Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Parable

Let’s pretend…I’m an artist. Let’s say Michelangelo. And I love my art SO much that I want to share it with others. I decide to inspire young people, so I invite them into my studio. I’m on fire and those kids are falling in love with art, too! I see interest and appreciation and promise! I spend twelve hours a day fueling their excitement, and I even spend much of my own money to encourage them. I’ve found my calling beyond myself—my calling for humanity!
Then, the town officials get involved because there is a lot of buzz about what I’m doing. They create a…Department of Art. There are lots of highly-paid officials on the payroll. And, of course, they must DO something to justify their fat salaries. So, they come into my studio to observe me. They make me write down absolutely every little thing I say and do—how many brushes I use, what paintings I’m showing them, why I’m telling them this or that. They start giving me all these rules and regulations that really have nothing to do with the art in my studio, but I follow their rules because I’m fueled by the excitement from my students.
My twelve hours of passionately inspiring my little artists turn into ten hours of inspiration and two hours of tedium. I can deal with that. Then seven hours of passion are followed by five hours of tedium. I’m tired. Finally, half my time is spent on paperwork and plans and codes and reports. I still muster the excitement for those six hours of each day, but it begins to wear down my artist’s soul.
With great regret, I turn in my resignation.
Moral of the Day: Great teachers quit or change professions every day and it has nothing to do with their precious students or doing the thing they love to do—which is to teach.
Now, Vicki will get off her high horse because Vicki has gotten something off her chest…for today.
I have turned my love of teaching literature and writing into writing and creating literature of my own. But I still get wistful about my days in the classroom.
Oh, and by the way, I really am an artist, too! Below is my most recent piece.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Getting out of the "Cave"

Getting out of the “Cave”

Writers are a curious lot. We sometimes cannot wait to wall ourselves off from the world and write or edit, and then there are other times when we cannot wait to put ourselves out there to conduct research, to speak at functions, or to talk to readers.
One of my most favorite things to do as a writer, however, is to hang with other writers—most other writers. I have my favorites—and they know, of course, who they are (hugs). We support one another, give each other advice, bounce ideas around the table, and are there for each other for just about anything the others need. Because we understand that we are “a curious lot.”
Spoleto has burst upon Charleston once again and has inspired my writer buds to venture out of our “caves” for a little diversion and for lunch in one of the tea rooms in downtown Charleston. (photo to come)
So, though I love my “writing cave”(pictured below) and am inspired there, I cannot wait to get a different kind of inspiration from my friends this week.