Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Final Blog, A Couple of Quotes

While looking around the two websites:

I picked up a couple of quotes that I found interesting in relation to learning things about publication. The first I noticed was actually a question by a reader posted on "Miss Snark", it read: "I've heard that no agent is better than a bad agent, but everyone has to start somewhere, right?"
To this, my thoughts were immediately, is a bad start really starting at all? Anyway... the rebuttal I found on Agent Query: "Good literary agents are worth every penny."
I would assume that if they're "worth every penny" then they would be worth starting with; they're worth the wait. And then, as I read on through the different articles, I noticed how they both mentioned the quality of "new" agents. They both said that it doesn't matter how new the agent, what to look at is the past experience in the field of literary publishing. On this, Miss Snark herself said:
"An inexperienced agent is not a bad agent by default. And 'experience' isn't some sort of universal either. I'm pretty experienced but if you hand me category romance, I'd be a VERY bad agent since I don't know the genre, don't read it, and don't know the editors who buy it."

As I've recently gathered MUCH information on publishing, and agents and how to go about the entire process, from these current readings I would say, the rule for agents is much like our motto for Trillium. The QUALITY of an agent goes before their QUANTITY (quantity in the sense of how many years they've been an agent, or perhaps the quantity of "moo-lah" they require from you for them to be your agent). And yet, in opposition to our motto, perhaps for agents the rule of quantity and quality go hand in hand (this quantity being of how many books they've had published in their repertoire and how many people they work for). And thus, we are encouraged to look towards the quality and reliability of an agent before simply "starting somewhere".

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Reject Time

Trillium Rejection Letter Idea:

Trillium Submiters,
As we, the Trillium staff, greatly appreciate your willingness to participate in the Piedmont College Arts Journal, we have found that we will not be able to publish your piece in this particular issue. We strongly encourage that you submit your work to Trillium in the years to come. Thank you again for your interest,
The Staff

The Final Vision

One last look, a final vision of the Trillium, and what have I to say of it?

---Basically the same thing I said in the beginning.

I believe that as it will be small, I think it will be better to be limited and good than large and poor. I believe our "fewer, better" motto has been put to good, despite our struggle.

One thing I would say of the journal for next time: RECRUIT.
I think the focus should be on getting people to submit. Getting EVERYONE to submit. The more submissions, the more good and bad submissions. And the bad will most definitely be worth deciphering through for the good, as we have learned.

I also think it would be great to start work as early on in the year as possible. Get people to know about it first thing next fall. And maybe because we put more pressure early on to submit, we could back the deadline up and use our class time more efficiently. Just an idea...

I think it's been great, and I anticipate an even better one next year.

3 or 4, for vacation.

Top 3 stories I'd Read on Vacation:

My top three stories would definitely vary on the location of this vaca.
Let's just say--- We're on the Coast of Ireland, looking over the glistening sea, staying in a thatched roof cottage for the week. In this case, as I sip a black tea, perhaps an Earl Grey (despite the English reference), I would probably find myself reading James Joyce, the Dubliners, specifically "The Dead."
I would also read WBY's "The Lake Isle of Innisfree." I know. It's poetry. But still my second choice.
I would then follow that remedy with Tolkien's The Hobbit, and imagine the Shire with my own little "hobbiton" as I sit on rocks and befriend The Secret of Roan Inish. :)

Of course, as that is a dream, my typical vaca reading this year would be:
1) Finish Dave Egger's "What is the What"
2) Read Pleysier's "Surviving the Blockade of Leningrad" and study for that exam
3) All three LOTR, in a row because Christian has been getting on to me about it.
and finally...
4) C.S. Lewis' "An Experiment in Criticism." A fourth, just because I can.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Babies and Bath Water

About nine months ago, before I came to Piedmont, my Dad and I were having a conversation. I don't remember what about, but somewhere in there I remember him looking at me and saying "Erin, don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

I cracked up.

He swears that he has used the term thousands of time within my life, and yet I cannot recall ever hearing it before.

I wouldn't necessarily call it a good craft, being a simple, (apparently) overused idiom, but I believe there is an age-old insight to glean in the statement. I think the most important aspect of a word craft is for it to be truthful. Placing flowery speech and words that sound intriguing indepent of sentance structure above the content of a statement will not hold the weight intended.
By not "throwing the baby out", we learn that sometimes, the good is young and needs development- but does not require being thrown out with the waste that surrounds. It's like editing.

Poetic Songs

Learn How to Fight
Besides Daniel

If it's time that you want , if it's space that you need,
Then darling go find it that all right by me
I'll be building a house that you may never see
I'll be working my hands to the bone
I'll be working my hands to the bone
Just know that you have the respect you deserve
As you cling to your courage, in your efforts to serve
The convictions you hold, from the lessons you learned
As you whispered that I'd be alright
And that I needed to learn how to fight for you
So whenever you come back from wherever you roam
I'll be building a house that just might be our home
I'll be working my hands to the bone
I'll be working my hands to the bone.
The most beautiful thing that I ever have seen
was the face of my lover as she turned to leave
And she kissed me as if she was some sort of queen
And I suddenly realized she was
And what a fool I have been with her love
And some how I think If I can write enough songs
I can win back the time and the thing I've done wrong
And you'll hear one one day and you'll admit you belong
Here with me in the house that I've made
Cause this bed's way too big for me anyway
So whenever you come back from wherever you roam
I'll be building a house that just might be our home
I'll be working my hands to the bone
I'll be working my hands to the bone
If you see her in Ireland with her hands way up high
Know that she is songbird whose longing to fly
Don't cage her unless you just want her to die
Darling it's time to be free, thanks for making a man out of me
So love if you come out one of the shows
And you hear me still strumming this old song alone
know that I saved you your old microphone
And I have finally learned how to fight
And you can tell me that you are all right
So whenever you come back from wherever you roam
I'll be building a house that just might be our home
I'll be working my hands to the bone
I'll be working my hands to the bone
If you find a love who does what I could not do
As your discover yourself while you toil through school
Cast your memory back to the fool that is working his hands to the bone...
I'll be working my hands to the bone

I believe that this song achieves the level of poetry in so many ways.
Here is a list I have formulated of some things that I believe makes great poetry and that this particular song acquires.
1) It's Honest. There is no "hidden love." Just an unmasked, unhindered expression of this situation and the writer's emotions that follow- without using the word "unmasked."
2) It uses language in context. Not only representing the time, audience, and writer well, this song uses concise thoughts and doesn't waste words.
3) It takes a simple scenario, and makes it unique. And at the same time, it takes one man's story and makes it universal; when listening, the audience knows exactly what he is talking about.

It's not crazy, or eloquent, but it's truth. And truth is the most convincing argument, in life and in poetry.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Submissions and a Snow Patrol Song

My thoughts on the current state of Trillium and the submissions:
Ummm….. Let’s hope there’s more.

Ironically enough, while reading through the submissions I was listening to the Snow Patrol song, "Just Say Yes" and everytime the chorus would play I would find myself striking a "NO" on the page. Maybe, I should re-read and re-think. Or maybe not.

I won’t say anything too terribly negative about the submissions.
Reason #I: They actually submitted work! Brilliant!

And #II: Because this is all just really an opinion of what we want to express the feeling (one group of people’s opinions) of Piedmont College.

I wasn’t exactly THRILLED with this packet of submissions. But, I anticipate many other great works coming in; not that any of these don’t have great potential, but ones that would greatly convey our thoughts of Piedmont’s artistic talents.

True creativity cannot die. And because of this, whether we chose a piece or not, it really won’t matter. If these people want to be published, and truly have the art and love of writing, music, painting, drawing, photography, etc. living inside of them, they will continue to work, and they will get published. Perhaps not by Trillium, but somewhere, they will.

In short, as I wasn’t impressed, I’m excited and ready to soak in more.
And so the hunger begins…….