Wednesday, April 17, 2019

two writer events


Back-to-back literary events in Columbia this week. At the Lourie Center Tuesday evening mystery-writer Raegan Teller discussed “Top 10 Things I’ve Learned about Being a Writer.” 
With Raegan Teller. I won a copy of her novel in a drawing for a door prize.
Raegan started the countdown at 10 and described each one. Examples:
— learn to say “no”
— storytelling is in our genes
— find your own way 
Number two on the list was “UBU.” In other words, take advice but find your own voice, be the authentic "you." This sounds easy. But “voice” is no easier to spot than the wind. Which is perhaps a good analogy. What you see of the wind is not the wind, but its effect on trees and other things.

Topping off the list at number one was “It takes a village.” Most of us writers work in our offices alone, but getting to the end product, the novel, requires many people.

Open Book
Tonight (Wednesday) I attended the last presentation of the 2019 Open Book series at the University of South Carolina’s Capstone building on campus. Professor Elise Blackwell introduced author Margaret Sexton, who talked about writing her novel A Kind of Freedom.
Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
On the day she was sworn in as a lawyer, her cousin was going to jail. The disparity of their situations haunted her and inspired her to write. After an unavailing year of working in the Dominican Republic, she labored on a manuscript, which met with no success. Other writing that was "too easy to be worthwhile" turned out to be the first draft of her novel. Another novel is forthcoming, about a family of former slaves living in the 1920s. 

The Open Book series will return in the spring of 2020 with more authors and books to talk about. Professor Elise Blackwell of USC makes this program available to the public, and at no cost. 
Elise Blackwell -- thanks to her, we have visiting authors.


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