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

Goal Tending

I am not a jock. I can hear my friends and family laughing at this massive understatement, but I make it to underscore that I am the last person one would expect to use a sports metaphor. However, I find myself thinking about the phrase, goal tending, and how it applies to basketball and the life of an artist.

In basketball, goal tending is a foul. Wikipedia defines it as ” the violation of interfering with the ball when it is on its way to the basket and it is (a) in its downward flight, (b) entirely above the rim and has the possibility of entering the basket, and (c) not touching the rim.” It goes on to add that “in both NCAA and NBA basketball, goaltending is also called if the ball has already touched the backboard while it is above the rim in its flight, regardless of whether it is in upward or downward flight.” Clear as mud right?

I remember my first college basketball game. I was a freshman at the University of Kentucky. My date was a member of the UK track and field team so we sat in the athletic section. I watched in amazement as my date transformed from the thoughtful, slightly shy boy I knew into a raving lunatic, swearing at the referee, questioning the parentage of various players on the opposing LSU team. One of the moments I remember most came when the referee called a goaltending foul on UK. I asked my date in confusion, “Why aren’t they supposed to tend to the goal?”  My date gaped at me, clearly wondering how I made it into college with such a fundamental gap in my education. What can I say. I was a basketball virgin.

When it comes to an artistic career, I think goal tending is an absolute necessity. There are fewer clear, defined landmarks for the arts than there might be in another career. It is necessary, therefore, that you not only create your own goals, but defend them from the many distractions and detractors that come with the messy process of living.

I ran across a journal the other day that I kept while participating in a workshop using Julia Cameron’s classic book, The Artist’s Way. For one of the exercises we had to write down at least three secret desires for our work as artists. I wrote out my wishes, thinking that they were far-fetched and unlikely to come true. I wanted to have my own show, I wanted to land a large commission, and I wanted to have my work displayed in a public place. Imagine my surprise when looking through the book three years later, I found that I have fulfilled each of those desires.

Although I had not thought of that exercise in those three years, I believe that the deliberate act of writing them down pointed me in the right direction to succeed. By writing down my desires, I transformed them from wishes into goals and placed them into the back of my mind. My subconscious tended to those goals even when I was not thinking of them with the result that I had a show of my work at Beaumont Inn, I landed a large private commission, and I now have a quilt hanging in a prominent space in the Mercer County Library. Slam dunk! How’s that for a sports metaphor?

 

Don’t Write What You Know

Many of the KaBooM members are grateful and faithful participants of the Kentucky Women Writer’s Conference (held this year in Lexington, KY, on Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17) .  Every year, the conference serves up inspiring speakers, stellar readings, and an opportunity  to take advantage of top notch writing instruction.  This year, the workshop I’ve registered for is Sallie Bingham’s short story teaching.

My classmates and I have received our first assignment, one I feel led to share with with KaBooM blog readers.  We are to read Bret Anthony Johnston’s essay in the Atlantic Monthly “Don’t Write What You Know.” Anytime a respected fiction instructor turns an old saw on its head, I pay attention.  The graphic that accompanies the piece is wonderful.

Our intrepid writer steps out into a lush, teaming world — the very doorframe drips with gooey reality.  Note that she has her pen poised!

And what a good thing that she comes prepared, because we’ve been given this assignment: “Write a short list of all the subjects you know, but don’t think you know; examples would be writing from the point of view of another gender; writing from the point of view of a much older or younger person; writing about or from the point of view of someone from a different racial or class background.”

So: have you had a long enough summer break?  I know I have.  Travel, visiting family, doing all the things with my offspring that the grind of the school year doesn’t leave time for.  It’s been great.  But it’s time to return to the garden of words.  And I’m off, delving into what I don’t know ….

 

 

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