Because work, school and life aren’t busy enough, as evident by a complete lack of activity on your blog, you should join a collective. No seriously, trust me – I joined one and it has been great!
Continental Shelf is a writers’ collective formed by some feisty University of Victoria undergraduate writing students. Why that name? Because we’re on the edge; the edge of our writing careers, the edge of academia, the edge of western Canada, and also because of books!
Last night at Solstice Cafe, Continental Shelf orchestrated its first public event, and it was a fabulous time.
Sean Michaels from Said The Gramophone read two excerpts from his debut novel Us Conductors. Jo, from the collective, led a fantastic interview, touching on what drives one to write and the phase shift form writer to novelist. Munro’s was there selling copies of the beautiful book, and Sean got busy writing inscriptions. Lastly theremin art-pop band Cleopatra & the Nile finished off the night with a performance encompassing a backdrop of black and white films, projected off a reel, while the duo channelled haunting theremin and synth sounds.
Also don’t be fooled by Solstice Cafe’s website – they’re licensed for more than just beer!
For me the highlight of the night, other than camaraderie of course, was Sean’s commentary, and yes I’m paraphrasing, on the cacophony of thematic interrelationships that drove the creation of Us Conductors. For me it was a glimpse into the magic actions, and interactions, that engenders something greater than the whole, pulsing electricity, that overcomes the many barriers and ultimately creates art.
My 3rd calendar year of courses at Uvic is now complete. This year I successfully transitioned from a Fine Arts Diploma student to a Creative Writing Undergraduate student (2nd Degree program). In total I’ve engaged in seven semester equivalent classes, 4 of which were in Writing, and I’ve learned that:
- I’m energized by creative writing
- despite my enthusiasm, creative writing is harder than it looks
- 2 classes every semester, on-top of everything else, is ambitious
- I quickly grasp concepts – but always require more practice
- (Critique) Workshops are essential to improve as a writer
In an ode to irony, while my interest in writing has skyrocketed, my posts on exploring-art.com have plummeted. Only six posts in 2013, but I’ve learned that people like:
- Pictures (select, not too many)
- Cocktails (or maybe that’s just me)
- Concise observations on writing (and life)
2014 is going to be great! I’m registered in two classes next semester, I’m committing to at least one exploring-art.com post a month (including either a picture, cocktail, or concise observation), and I’m going to play more squash this year (this shouldn’t be hard I’m pretty sure I didn’t play any squash last year).
Happy new year’s – here’s to the year ahead, and turning over new leaves. Cheers!
Creative Challenge Number 2
For the next few days, or for as long as it takes, I want you to really look around you when you are out and about. You are looking for something that speaks to you, that inspires you, that reminds you that you live in an incredible world.
Whip out that camera or camera phone that I know you always have on you and snap a serendipitous shot. Post it online and share with us what you like about it.
My wife actually gets credit for spying this natural vignette but I snapped the photo with my iPhone 4. I love dew, it reminds of childhood and playing in the grass in the morning. It reminds of spring and fall, the seasons and the passing of time, the poetic nature of existence…
So keep your eyes open for something that inspires you, take a snap shot, determine what about it moves you and share it!