This week, I’m counseling debate camp. I’m back in the brick buildings of my high school, selling incoming freshman on the merits of giving up weekends and school nights for tournaments and researching. I’m telling them about the friendships they’ll make, the community they’ll be a part of, the ways debate will benefit them in the classroom.
And all of this is true: My best high school memories center around debate. My boyfriend of two and a half years is a former debate partner; two of my closest friends I met at debate. Pictures hang in my room of our tight-knit group frolicking around Boston, DC, and the North Carolina boondocks at tournaments that were more fun than any exotic family vacation. I’ve had more interesting conversations on the backs of buses or in hotel hallways than I ever did in classroom discussions.
But I found myself wavering when my dad confronted me at dinner last night: “If you had to do it again, would you? Read the rest of this entry »
In art, you must consider the negative space around the object as carefully as the object itself: Careful consideration of negative space draws the positive into sharper focus. The negative is what we talked about in our last post, but what about the positive, the fun stuff? What about the things that are important to your and your creative work, that are life-giving? As important as it is to cull the negative from your life, it is equally important to fill your life with activities that energize your writer’s soul.
Earlier this year, at a youngARTs conference I was lucky enough to be a part of (and to which you should apply), actress Kerry Washington spoke about why she loves art. “Art is creation,” she said. “It’s beautiful because you create something from nothing.” (I’m approximating here; I don’t have the exact quote.) Indeed, the word creative has its roots in the Latin creo, meaning to make or create.
But this idea doesn’t apply solely to our artistic product, literature. Read the rest of this entry »