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…….

On "Images".

Okay, so finally, we have another blog coming from my side of the computer screen…
Regarding “Imaginative Writing” and “The Image”:
After reading the selection from “Imaginative Writing” by Janet Burroway I decided the statement made with which I did not agree and opposite was actually one in the same.
“Artists in other media than literature are clear about the media of their process, because they work with material that is fundamentally of the senses.”

In one sense, I disagree, because I find literary art’s fundamentals in the senses just as any other medium of arts. The difference is that most all other art is visual in one way or another; writing sparks the imagination to delve into that visual environment. And it was this thought that brought me to realize that I also agreed with this statement. Because I see that Burroway is saying that the actual material used by the artist is what is fundamentally of the senses. Writers have no paint, or clay, or physical movement, or camera, they merely have a pencil and paper. And this pencil is not used to merely give you a picture (as in drawing), but it’s there to form a bridge with words to pass into your thoughts and pull out an idea. The imagination is the source of all imagery; regardless of the art form.

In the section by Ezra Pound on “The Image”, I must be honest, and say that I did not initially find one statement that needed challenging. And then, after reading it over and over, I found one small brick of his structure I would pull out and look at again before mortaring.
I disagree that when beginning to write you should say “the immediate necessity is to tabulate a list of don’ts”. I believe the best thing to do is just to write, and to write whatever comes into your head and then go back and weed the “don’ts” out with much care and fertilizer for the original thought. If you start with the “don’ts” you will restrict your thoughts and worry will keep you from writing something truly great. “Don’ts” are wonderful, but employ only after there is something with which to work.
And yet, I especially agree with Pound’s statement:
“It is better to present one image in a lifetime then to produce voluminous works.”
As I have preached before in this blog, “QUALITY OVER QUANTITY.” I think that is exactly what Pound is conveying and exactly what the current focus of the Trillium editorial staff should be.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An Online Journal: Some Food for Thought.

Okay, I'm just going to break this down with pros and cons reagarding the journals that Dr. Griffiths listed on her blog:

:) -- Very Clean. Interesting entrance into the site. Interesting cover image. Extremely organized.

: ( -- Although it was pretty cool, it wasn't incredible. I didn't feel like it was one of the best out there. Could be a little more original.

:) -- Original. Interesting. Organized.

: ( -- Not as clean as I would have liked. I'm partial to a little more visual contrast.

:) -- Very Cool entrance. Loved the Art. Clean.

: ( -- Would have liked the "About Us" or something of that sort to be the opening page. I kinda felt like if I had stumbled upon this I wouldn't know what I was looking at. Could've used more contrast.

Black Warrior Review:
:) -- Very Cool cover image. Very Interesting. I liked the title definition on the front page. The Photography was great and fit the site perfectly.

: ( -- As I really liked the theme, it didn't exactly fit the title of the journal, and that threw me off a little.

Ninth Letter:

:D -- Enough Said.

My Ideas for Trillium:

*-I like the Entrance page. It's interesting and adds that "what's behind this cool looking door?" element.

*-I like color contrast. It's easier on the eyes.

*-I like cool art work, photography, or graphic designs. But not all three at once. One Theme and stick with it.

*-I like when the layout matches the title, if possible, and if necessary.
i.e. Here's the definition of Trillium according to Webster's dictionary:

1. Any of a genus (Trillium) of herbs of the lily family with an erect stem bearing a whorl of three leaves and a solitary typically spring-blooming flower.

So what if we stuck with a lily/flower/roots/tree/natural kind of theme?
Trillium. The Roots of Piedmont College.

With the "Three" Theme. And whatever we do... do it all in threes.

Just some ideas........................ ; )

All Art has Quality; if it doesn't, it's not Art.

What did I learn about "ARTiculation" and "The Alphabet of Art"?

Obviously, as the adage lives on: "A Picture Paints a Thousand Words". In this sense, I mean to say, there's more to Art than what we initially see. Just as anything that is sparked, imagined, and then created there must be rhyme and reason to the piece, but not only that, it must follow the rules of art. To be ascetically pleasing is not enough, there must be effort to the composition and obedience to the rules of line, texture, shape, form, etc.

For Trillium, I believe that we should be just as "picky" with the art submissions as we are with the writing. Just because something looks nice does not mean it's a good piece of art. There is more to it than simply that fact:
-It must be striking. The piece must have that crucial element which causes me (as an observer) to offer over my full attention.
-It must say something worth while. All art makes a statement conveyed by the artist. The piece must have something to say that makes me want to listen.
-It must be beautiful. Yes, what is "beautiful" is determined by individual preference, but the piece must still be pleasing to the general eye.
-It must be original. No one likes to hear clich'es in poetry, and so we don't want to see it in the artwork either. I need to feel like I'm seeing it for the first time, and not like it's just another version of another piece.

We don't have to be artists to see what good art is, we don't have to be writers to know if a poem or prose is of quality, and we don't have to be musicians to hear the flaws in a song. We need to fine tune our ability to contemplate, and judge the submissions for Trillium. Let's make this the best Trillium yet!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hopes for the Trillium 2010- perhaps.

My hopes for this year's journal.... let's see...

I believe that this journal is an expression of art, as it should be. But not the imitation of it; the true, living breathing, developing art that lives and walks among the rest of us that inhabit this earth. As there are many forms and levels of art, many variations could be acceptable for this journal... Though, I believe that we should set one standard of excellence to example and choose all pieces by this standard. I believe that many good and decent works of art will be submitted to us, and yet our selection should be slim. Quality is a better principle to adhere to rather than quantity, and I would like that to be displayed by this Trillium.
I would also like to see a group that can work and function together as a unit; perhaps not necessarily unanumous, but complementary. And that, for the most part, is what I would like to see in this year's, 2010, Piedmont College arts journal: Trillium. Adious.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Every person is different. You mean when you hear someone like your mom talking about someone else and she wants to be nice so she says “well, they’re just different”… no, not like that… well, maybe. Everyone is created differently and uniquely and it’s those simple variations that make “the world go ‘round”, right?
Richard Hugo explains in the first chapter of his book The Triggering Town, which is entitled “Writing off the Subject” on the matters of learning to write to a supposed inexperienced audience. As Ricky is bit brash and forward in his tactics, I still managed to find a principle from which I’ll glean. Going back to the “everyone is created differently” idea, Ricky states “Every moment, without wanting or trying to, telling you to write like me. But I hope you learn to write like you.” He accepts that teaching does not involve infringing your own ideas on lower, less important subjects, but helping them to find their own and nourish them for further development. As people differ so do their writing styles, opinions and the way they view the world. If every teacher could adhere to that belief, we’d probably have a world full of new, fresh ideas… well, newer, and fresher anyway.
And on the other hand, one comment Ricky made which I did not agree with was his opinion on the incapability of arguments to make for productive formulations of ideas. “Don’t start arguments. They are futile and take us away from our purpose… If you don’t agree with me, don’t listen.” I believe it is by listening to ideas that we don’t agree with that we can better understand our own. Through arguments and contradictions we advance our capacity to learn and hold stronger to our styles and opinions and therefore make greater distinctions between ourselves and others; complementing the uniqueness of this world. Blah. Over and Out.


True creativity cannot die. Regardless of criticisms and disapproval, the spark of art that lives within certain entities cannot be eliminated. It can wither and crumble, but its roots will always remain and eventually break forth on new ground to further branch out, seed, and therefore bring out new creative ideas. Though, the attempt to make creativity out of nothing by non-creative people is umm… well…. nothing. It was never there and so it does not exist. It cannot exist on its own- only by diligence and persistence is any improvement made, and well, anything past nothing is something, so that doesn’t initially say much.
In Steve Kowit’s chapter entitled “Awful Poems” in his book In the Palm of Your Hand, his judgments don’t venture far from the name of the section. And, I cannot say that I did not agree with the most of his criticisms on the epidemic of implementing poor language into a form some call “poetry.” Stevie, let’s call him Stevie; Stevie makes clear in this chapter that one great problem with the emaciated phrases is the direct word display of emotions rather than painting the portrait of those emotions. He says in reference to one poor prose on page 38: “It is an example of telling us the feelings instead of showing us the scene that conveys the feelings.” Agreed. To effectively exhibit these passions the entire surrounding arena must be displayed. Yes. It’s true.
And as I agree with Stevie on this ground, there is one comment that he makes which cocks my brow. He states on page 42 that imagery should not be used out of context in poetry. In reference to another novice poem and its fanciful liquid visualizations Stevie says: “Those images of water, boats and frogs… here they are out of place.” As I found many other wounds in the poem (hah, wounds), the disconnected imagery was not one of them. I quite enjoyed the comparisons and found them complementary and not distracting. I can appreciate the leg on which he stands, (hah, leg) but in this case, I cannot agree.
On that note, what is true creativity and who is to determine the quality of it? What have I to say in contrast to Stevie, or any other judge of poetry, or you? Beauty must be in the eye of the beholder or something like that- colloquialism and out.