KaBooM WritersKaBooM Writers

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!

Welcome to the online presence of KaBooM, a writing group that has sustained the creative lives of a diverse group of women for over a decade. We hope that getting to know us will inspire you, too!


The KaBooM Writers Notebook: Our Blog

Letters From Home

The birth of my first child changed my life in such a myriad of ways, I did the only thing I could think to do as a writer: I wrote about him and the new me I was discovering.  I wrote to document and to understand, because the contradictions of my new life baffled me, both my deep love for the baby and the bewildering grief at leaving my old life behind.  I wrote in my journal, and I wrote letters to friends.  When they responded, I wrote extravagant thank you notes.

Now that child stands taller than I do, those early days sometimes seem like a place from long ago, a home I left behind.  But one friend kept every missive I sent her about my new baby, and recently gifted me back a box full of my letters to her.

I sift through those physical artifacts, and their tactile presence places me back in those early moments as a new mother, when to keep back the tide threatening to overwhelm I scrawled a line or two and stuffed it in an envelope.  The need to post the letter gave me a reason to get out of the house, to pack up the baby I was still learning, so I could send out my latest struggles, and even my celebrations—send them to someone far outside the daily cycle of tending, feeding, caring.

When is the last time you wrote or received a letter—a physical memento of emotions, desires, connections?

This year the National Day on Writing takes place on Wednesday, October 20.  The day is a national celebration of writing sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and officially recognized through a congressional resolution.  Locally, the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning is sponsoring “Letters From Home: A Glimpse of the Bluegrass Through Handwritten Words,”  an event designed to encourage the public to write and send longhand letters to friends, family, and U.S. soldiers.

So tomorrow, I’ll be writing new letters from my home in the Bluegrass, at Good Foods Cafe from 11 to 1.  The Cafe is one of 14 locations around Lexington where you can celebrate National Day on Writing by composing a handwritten letter with other writers.  (You can find the full list by clicking the link to the Carnegie Center’s web site, above.)  The day’s events will culminate at the Carnegie Center for a community reading and celebration at 5:30 PM.  Participation in National Day on Writing activities is free and open to everyone.

Come write with other writers.  Make a new artifact or two.  Post your letter and send out your words, from the home you’re in at the moment, into the world.

Let’s Put on a Show

I love old movie musicals. Particular favorites of mine are the show within a show variety where teens would gather together to solve some financial problem by putting on a show. Within a few days these enterprising young people produced a show with amazing singing, dancing, and costumes that not only saved the theater, school, or whatever the needy cause but also resolved all of the romantic entanglements of the young stars. Everybody would come together in the last scene holding hands and belting out the final number with shining, happy faces.

Of course, in real life, many of those young stars went on to lead tragic lives complicated by alcohol and drugs, multiple love affairs and marriages. Putting on a show in public to cover up their very real problems only exacerbated them and the money they made didn’t solve anything in the end. Their personal show within the show too often closed early without the happy last scene.

I recently had the pleasure of putting on a show of my art quilts at the Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg. It was my first solo show and I spent the better part of the year preparing for it. I was surprised and honored by the number of people who came to see my quilts but I also experienced a form of stage fright. As gratifying as it was to see my work displayed in such a beautiful setting, it was terrifying as well. It was difficult to listen and watch as people looked and discussed my work. But I also had my own part to play in the show. I had to answer all the questions and pretend to be unfazed when someone made a remark about the price that I had put on a particularly large, complicated piece. Nobody knows the real worth of a piece of art more than the artist themselves and having to translate that worth into a dollar value is a daunting task.

Does putting on a show solve our financial problems? Sometimes, perhaps. I didn’t make a sale at my show, but I did have someone call several days later about doing a commission piece. Selling is a validation of the worth of our work. But most of us don’t create only for the money. I can think of many easier ways to make money than by making art. The show is only part of the process and the show within the show is the actual time spent in creative activity. That’s where the drama, the comedy, the tears and the laughter are found. And if we’re very lucky and work hard, that’s where our happy ending lies.

Comments (2) — Categorized under: Creativity,Events,Mary Alexander