The snowstorm hit at the worst time, just as I am preparing to finish teaching my on-line class for authors who want to learn more about writing using the male POV. I have also just begun my duties as the contest coordinator for a writing contest for adult romance writers, and as the final judge in a teen poetry writing contest for a local high school. I have over two hundred entries.
Last, but absolutely not least, I have to head out for a writers conference to give a workshop on the write-like-a-man concept. Apparently people think I know how to do that.
I am just going to talk briefly about some of the poetry entries. They are good. They are deep. And they are scary.
I don't mean just the few that seem to have a horror basis. I'm talking about some that face issues like the ones I write about. Domestic abuse, child abuse, loss of a love one (one kid spoke of seeing a relative gunned down before their eyes and I want to believe it's all imagination but I fear it is real) Knowing that the authors are teens makes things all the more vivid. I am reading them all carefully, they will get two or three reads as I try to winnow out the "best." I see the reality show judges talking about how hard elimination is on them. I am not eliminating anyone, but it is hard to rank one of these heart-felt poems above another.
The good news is, these are not the kids labeled At-risk, not when they know how to use the power of the pen (or the keyboard) to deal with their pain. In a couple of months I get to go and talk at the school, and maybe meet some of the writers. I will have to tell them how much their words affected me. How I see some of myself in them.
That's what good writing does. It makes you feel like the author knows you, and is sending a direct message to you. That's what these kids have done to me.