It’s Not Okay to Say Nothing.

So the Internet of writers blew up over an essay written by Ryan Boudinot called “Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach In One.

I felt saddened that an Instructor would cling to the notion that “Writers are born with talent”; though I grieved more for the number of persons who consoled this concept of predetermination.


Indeed, certain mental attributes preclude writing mastery: analysis, theorization, extrapolation, recreation, innovation, and adaptability come to mind.  However, a lacking of one or more of these qualities can be traced back to various environmental circumstances or personable circumstances.

For example, America still lingers on the edge of authoritarian parenting.  One of the major drawbacks to this style of parenting is that it relies heavily on Negative Reinforcement.  Negative Reinforcement deters desire to commit an action.  When overused or used out of situation, this method of control damages a person’s sense of desire; and he/she may generally suppress desire altogether, or hide it, or feel ashamed to want something.

Desire drives intellectual skills, and a student raised from a heavily disciplined childhood will usually struggle in a creative writing course.  The student may lack confidence in herself, lack faith in her writing, or outright lack the prerequisite creativity traits; because she was too scared to exercise these traits growing up.

Now, I suppose these circumstances could be classed as Fate, but I don’t care; not in as it relates to teaching.

The teacher’s purpose is to identify weaknesses in the students, and help them to correct those weaknesses.

If an aspiring writer lacks key intellectual skills to become an elite writer, then help him/her to develop those skills!


Which brings me to the point that bothered me; and I speak not of the points he made, because he gives some good advice:

  • If you don’t have the time to write, make the time.
  • Write for yourself, not the teacher.
  • Make writing a passion first and a profession second.

I echo these sentiments.

This is what I found offensive:

“Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now That I No Longer Teach In One.”

…Seriously?

He perceived improvements within students’ work/mindset/passion but to failed to address his qualms with those students?  To those students?

I don’t know what goes into the MFA program, but If I pay for assistance in achieving mastery in a craft, and you are my teacher, I am purchasing your subjectivity.  If you don’t like my writing, I expect you to tell me what you don’t like and why.  If you don’t think I belong in the literary world then you better tell me why; because your critique has been paid for and is owed!

Those students got robbed of their feedback; not to mention the assistance that could/would/should have followed pending said feedback.

/end rant.

/end topic.


I’m aware I promised a post within the last week and failed to meet that promise.

I don’t know if anyone holds me to that, but I disappointed myself.  I’m aiming to put up two short stories between now and next Sunday, and at least one other non-story post (I’ll probably share some of my favorite Touhou arranges).

For now, I’m going write and listen to Desire Drive, because I used the phrase earlier in this post 🙂

Desire Drive by ZUN, arranged by TAMUSIC

Finish your weekend well ^_^

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Beautiful Wanderer

Ten days since my last post.  I really suck at this blogging thing :\.

Anyway, here’s another short story!  This one is 1,067 words and will probably take no more than a few minutes to read, if even.


Beautiful Wanderer

               Cold cracked night chilled Seresa through three layers’ clothing, and though she could have waited warm and companied in the station lodge behind her, she preferred to reminisce with Skadi’s kiss.  She had once bellowed with the thunder as she made love astride, half-naked; shedding her tears to snow and sleet; freeing herself from a cage seventeen years pure at the time.  She shushed his identity and fed their memory to the violet soul she discovered that day; smoldering perpetual; burning kindles of mystery and sex and redeeming that heat for the present.

                Decency would have asked a name, but Seresa preferred that blinding passion.  It inspired her to remain fun and foolish.  Prudence served most persons, but Seresa had been born into a fairy’s legacy: a canopy of bright blue hairs and a bouquet of ethereal violets sprouting wings from her upper back.  Spectacle granted her opportunities with schools and masters; the talents she amassed won her wealth; and then she purchased her freedom from worldly worries.

                Train whistled far away but not far from arrival.  Seresa glanced back to the footsteps staggering into the cold, and some of them stared back.

                Pretty brunette scorn took to her side just shy of her own fair height.  Seresa felt the gaze, then scrutiny.  She took a peek into those sea blue eyes and saw a scathing judgment carved down to the ocean trenches.

                “How’s life on easy mode?” asked the young lady.  She seethed her rhetorical intent, but Seresa replied anyway.

                “Pretty good”, and just talking back incurred a swing of fist.  She subtly dodged and caught the inexperienced body from falling via poor weight distribution.  “Careful”, said Seresa, and having been defeated, or at least perceived as defeated, the girl crossed her arms and quivered in frustration.

                Beneath that full and sensible coat, Seresa recognized the office attire of a pen pusher trying to take advantage of male prejudice: a white blouse thin enough to hint a bra, a black miniskirt and all her legs drawn down to the high heels.  Skill had lost to pretty, so skill became pretty, but not pretty enough to win by cheating.  Now she lugged two suitcases stuffed beyond their boundaries, running away to God-knows-where with what dignity and assets remained.

                Seresa embodied everything this corporate refugee hated.  A periwinkle jacket blouse draped a shawl-like top over her shoulders, and the dress underneath layered pleated skirts to a lofty perimeter about her shin.  Lavender frills flashed along every single line; nightly threads segregated touch and step from the callous world; a crop of her hair had been spun into a spiral over her nape.  Seresa wore in travel what this girl would reserve for grand occasion, and thus she stood accused of brandishing her advantages.

                She did not apologize for dressing to whim, but she accepted the biases placed against her image.

                “I’m Seresa.  What’s your name?”

                “Sonya Clyde.”

                Seresa offered a smile and her hand, and after fidgeting through the screeching, horning approach of the train, Sonya finally sighed and accepted the gesture; receiving something in palm through the exchange.

                “What’s this?”

                “My ticket for yours”, offered Seresa.  Sonya reminded her that ordinary persons did not get to sleep under covers while riding coach, but Seresa insisted on the trade.

                Car doors opened, steward and staff descended to greet passengers and review tickets.  A young lad clad in the same navy blazer and trousers cut through the contracted mass of people, seeking Seresa and identifying her colors with ease

                “Seresa Sonada?”

                Seresa stepped behind Sonya and presented her.  Sonya played her part and claimed, “That’s me!  I’m Seresa!” and a bribe convinced him as such.

                “If you’ll follow me, I’ll show you to your car.”

                “I get my own car?” and it was actually two cars, but Seresa let that surprise lie till Sonya had the privacy to explore her gift.

                Sonya started to run off, but she spun about and smiled solemn thanks; a reflection of goodwill; before grabbing her escort’s hand and charging toward the mystery accommodations of the rich.  It was just a temporal blessing that would subside in value upon docking tomorrow night, but it would charm her for a day and vitalize her faith in good people.

                Seresa trickled in with the last passengers and followed the procession until the person in front of her passed up an aisle seat in the midst of the car.   The location crowded, but by persons who exuded temperance and quiet desire; and so Seresa fell into the chair, flirted a smile to the man on her left, and then folded arms and eyes.

                As her mind recessed into the headrest, she recalled the days without cushions or high chair backs.

                Back then, she could not even rest her eyes; because back then, her livelihood fit into two duffle bags on her lap.  One momentary lapse in defense could lose her life’s material value; and so she watched her peers, watched her belongings while she wore down over ten hours or more.  When she finally arrived, she often went straight to her new job, working the full day without reprieve for her travels, without sympathy for her exhaustion.

                She used to be Sonya, but luck finally landed her an office infrastructure where her relentless positivity received affectionate praise instead of hostile gossip; where the untouchable boss noticed her ingenuity instead of her body.  She joined a meritocracy, and like a balloon freed from binding rope she rose beyond the clouds and forged her home where the great memories resided.

                Seresa had given Sonya a business card behind the ticket, and for the fate of her own fortune, she may have erred.  Seresa’s intelligence consoled a reflection in those blue eyes, but where Seresa tinted with violet love, Sonya draped her wrath in the blood of the incompetent.

                Perhaps she invited a superior mind to usurp her, but a true competitor invited every legitimate threat to her table; challenged all to dethrone her; and in doing so she was pushed beyond her own perceived limits.

                And if Sonya or some other took her place one day, Seresa would bow gracefully and congratulate her successor just as her predecessor had done.

                Certainly, she would not lose any sleep over her career.  It was just one path of many she could follow, and she was rather curious about those other avenues.

End


Meritocracy?  In my country?

…It’s less likely than you think.

I’ll try to put up another blog post this week; maybe even two!  They probably won’t be stories, but I just want to get into the habit of blogging.