The Art of Empowerment
by Penny Porter
Carroll Rinehart asks, "Can you meet me at 6:30 Saturday morning at the Good Egg?"
Not wanting to sound like a slacker, I gulp. "How 'bout 7:00?" We compromise. I get there at 7:30 and he is on his third cup of coffee!
How many of you KNOW this dynamo? Between writing over 170 volumes of children's operas and producing them in schools stretching from Ohio to Tucson since 1952, at the same time gleaning countless awards, and holding every position there is in the Ohio Public Schools, The Ohio State University Lab School, The University of Arizona School of Music, and serving as administrator in the Tucson Public Schools, Carroll Rinehart has taught workshops all over the US, Canada, Mexico, and Australia! And, somehow, amid all the love and clamor he has received from thousands of children, parents and teachers, this 20th century Plato has made time to write SIX Books, and 2008 marks his 60th year in professional music education.
"How did you do all this, Carroll?" I ask.
His answer? "I put my pants on--one leg at a time."
Take a hard look at this man when he walks up to the SSA podium on August 19. HE DOESN'T EVEN LOOK BREATHLESS.
Two hours later, I peer at this contemporary philosopher over my long-gone-cold cup, mesmerized by his tightly woven storytelling, his innate ability to care stitched in ageless techniques that empower creativity in the youngest child--as well as the senior writer sitting across from him.
What's his secret? That's easy. He digs. He digs and digs, until he finds the heart the singers, writers and listeners don't even know they have. Then, he helps them crawl inside where they find not only the truth, but the light, the path, and the solution.
Usually, when we introduce a speaker, or write about him in advance for The Write Word, we start out with what he is going to talk about. Carroll had finished his breakfast and I had eaten half a pancake, and he still wasn't sure. But I will guarantee that by the time August 19th rolls around, he will help all of us find a deeper meaning to our own writing when we strive to capture the big questions that we ask ourselves all the time. Why do I write? Who am I writing for? In the long run, what good am I doing?
As our new board member for the year 2007-2008, if we are lucky, Carroll Rinehart will bait us with Where is SSA going? Why does SSA exist? And what must we do that's better than what we are doing now to enable and empower others with our writing--so we, too, can make a difference--one leg at a time.
What is Wrangling With Writing
Really All About?
by Penny Porter
It's about YOU - and for YOU. It has been fourteen months in the planning. It is SSA's wish that this conference will bring to every one of you the answers to all your questions concerning the craft of writing and the ever-changing world of publishing and marketing.
Be sure to bring a clipboard and plenty of pens to write with. Classrooms are set up theater style so you will be writing on your lap. Clipboards are ideal as most workshop leaders will have handouts. Every attendee will receive a tote-bag when checking in, in which to carry books and writing supplies. Yes! If you wish, bring your battery-powered laptop and a tiny battery-powered tape recorder. All lectures will be taped by OnSite taping of Laguna Beach, California, and tapes will be for sale at the conference should you miss part of a class because of an interview.
For those of you who have never attended WRANGLING WITH WRITING, this event is electric, not only because you will be
mingling with some of the best author/teacher members of SSA and beyond, but because many of our agents and editors and publishers have been here before. We know they are good, and have agreed to return because they found fresh voices and writers they knew they could work with and are banking on finding more.
Over the years, many new talented writers have emerged from WRANGLING WITH WRITING, and attendees will again be coming from all over the country. Remember, editors and agents alike will all be "looking," "hoping" to discover the book, story, script or idea that will hit the best seller list just as much as you are hoping and praying that your story will be the one to spark their interest.
To cap Dewanne Hopson's presentation at the forum on Sunday, July 15, remember to speak your loglines with ease. Grab that agent or editor fast-be able to tell the beginning, the heart, the beat, and resolution of your story in one or two sentences. Hit him so hard his eyes bulge. He leans forward. Look him in the eye. He holds his breath, and you are ready with more. A few pages of text. An outline. A table of contents. And very important, you have another manuscript just finished and a third under way.
If he wants to see more of the work you present, do not think he will take it home on the plane with him. In today's world it won't fit in his suitcase. But if he hands you a business card with his name, address and e-mail on it, when Monday morning dawns, don't pay any attention to that grammarless creature who says, "You've Got Mail." You have something more important to do. Send what you have been asked to send immediately as an Attachment, or be first in line at the Post Office. The stamp window opens at 8 am.