person or foreshadow like a dust storm, but if I change it up on purpose very often I wind up with something far better than what my "go to" style might have created.

There. Done.

I'm sure Renn could have done this in a few hundred fewer words, Kingfisher could have done it with more insight, JC could have done it with more impact, Wordnerd could have done it with more humor, and Tammie could have done it more personally, but I'm the one that got the award and therefore I'm the one you had to suffer through.

Let's see what THEY do with it.

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