Tell Me A Story: “Terrance”

tell me a story

 

“Terrance”

Posted by jkm/tsk

Post Thursday 29th January 2015

Terrance

My heart goes out to Terrance and anyone who goes through the events that occurred in his young life. <3 jkm

Terrance premiered at Dazed & Confused Magazine: At first he seemed a little shy. Quiet but eager to tell stories, share experiences…but maybe not too much. There is still something opaque about him that signals he’s holding back. After a few questions everything begins to fall into place. As a teenager of 17 years, Terrance’s life experience has led him through trauma and hardship that most adults haven’t had to contend with. He’s lost multiple caretakers, and while he’s been fortunate to stay out of the foster care system, he grapples with deep depression and post-traumatic stress disorder due to grief and an overwhelming sense of loss. His story so far has been dominated with the need to cope with past and present, though he looks forward to a day when he can comprehend what he wants for his future.

Physical problems in ourselves and in others can be seen, and there’s often a doctor who can fix them. Mental and emotional problems are a completely different animal. They can be far more challenging to identify, comprehend, and deal with on your own, let alone ask someone for help. It should come as no surprise that teenagers are a group that is especially unlikely to seek help.

“People ask me why they can’t see my injury when I return from the health center,” Terrance says. He’s uncomfortable having to explain it, and fears that other students will perceive him as strange. But it was the individual and group therapies available to him at school that is helping Terrance get his life back on track. The feeling that he is not alone, that is can be normal to feel this way, and especially the fact that there are other people with the same situations and feelings have boosted Terrance’s confidence. The results are impressive: Terrance’s attendance and performance at school have both improved drastically, as has his general attitude about his future.

There are of course many more kids and teenagers dealing with similar issues, and all of them deserve adequate support. Early help can make a big difference, not only for the individual but also for the greater society (these kids are our future, after all). With the kind of help offered to kids like Terrance by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), more students are motivated to finish school and lead a productive life. Greater awareness may be called for more now than ever, especially in communities where young males face considerable pressure to join a gang and young females are statistically more likely to confront a teenage pregnancy. 

Imagination

IMAGINATION

Windows opening
Hummingbirds hovering in the wind
Let love dance in the waterfalls
Touching flowers of softness
Colors overflowing the river banks

Pain surfaces for breath
Seeing bubbles of knowledge
Sending messages of hope and warning

Let live ideas
Dreams unfulfilled
Even in the dreaming
They exist only in the world
Of the imagination

Break from the chains
Release the truth
Face the awakening

(c) jk 2015

NOVA by James Alliban

Editor’s Corner 101.12

Audience Appreciation Day

Scribe smallIt is my hatching day – well, it was when I wrote this – so I am invoking the Celebrant’s Prerogative to be brief.

Today, I want to talk about audience, trust, and respect. When we write, a part of us is at least peripherally mindful of our audience. Whether we imagine legions clamoring for our prose, pushing us up the bestseller lists, or focus on a more limited public of our devoted blog and website followers, audience is important. After all, we are in the business of sharing our work, of shouting it to the proverbial rafters and communicating our ideas to best effect. Real or ideal, awareness of audience leads us to choose fitting storylines and characters, as well as structures and language that are both age and genre appropriate.

Sadly, this too often leads people to believe they need to oversimplify or – Goddess forbid – be repetitious. Though apt for a luncheon speech at the Rotary, Dale Carnegie has ruined many a writer with his infamous advice, “Tell the audience what you’re going to say, say it; then tell them what you’ve said.” Sooner than rubber chicken rots sinks to your stomach, this will bore a reader silly when applied to fiction. Far better, I think, the words of Lily Tomlin: “What I appreciate is acknowledging to the audience that I think they have brains.”

Readers do have brains. I like to believe this is evident by the fact they are poring over pages of type rather than wasting hours to TV or the latest video game. (Gamers, please do not come for me with pitchforks at the ready. I am being (a tad) hyperbolic and know many of you are bloody brilliant.)

The point is, we have to treat our readers with respect. Regardless of age or other salient demographic, value and trust your audience. Ultimately this comes down to trusting yourself. If you have written a good tale with evocative prose, engaging characters, and an intriguing plot, trust that your audience will follow you, page after page. It will happen. And when it does, they will allow you to be subtle and complex, to challenge them at every turn, as long as you’re not just doing it to show off. In short, assume your audience is at least as smart as you are (they’re often smarter), and then write up, never down. Craft your prose for mirrors of your best possible self. Unless you have short-term memory loss, assume telling once is enough. And shape your narrative with a lapidary stick, not a sledgehammer and believe that

Finally, as Madeleine L’Engle said, “You have to write whichever book it is that wants to be written. And then, if it’s going to be too difficult for grownups, you write it for children.”

I will try to respond to messages as I am able. At times it may be in the form of a post or a direct email response. Guests who post, I will forward messages addressed to them. It is up to them how they decide to correspond.   — Shawn MacKENZIE – MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest

Featured Image -- 31015

An Open Letter To WordPress

the secret keeper:

I agree with this post that is why I reblogged it. WordPress keeps changing things to make them worse. I loved the way things were not where it looks like they are heading. Read this. You will understand.

Originally posted on Fish Of Gold:

Dear WordPress,

I am loath to write yet another letter to you, since I typically prefer spending my time writing actual blog posts, but I’ve been bitching on Twitter and in your forums to no avail, so maybe you’ll pay attention to a blog post. It’s not likely, but hey, you never know.

Please, stop. Just put down whatever you’re working on and stop with the futzing. You have been tinkering under my hood long enough and you know what? None of the “improvements” you’ve made are actually improvements.

Below, you will find explanations as to why your improvements aren’t improvements sorted conveniently by feature.

Post Editor

Let’s talk about this “Beep beep boop” editor nightmare with less than half the functionality of the old editor. Thankfully, you haven’t taken away the old editor yet. However, I fully expect that one day, I will go to write a post and…

View original 789 more words

My Heart Is a Jungle

close encounters of the creative kind

My Heart Is a Jungle

by Emma Lousie

Poem by Wankelmut

Post by tsk

Post Saturday 24th January 2015

 

Makes you move your Groove Thing. ;-) Hopping like a rabbit. It is a great rhythm and fantastic tune. Get Up & Dance or Move wherever you are.

Wankelmut/Emma Lousie - My Head Is a Jungle

In a dark room we fight, make up for our love.
I’ve been thinking, thinking ’bout you, about us.
And we’re moving slow, our hearts beat so fast.
I’ve been dreaming, dreaming ’bout you, about us.

Hey, hey, hey, hey
My head is a jungle, jungle
My head is a jungle, jungle
My head is a jungle, jungle
My head, oh

I was speaking soft, see the pain in your eyes,
I’ve been feeling, feeling for you, my love.
And our bodies are tired, our shadows will dance,
I’ve been aching, aching for you, my love.

My head is a jungle, jungle
My head is a jungle, jungle
My head is a jungle, jungle
My head

My love is wasted, sorry for this
I never meant to be, hurting ourselves, hurting ourselves
And I’m complicated, you won’t get me,
I have trouble, understanding myself, understanding myself
And my love is wasted, sorry for this
I never meant to be, hurting ourselves, hurting ourselves
And I’m complicated, you won’t get me
I have trouble, understanding myself, understanding myself

My head is a jungle, jungle
My head is a jungle, jungle
My head is a jungle, jungle
My head

My head is a jungle, jungle
My head is a jungle, jungle
My head is a jungle, jungle
My head
Oh oh oh oh oh…

forest green shadows (c) Jkm 2014

forest green shadows (c) Jkm 2014

How to escape education’s death valley

tell me a story
How to escape education’s death valley

TED Talk: Sir Ken Robinson

Post Thursday 22nd January 2015

Sir Ken Robinson: How to escape education’s death valley

Published on May 10, 2013
Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.