Tag Archives: words

LoQ: Words Kinda Day

Another installment of our very own correspondences, the Letters of Questioning:

Dear island-bound Ravyn,

Oh, the painful irony! Unable to learn make it to your workshop because of an injured foot. A lesson in the importance of mobility? Cruel fate? A metaphorical missed step? Only a coincidence, of course, but definitely the material from which layered, poignant literary material is cut….

Missteps is a nice segue to my academic work. It goes slowly. Days where all I can do is focus on the work that pays the bills – the teaching, the extra job. Some days like today I can get a few hours in at the coffee house and get some serious work done~ Nevertheless, the work is important in its own fashion. The study of literature overlaps with history, anthropology, law, philosophy, art, music, science, even math (gasp!). But to me, the most important feature of that overlap – what literature uniquely brings to the table – is the study of ideology. How do people make ideas? How do ideas turn into a system of beliefs? How are those beliefs structured and how are they visible behind the things we do, say, and make? It’s endlessly fascinating to me. In one sense, I am a step closer today to understanding these things and helping make them legible to others, but in another very real sense, I’m learning over again every day.

So yeah … teaching mission statement. Mission statements are very hard to put into a concise form! This, you and I have learned well! How the hell, I ask you, do we squeeze the entire process of teaching and learning, one of the fundamental things which make us human, into just a few sentences?! (It makes about as much sense as a mission statement for writing!) But yes. They help! There is something you said about making the rewards we, as individuals, feel about writing or teaching sort of a central part of the statement. That helped me a lot. Seeing others grow as writers in my classroom is fundamental. It goes way beyond what the university as an institution can measure, too. For me, it is seeing students become critics, skeptics, trouble-makers in their own right. Cuz the world belongs to the trouble-makers!

Today is definitely a “words are nothing” day. That could mean a lot of things in itself! Words are easy; they are light; it’s nuthin. Or it can even mean the opposite: they’re meaningless, they’re trivial, they refuse to come; there’s nuthin there…. Yep. It’s a “words are nothing” day!

Where are you at when this letter finds you? I love your ideas for a book of prompts. That sounds like a kind of giving back after writing your flash fiction. After so much inspiration from the prompts of others, its time to give folks some prompts of your own! And the cycle goes ever on…. Are words everything, then? Ha!

Stomping in dizzying circles,

~Dreamland’s Insurgents~

How about you, my friends?  Do you find that you see who people are, what their ideas are from the essence of self in their work? Do you ever relate with words are nothing; both from the easy side or the trivial, meaningless side of things? What are your thoughts and feelings? Please, share with us your answers to our questions! This is so much bigger than the two of us, and we want you to be a part of it!  And if you have any burning questions of your own, don’t hesitate, we are always looking deeper!


Letters from Camp: Definitions

Camp-Participant-2015-Twitter-ProfileWell my friends, it being camp and all, and knowing that I am supposed to be doing that writing thing, it leads me to thinking about words.  Of course, over on WORDSMAIDEN I was having an interesting conversation with Alexandra.  She had posted the most amazing vlog, which I of course promptly shared with you, my intrepid readers, but it got me thinking even more.

As many of you have probably guessed by now, I have a deep love for etymology!  I love looking at how words change over time and the new words that we create!  At any rate it got us to talking about what success is.  Which of course got us talking about the meanings of words and how dictionaries can’t really define what they mean to each one of us.

So, I pose this question to you, my wonderful friends, does the dictionary give us the meaning of words?  Or do we ourselves define things by our very perceptions of the world around us?  How do you define things? What to you, could the dictionary never truly define?

Letters from Camp: An Excerpt!


Wow! I can’t even believe it, I managed to get words on the page yesterday!  Not a lot, but it was a start! So maybe that will get me out of the rut I seem to be stuck in!  I celebrated with some dryads and nymphs who were out dancing in the rain we had today!  Talk about fun!  I never knew they could be so much fun, usually they are a pretty elusive bunch!  I gotta say, if you get a chance get out there and spend some time with them!  Here is a bit of what I have!

Walking over to the window to the Docking Bay Office I murmur to the clerk, “Melody Joy, docking Mo Thuras on Bay Seven.”
Something flashes in his eyes, mixed with the startled expression that moves across his face, too quick for me to figure out what it was. I just know it was there. Some thought he did not want me to know, moving behind his eyes. Taking obvious care to neutralize whatever he was thinking he speaks up. “Melody, it has been a while. Your papers are all in order, how long you plan to stay in port?” He asks me, his voice reverberating slightly through the large station.
I wince; sure everyone in the station heard my name. The young man is familiar to me, but does not seem to be jumping to the fore. While I am sure we went to school together, his name eludes me at the moment. “Not long, only a few days. I am swinging through to see my parents. Time to share the successes of my first journey out. It will be nice to see them, not to mention see some familiar surroundings. Space outside of the contained and confined spaces of my ship.” I grin at him. “Have to get back out there though. As Da says, ‘being in port doesn’t make money, doesn’t pay the bills’,” I finish with his favorite saying.
“Have a safe time in port.” It looks as if there is something else he would like to say… some other thoughts rolling through his mind. Peeking out through his eyes, teasing me with more questions. It is as if, not knowing what to say, he just gives the standard port farewell, instead of giving voice to what he is feeling.
Looking at him curiously, I open my mouth to ask him what it is when Kieran bounds over to me and pounces. Sending me tumbling, making me laugh. Forgetting all about it, I get up, dust myself off and pick up my gear. Taking a deep breath the smell of familiarity surrounds me; it is the smell of home. I have found each port to have its own unique smell that even comes to mind when I think of them. Maybe because of the food they serve, or the cultures and lives the people there lead. I have yet to figure that out, but come to accept and even relish in that little detail.

Spent some time cleaning the cabin today!  Along with the celebrating with the dryads and nymphs, boy am I sore!  Totally worth it though!  Well, I need to get back to the words, they are calling to me!  Hope you enjoyed the glimpse into Mo Thuras!

How about you? Have you seen the dryads? Danced with the nymphs?

The Power in Words

Yesterdays thoughts lead me to something we don’t always think about, and yet when we do we are always astounded all over again, and that is this:


I think that as writers we really need to remember this simple, and yet profoundly complex idea! It gives us a power. When people read our words and they have strong reactions, in any way, it just goes to prove that power all over again.

Along with that I believe there comes a certain responsibility. We have this great ability to create a reaction, a feeling, a thought, in others and we should use that. That is where the responsibility comes in. How we provoke people, the emotions we stir, I think that matters. As a reader, I know that when my emotions have been evoked, I want something out of it by the end of the book, article, ect that I am reading.

I think along with all of this is where some of that “writing for the audience” comes into play. While I don’t believe that anyone should just write for the audience, I think their thoughts and feelings should be kept in mind.


What do you think? Please, share your thoughts and feelings on this subject! Do you think there is truly a power in words? Do you think we, as writers have a responsibility to use that power? If we should use it, how should we use it?