Sunday, October 4, 2009

Writer's Block

On Saturday, one of my professors held a "Writer's Block" party at his house. He holds these at least three or so times a semester and invites writers, filmmakers and artists (basically anyone with a creative bent) from all over Oklahoma to come to the parties. In short, they are well-structured networking opportunities.

At one point, my professor stopped conversation and had everyone introduce themselves to the group and talk about what projects they are working on. As new people would arrive, we would repeat the process, also showing the short films of some people, etc. It was great fun getting to know all different sorts of people.

For example, there was a writer there who had just gotten his book picked up by a publisher. The book is called Hobo-sapiens, and its a memoir of the two decades of his life that he spent riding the rails as a hobo. He read us the rough draft of the back cover of his book, and the last sentence said, "Not many people can say they went from Yale to rail and from hunk to monk." Basically, if the book is anything like the back cover, it should be an entertaining read. It also sounds like it might be a sort of self-help book. I'd be curious to read it.

[Note: This same fellow also spends his summers driving busses in an Alaskan State Park for $25 an hour -- a small portion of which he spends on room and board per day ($15- less than an hour's wage) at the park.]

I also met a woman who teaches both a film class and a television/broadcasting class at one of the local high schools. I had no idea there were film classes in the high school, or I definitely would have tried to volunteer there earlier. As it is, I got her contact information and I am going to try to come to the high school for an hour a week and talk with her kids about the film program at OU and also critique their projects if they'd like me to. It sounds like great fun... I can't wait!

I am also kicking around the idea of starting a sort of after-school program with the high school kids where we would work on writing and creating quality short films. The only problem with this idea is that it would really require a car-- something I am sadly without.

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