Hello, friends! It certainly has been a while since I last contributed, and for that I sincerely apologize. I have been terribly busy with my graduate classes (a bit of my work is up in the portfolio section), but all my efforts are starting to pay off! For one, I have been blessed with the amazing opportunity to teach four seminars at the upcoming Ivy Hall Young Writers Workshop! The Ivy Hall Young Writers Workshop (hereafter mentioned underneath the acronym IHYWW in order to conserve typing time) is a one week summer camp for Atlanta-area high school students that are eager to expand a career in writing. Taught by SCAD staff and a guest writer, the workshop focuses on enhancing writing abilities while offering students a chance to workshop some of their preliminary pieces. This year, I have been offered the opportunity to teach four seminars:
* Character Development
* World Building
* Non-linear Fiction
I'm excited, because I have extensive experience in all four topics and hope to utilize them for my student's advantage. I cannot thank Dr. Catherine Ramsdell enough, who was the one to offer me this chance and has served as a guide stone towards my own writing journey.
Speaking of writing journeys, I've been having quite a wild one as of late. I was lucky enough to get a chance to sit down one on one with accomplished YA author, Carlie Sorosiak , who offered me an eye catching new perspective on one of my oldest works, The Cry of the South.
For the past ten years, I have been shaping a world based around a fictional naval war. As a result, I have always felt that the Cry of the South was best kept to a fictional universe, much like the Lord of the Rings where, I could create made up countries that fought inconsequential wars.
Mrs. Sorosiak, however, was not of the same mindset.
It was her belief that the COTS universe needed to instead be set on Earth. That instead of bandying words and beating around bushes, I should openly proclaim exactly what the story was about. No more made up races, no more made up conflicts. Take something that really would have impact, and shake it in the reader's faces!
I confess, her words left me gobsmacked. Suddenly, all the stories that I had configured in my head seemed to melt away, to be left with the waxen corpse of what COTS was really about. It was, at its core, about the racism and prejudice that has inevitably wound its heart into the caucasian race, and how that cruelty has consequentially shaped the world in which we live.
So that was something new.
I am likewise about to start a new quarter at SCAD, and will be underneath the solo tutelage of one Professor Darby Sanders. He will be helping me to transform a work, one on one, that I will eagerly put forward as my graduate thesis. With luck, I will likewise be able to find an agent for the work, and get it published in some form. I cannot reveal much for now, in lieu of the sensitive nature of this work, but I can say this. It will take place in 1890's Norfolk, England, and will be centered around a gay first footman who becomes embroiled in a tangled web of serial killings, ghosts, and social hierarchies. Anyone who felt disheartened by Thomas Barrow's poor character growth on Downton Abbey will SERIOUSLY love this work. So hopefully it will appeal to my Downton fans!