Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category:

Stones

Great stones they lay upon his chest

Until he plead aye or nay…

It were a fearsome man, Giles Corey.

–Arthur Miller, The Crucible

 

There’s more to Dad’s legacy than this—

There’s his resonant voice reading Tennyson,

There’s John McCormick on the record player,

The immigrant great-grandparents,

Who passed their Irishness down like a wishing stone.

There are the six siblings,

The poverty,

The small, Protestant, Iowa town he left behind,

Then World War II,

The GI Bill,

And Dad arriving, finally, victoriously,

in law school.

 

But there is also this—

The onus of “other” that must be handed on,

Like an ill-fitting jacket,

To someone else:

 

The blacks,

The gays.

The-the-the.

 

“The”

is short for “them.”

 

He would enumerate their sins—

Enumerate any sins—

Crime,

Violence,

Ignorance,

 

Existence–

 

Always, they were on trial,

And always

He’d produce ample evidence

For conviction.

 

You’re just naïve, he’d tell me. When you’re older

You will understand.

His certainty squeezed my rib cage

Sucked the breath out of my lungs,

Each charge like a stone upon my chest.

 

My witness was only flimsy

Principles:

Do-unto-others,

All-created-equal,

Against the crush of his convictions,

Argued with the zealotry

Of a true believer—

 

We know who the real problem is,

But we’re too “politically correct”

To say so.

 

Bit by bit, his bigotry

Diminished him in my eyes.

I saw how it possessed him,

How it took his every good thought

Captive.

I couldn’t see then

That he was shoring up his own fortress

As his life grew smaller,

As victory gave way to despair,

And the law office gave way to homelessness.

 

He didn’t blame the devil for his troubles—

He found his devils in human beings.

So much easier

When you can identify the guilty party.

 

In time I found my own “them”

In people

Who read the Bible differently than I did—

Or didn’t read it at all.

“They” were The Liberals,

The Atheists,

The Literati.

 

Then, as I evolved toward enlightenment,

“They” were The Conservatives:

The Narrow—

Thank-God-that-I-Am-Not-Like-That

Billionaire—

(And conveniently, I will never be

A billionaire.)

 

Because all this hating

Is not from ME,

It’s THEM that are the haters.

I am a Seattle Native—

Well, not Native, exactly, but

You know what I mean—

I give my money to the right campaigns,

I am the mother of a queer child,

Some of my best friends are black.

 

I Get A Pass.

 

But stone upon stone

The accusations build.

I want it off my chest,

This legacy.

Can’t you see

That I am innocent?

 

“They say he give them but two words,

‘More weight,’ he said

And died.

 

©2016 Katherine Grace Bond

The “Why” behind Epicwrite

 

In December, 1995 I gathered four teenage writers in our living room and began the wild odyssey that would grow into Epicwrite. Recently, I had the honor of being nominated for the Roslyn S. Jaffe Award for that work, and while the winner has not yet been announced, the extensive application process allowed us to reflect on our reason for being. I thought you’d like the video Epicwrite staffer Ashley Olson produced for us.

April Fool!

April Fool!

April FoolIf you want to write a Young Adult novel, try this:

YA Novel Writing: Captivating the Teen Reader

The Young Adult book market is in a state of rapid growth, as teens devour “relatable” reads and hunt for more. Publishers are searching for writers who know how to hit the right note for this expanding market. Join Katherine Grace Bond for a course on crafting your novel for this dynamic audience. We’ll overview plot structure, characterization, scene-writing, research, revision and submission. Each class allows for hands-on exercises based on your work-in-progress and time for group critique.

If you’d like to learn to yodel, try this*:

*Full disclaimer: I do not know how to yodel, and cannot vouch for the efficacy of these yodeling techniques.

Four Types of Teen Writer + New Spring Classes for Teens AND Adults!

Novel Writing Students Laughing

Teen writers are a diverse bunch. Not all of them even know they are writers. I’ve met all of the following writers in my programs, and I’ve seen the light go on in their eyes when they come to own their writing.

Can’t-Stop-Writing-Rita

When I can’t write, I go into withdrawal. I live in my room with my characters, emerging occasionally for a sandwich. The last time my parents saw me, I was four inches shorter.

What I need: Recognize me as a writer. Ask about my stories and I may tell you, but don’t insist on reading them. Take me to book signings, so I can meet published authors. Help me find a writing class where I can get honest feedback. I love encouragement, but I want challenge. It would be cool to meet other teens like me. 

Gotta-Be-Perfect-Percy

My teachers say I’m an “exceptional” writer. Hooray. *Twirls finger* I’ve rewritten the first 900 words of my novel twelve times. At this rate, my book will have readers in about sixty years.

What I need: Challenge me to a certain number of words per week. Challenge me to write badly. Help me find some other writers to hang out with. Back off on critique for a while, even if I ask for it.

Creative-Grammar-Glinda

My dad says I dont use enogh punctuation and that im a bad speller i wish hed noticed i just wrote a hundred and fifty page book.

What I need: Appreciate my words! I know it needs editing later and ill do that but when im writeing for fun just encourage me as a storyteller. And maybe find me some grammar games that would be cool.

I-Hate-Writing-Harry

My mom made me take this class, because she thinks it will improve my grades. Writing makes my hand hurt. Reading is boring. I’d rather play video games, hang with my friends outside, or watch TV.

What I need: My friend Percy says video games and movies are just another way people get stories. I guess that’s true. I make stuff up sometimes, I just don’t write it. I have all these maps I drew for this thing I thought up, along with some vehicles–land and spacecraft. I might make some lists and labels for them, as long as it’s not, like, an assignment or something. I might write stuff if I didn’t have to do it by hand, or turn it in, or show it to people. Well, maybe I’d show it to some people–Percy and a few others. If this class could be outside, that would be the best. Also, if the teacher is cool.

—————————-

During Spring Break, I’m running the class that started it all for me eleven years ago at Bellevue College: Young Writers’ Workshop. This class is sampler of three different types of writing. Laughter is guaranteed.

TEENS

Young Writers’ Workshop
Spring Break: April 6-8

Designed for teenage writers (and writer wanna-bes). Share your creative voice and find community with other young writers! Learn to break through blocks to starting and finishing, and how to sculpt words so your work speaks to readers. We’ll be working in three genres: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Bestselling author Katherine Grace Bond will share some tricks of the trade and you’ll be welcomed by other members of the Tribe of Writers (who understand why you do this crazy thing called writing.)

Also coming up at Bellevue College, North Campus

Essay Writing for Teens: College Application
Spring Break: April 6-8

 

ADULTS

YA Novel Writing: Captivating the Teen Reader
Mondays beginning April 13

Geek Fiction Writing
Tuesdays beginning April 14

Scene Weaving
Thursdays beginning April 16

 

 

 

Serious Literary Discussions

Anna laughing

Last night, while the Advanced Fiction Writers were engrossed in serious literary discussion in a fine eating establishment, we noticed that one of the waiters was spending a lot of time in our section of the dining room. “Well, yes,” he admitted. “I think this is the most fun I’ve had working in a long time.”

Witness THE POWER OF FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE. We were, at that very moment, creating new similes and metaphors! These were similes and metaphors that had never before existed!  (It may have also been Anna’s Gollum imitation.)

 

Session B of Advanced Fiction Writing begins March 3. I invite you to apply. Students are saying it’s great to be with other writers who hold them accountable for making progress on their book. They also like it that I do a full manuscript critique–something I don’t do in my other classes. Apply right away. The window of time is quite small.

TEENWrite: Advanced Fiction Writing,

Tuesdays, March 3-April 7 (Session B). Teens and college-age, limited enrollment, apply with a writing sample.

And coming up…Bellevue College Classes
(North Campus)

YA Novel Writing: Captivating the Teen Reader
Mondays beginning April 13

Geek Fiction Writing
Tuesdays beginning April 14

Scene Weaving
Thursdays beginning April 16

Young Writers’ Workshop
Spring Break: April 6-8

Essay Writing for Teens: College Application
Spring Break: April 6-8

 

 

 

Apply for TEENWrite: Advanced Fiction Writing by Sept 26

Katherine Senior pic 1981True confession: When I was a teen, I was known as “the writer.” When I showed my writing to people (which I did as often as I could) they said, “Ooh! Aah!” When I submitted stories to teachers, they said, “Excellent!” and once, “Is this really yours?” (I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or outraged.)

Then in college I had this one creative writing professor…When I submitted a story that I knew was quite daring (male viewpoint, “immoral” characters, surprise ending), he, astonishingly, redlined all over it. He wrote things like “cliche” and “makes no sense.” He gave me a C.

I was shocked. My internal response was, “This man does not know talent!” (When I think about it, the arrogance of youth got me far, actually.)

After several weeks, we were expected to rewrite our original piece. I couldn’t. Now I had learned some specific things about craft, and could truly see the story’s flaws. I rewrote a later fiction assignment and hoped for the best. At the end of the quarter, we were invited to conference with Professor Arksey. Here’s what he said to me: “When I saw your first story, I thought you had no talent at all. But your poems were quite good and this last story is excellent. I’m pleasantly surprised.”

This is just to say a lot of young writers have no way of getting feedback and growing in their creative writing. They are told it’s good, but not given any real guidance. (It’s not a college essay, so it doesn’t “count.”) Had I not been as arrogant as I was, I may have given up altogether with that first C and decided I was not a writer after all.

This is why I’m offering an advanced fiction class to teen and college-age writers in the same predicament I was, who may not have a Professor Arksey (or who have, and are daunted). If you fit this description and are ready for more challenge, I invite you to apply. You need to submit a writing sample, and I’ll have to be selective.  I’ll take no more than twelve. If you know of someone who would benefit from this class, please pass this on. I will take the humble as well as the arrogant. Let’s learn together.

TEENWrite: Advanced Fiction Writing

Tuesdays, October 21-December 16, location TBD. Teens and college-age, limited enrollment, apply with a writing sample. Deadline: September 26

 

Here are some other fall classes and writing events. I’d love to see you there!

Writing the Hidden Story

Thursdays beginning September 18 at Bellevue College, North Campus (Note that the print catalog description is incorrect and describes the Plotting and Scheming class instead of Hidden Story.)

Poetry and Healing

One-day workshop, Saturday, September 27 at Bellevue College, North Campus

Epicwrite in the Park

One-day Live-Action Roleplaying and Writing event Saturday, September 20 in Carnation.

Epicwrite Overnight, “Nefarious Nemeses,”

October 10-11 at Cornet Bay Retreat Center, Whidbey Island.

 

Can We Talk?

I have not shared any of my work-in-progress here because it has felt too close to the bone. It’s a YA. It’s about art. And it’s about time-travel. It’s about a girl who feels responsible for keeping someone else alive, and how she goes back in time and thinks she wants to stay there. It’s a verse-novel, so it’s made up entirely of poems.

But it’s time for some mutual sharing. I’m looking for a small group of young people (high school/college) and some art. We’d all need pens and notebooks and maybe sketchpads. I’m going to share part of the book with you and then we’ll talk about the girl in the book and maybe about ourselves, too. Then we’ll need the art, because art has this amazing capacity for healing. We’re going to each choose a piece of art–on a gallery wall, maybe, and sit with it for a while, and write. The fancy term for this is “ekphrastic poetry” (a term I like very much).

That’s about it.  The workshop would be free (I got a 4Culture grant for it), so all I need is the people and the art. I could take a max of maybe a dozen. If you know someone who doesn’t usually get to do this kind of thing because of money, let me know. We’ll figure out the dates when we’ve got the people, but I’d like to do it in the summer. The only constraint is it has to happen in King County. Who’s in? Who can find us some art?

Here’s an excerpt from the book. In this poem, Alice, the main character, is staring at a Jackson Pollack painting at the Seattle Art Museum.

Jackson Pollack--Sea ChangeSea Change

I could get lost here

In the tarry black of the Pollack.

It spiders me in,

Webbing faces, flames,

The sails of ships.

 

When I’m here,

I’m not there,

Not home,

Alert to every change

In his cadence.

 

If I climbed into this painting,

Tumbled

Into the starry depths

I would land somewhere

Quiet.

 

What would it be

To stop the ringing fear

Inside my head?

To lose my footing

And fall, no way

for anyone to reach me?

 

I would land in a hall of mirrors,

Each self beckoning me

To follow in and in

Until all I could hear

Was my own abandoned voice.

©2014 Katherine Grace Bond, from Looking-Glass Girl, manuscript in progress

 

Target Offers Schools Grants for Author Visits

Target is accepting grant applications through April 30 for their Early Childhood Reading Grant and their Arts, Culture and Design in Schools Grant. Each could be used to fund an author visit, artist residency or arts workshop in your school. Early Childhood Reading Grants can also be used for libraries and non-profit organizations. Each grant has many other possibilities as well. The online application takes about 15 minutes.

 

Author appearance

TEENWrite Live-Action Roleplaying and Writing

TELL ME A SECRET Book Trailer Launch Party!!

My friend, the fabulous and talented Holly Cupala has just released her debut novel TELL ME A SECRET. I love this book! I heard it in installments as it was being written, and found it moving and authentic then. Reading it in its published form was a thrill — and, yes, it made me cry. This is a story that is both gripping and redemptive. I know you will love it, too.
TellmeSecret cover
Party Prizes! Here’s what people can win:
  • Signed TMAS books!
  • TMAS t-shirts!
  • Fan-made bracelets from Hannah S!
  • Music that inspired the book!
  • Sneak Previews!
  • Bookmarks and Handmade Magnets!
  • and…
  • A Tell Me a Secret handmade necklace!
necklace

 

HOW TO WIN? Share the Trailer Love!
holly in tmas
Holly Cupala
1. Click here to go to YouTube, then click the Share button to send to your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or blog! 5 pts each
Plus Holly will be featured at readergirlz for the entire month of August, with a live Twitter chat coming up! Hope you enjoy the trailer, and thank you so much for being part of the virtual tour and party!

 

 

 

 

Summer Writing Workshops for Teens now posted