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See You On The Flip Side

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Many phone calls, emails, and mouthfuls of gummy bears later, it’s time to bid Gotham adieu. In the three months of working with the Gotham team, I’ve come to know and appreciate their distinctive personalities and particular tastes in food.  Macaroni with beef anyone?

Now that I’m pondering what to write, my fingers hover outstretched above my keyboard as if above a cauldron like a witch (remember, we are the Coven trio) about to recite an incantation. My goodbyes are more like a “See you later.”  In my mind, goodbyes are a final and emotionally crushing reminder of never seeing someone or something again, while “See you later” places emphasis on the possibility of seeing that someone or something again.  So in this respect, “See you later guys.”  I’ll see you around, you’ll see me around . . . somewhere.

I'll be back.

I’ll be back.

In all seriousness I see myself taking more Gotham classes and of course I’ll drop in to “Hi, guys.”  I must say I’ll miss the quirks of the office in my everyday life.  No longer will I witness Dana’s daily snack of carrots, Alex’s thinking aloud, Britt’s pictures of adorable puppies, discussions with Kelly on interesting articles, or Street’s random fits of laughter (and of the course the jokester mailman).

It’s not often that you’ll find a group of people who will embrace your personality with all of its strange bits and bobs, but that’s what you get at Gotham and that’s one of the aspects of interning here that I loved the most. During my interview with Dana and Alex, I mentioned wanting to start a blog which focused on poetry and music and the relationship between both and now I have.  If you want to follow me in a non-creepy way, you can, at RunsWithWallflowers.  Also, us three interns have started a blog called PoorWriters where we post about the upsides and pitfalls of the broke life.

See you around everyone.

Imani

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NanoWriMo Update

Hello, World.  I’ve come to give you all a little insight as to how the challenge has been going.  About a week in I decided I had had enough of the story I was working on (along with the food poisoning I had) and began anew.  I know, I know, hash it out, stick with it, yada yada yada, but  now that I’m free of those constraints, I feel inspired to write.

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As the first week drudged on, I figured why not use this as an opportunity to jump start a new project.  Now, I know for some this is an opportunity to finish a novel, begin one, or even work out the kinks of an existing project and those are all admirable aspirations.  For myself though, I see this as an opportunity to push myself outside of my usual allotted time to write and stop my incessant need to perfect first drafts.

I’ve been seizing any and every opportunity to write, whether it’s brief inspiration while I walk my dog (smart phone notes), or even a thought on plot advancement and character development while I’m on the bus.

Write everything down!

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Lastly, waiting around for inspiration is a waste of time.  It’s like standing in the rain, wishing it would turn into snow.  Dig?  Once you keep writing and make it a daily practice, the words and the story will come to you and you can serve as your own inspiration.

So grab yourself a glass of wine, or cranberry juice if you’re a youngin, and get writing.

Imani

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Fiction Booth Numero Uno

For anyone who’s been in a workshop a good few times, you already know they won’t always sway in your favor, and for those who don’t, well, it’s not the end of the world either.  During my most current booth experience, I was met with silence and quizzical looks.

Now if you’re anything like me, you’d probably be feeling something like this  . . .

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but remember the power of positive thinking people!  There’s always some good with the bad, which is one of the benefits of Gotham’s class structure.  For every negative comment, a positive must follow.  Or as my former poetry professor would say, “A critique for every praise.”

So, here are some tips for surviving a booth:

1. It is not a critique of YOU, but of your work.

We all have the tendency to become defensive when someone is critiquing our work, whether you’re a writer or not.  It’s important to remember that what your classmates are saying are in regard to your work and not you as a person and if you disregard their comments as a means of self-preservation, then you might be missing out on some valuable insights that can strengthen your project.

2. Come prepared.

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Definitely read days prior to class and maybe take notes over the course of the week as opposed to all at once.  Believe me, people will know if you didn’t read and didn’t take time to go through their work to make some thoughtful notes.

3. If you’re allotted time to ask questions about the piece you’ve submitted, take it.  Pry into their minds and ask some specific questions you’ve been grappling with while writing.  Who knows, your question may spark a response that’ll give you a fresh perspective to apply to your work.

4.  Finally, your work won’t always be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s fine.  There will still be feedback you can draw from and utilize, while staying true to the story you want to tell.  Hold steadfastly to the uniqueness of your work, but keep an open mind on changes that could strengthen it.

Good talk.  See you in the next post!

Imani

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My Poetry Experience

Not long after college ended, the nostalgia of the workshop went from a pretty consistent tap on the shoulder to a constant whispering in my ear.  I followed the lull of this voice and signed up for Gotham’s Poetry level one.  Apart from wanting to strengthen my skills as a poet, having a reason to get out of my town for a few hours a week seemed like a good idea . . .and it was.

The Rundown

Initially, we were all a bit shy and quiet, but once the first Booth session was over, a general feeling of relief breezed over us.  Now that we knew the expectations and parameters in place, the rest of the course went smoothly and energetically along.

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What I enjoyed most was the interactions and conversations with my classmates and instructor.  They all brought an enthusiastic and varied collection of poems that were a joy to read.  Getting to know them through their notes on my work and our conversations outside of class helped to create a close-knit feel to our classroom experience.

Some Pointers

A)  Be fearless!  Let our mind stalk across the page without boundaries (surprise yourself with your own awesomeness).

B)  Inspiration comes in many forms and will take shape in various ways.  Consider the potential of your surroundings.

C)  Be an active participant in your class; there’s only something to be gained by sharing and conversing in class.

D)  Utilize the suggested reading in the library section of your course’s page.

E)  Enjoy the experience.  How often will you meet an entire group of people as fanatical about poetry as yourself?

Overall, I had some great feedback, encouragement, and gained confidence in the quality of work I was producing.  Can’t wait for the next class.

Imani

 

 

 

 

 

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My First Post

Hey, I’m Imani.  I’m glad to be interning during the best season of the year, autumn.  A bit about myself: I studied Literature and Creative Writing at Ramapo College in the lovely state of New Jersey, I’ve watched American Splendor as many times as I’ve been alive, and over the summer I started collecting Poetry Magazine issues (I love Book Sales).

Being a person who will walk from one edge of Manhattan to the next, I’ve seen a good few of those yellow Gotham boxes over the course of my life and in a way, it’s a little surreal to be interning with them now.   I just finished finish my first Gotham class this week and I look forward to sharing my experience with everyone on The Chronicles.  Can’t wait to venture out into Manhattan and the boroughs lesser known to me with the other interns.

Three cheers for interns and apple cider!

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