It is one thing to read a poem or a short story, but it is quite another to hear it in the author’s voice, as it was meant to be read. The Meacham conference, held in Chattanooga each semester, is a perfect opportunity to take part in this type of experience. This conference brings together a variety of talented authors to share their work. One such reading this year consisted of authors Sharan Strange, Caleb Ludwick, and Stephen Corey. Each author illustrated a different side to the literary world, which was exciting to witness.
Strange, a poet, showed a reverence for the things she writes about. It was clear from the tone of her voice that she takes her subjects seriously and wants to share their importance with the world. Ludwick, a short story writer, had a different style to share with the audience. His story showed a realistic account of young boy’s life. This showed Ludwick’s tendency toward the realistic and how to make it pop for his audience. Corey was the most informal of the authors at this reading. He engaged the audience and made them feel involved in his pieces, which I appreciated.
This reading was an exciting experience for any fan of the literary world. It was rewarding to hear authors from such diverse literary positions come together and read their work. It gives the audience the sense of how the author hears the work in their head, and this opens up a whole new perspective on the piece. I would recommend everyone to come out and attend a reading in their community.
“The fight for your world has ended. The battle for your future has begun.” Look out, fans of the Twi-verse, because Stephenie Meyer has another hit coming up fast and hard. In Meyer’s novel The Host the threat is no longer warring vampires and werewolves, but aliens. No, not the squishy little green guys the mainstream has had us come to expect, but an enemy so powerful they take over the world with humans none the wiser. To live in a world where aliens with human skins called “Souls” outnumber the natural born humans and any second could be your last as a free being would be a living nightmare. This is Melanie Stryder’s reality. In an attempt to save her aunt and cousin who are hiding in Chicago, Melanie is ambushed by a group of Souls and is implanted with a Soul named Wanderer. Unlike the other human hosts, Melanie refuses to be pushed aside and slowly fade away. After Wanderer witnesses Melanie’s memories, she and Melanie form an unlikely partnership as they set off to find the humans they have both come to love.
This novel has all the elements we’ve come to expect from Meyer: action, adventure, and an impossible love triangle. Once again Meyer has pulled these elements into an entertaining thriller that makes us believe that love truly can conquer all. I highly recommend everyone, Meyer fan or not, to put aside your opinions of the Twi-verse and dive in. For those who want to visually dive into yet another Meyer world, you’re in luck. On 29 March 2013, the takeover begins as theaters across the country release the movie adaptation to the masses. So grab a copy and prepare yourself for the takeover.
Have you ever wanted to write something, but as soon as you sit down inspiration simply will not come? Don’t fret. This is common for many writers, but to skip any future afternoons spent staring at the wall begging a muse to bestow you with a stroke of creative genius, I have included a writing exercise that I have used over the years to get out of a writing rut.
First, get four pieces of paper that are all different colors. If you do not have this take four different colored pens or markers and color the back of each sheet a different color.
Then take one of the sheets and cut it into four sections. On one section create a character including name and personality. On another section come up with a setting (a rural town in the middle of May, etc). On the third section write out a plot. On the final section write a specific mood you want the story to convey (happy, sad, mysterious, etc). Do this with the other three sheets, coming up with different characters, settings, plots, and moods each time.
Now take all the characters and put them in a hat, shoebox, anything that you can mix them up and choose one at random (No peeking!). Do this for the settings, plots, and moods, but be sure to put each section in a different box. Once you have chosen your four slips of paper make sure each piece of paper is a different color or has a different color dot.
You should have four story elements. Your challenge is to use these to come up with a story. Don’t be scared if they don’t make sense together, that’s the fun part.