It followed that my living room was jam-packed, that we started promptly, that we went until two or three in the morning, that there was no time limit on the pains we took to critique each manuscript -- well, of course, this was important stuff, it’s what we did!
Some of that (enough
to make it worth while) can be created today.
For example, I run a workshop for gifted
and talented kids ages 10-15. All writers.
Always prompt. Always running overtime.
We meet on Saturdays so they want to be
there, pay to be there, need to be there.
Other kids are at the mall, playing baseball,
goofing. Not my kids. Its a chore
for them to leave. We deal not only
with our words but with the world. We speak
honestly with each other because were
serious about our work. We write to be seen
because we have important things to say.
We submit to journals for publication. Sometimes
we get published.
What is it then that
binds? Words. The wonder of our language
as a social glue. The need we feel to have
our say in a world where most everyone is
saying the same thing, using phrases from
the same TV shows, recognizing as we do
that if most everybody will
wind up in the quicksand on this path, then
so will we.
So -- you want to
take a stand in the culture wars now raging
(whether thats clear to you or not,
raging they are), the cloud of nationalism
that is gradually overtaking all of us,
not only in the trouble spots
but right here? Then form a workshop. Write.
Think. Inform. It may not sound like much
sand to throw into the cogs of their machine
but everyone has to start somewhere. A nation
can be lost for 200 votes.