Leave it to the BBC to store bits of Virginia Woolf’s psyche for us mere mortals to sift through on a whim. The broadcast of Woolf’s essay, “Craftsmanship,” was first heard on April 20, 1937. Five years later, it was published in a book called “The Death of the Moth, and other essays,” the year after she walked into the Ouse River with rocks in her pockets.
In “Craftsmanship,” Woolf insists that “words never make anything useful” and “tell nothing but the truth,” contradicting both meanings of “craft” in the dictionary. She says that words “hate being useful, that it is their nature not to express one simple statement but a thousand possibilities…”
Further into the essay, she says that “a useful statement is a statement that can mean only one thing. And it is the nature of words to mean many things.” Hence, words combined into statements cannot be useful. Writing is not useful.
Should I just end my life now?
Postmodern Donkey tipped me off to a haiku competition called Going to Mars with MAVEN, sponsored by the University of Colorado-Boulder. The word “maven” means “accumulator of knowledge” in Yiddish, but it stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission. The Website explains: Continue reading
An alien spacecraft appears, sucking up space garbage for fuel. Continue reading
Well, folks, the SCBWI’s spring conference at Asilomar was inspiring, despite the food provided by ARAMARK. The glutinous pad thai noodles, grey prime rib, and screams for life-rings from the nicoise salad ingredients as they bobbed above the pool of nondescript salad dressing—all this failed to throttle the enthusiasm of the children’s book writers and illustrators assembled on a glorious weekend in Monterey to celebrate the HUMOR in kid’s literature. Between Daniel Handler, Lisa Brown, Jon Agee, Lin Oliver, Lisa Jahn-Clough, and Ed Briant, no joke was left unturned.
Fittingly, Handler’s talk was particularly heady. Continue reading
Just wanted to share a little somethin’ that one of the “dogs in the patch” posted on DogPatch Writers Collective. It’s a hoot! Thank you for the trip back in time and thoughts about character development.
What a Feelin’!.