Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Calliope Writers' Workshop: Turning Wishing Into Doing

Last week, I came across a post lamenting the state of conservative/pro-freedom storytelling in general and cinema in particular. Machine Trooper writes:

How is it that smart, hardworking, independent thinkers are consistently outperformed at cinematic storytelling by the left-wing hive mind? Why do our movies always suffer poor story telling, cheesy dialog and generally inept suspension of disbelief?

How, indeed. There are, after all, plenty of talented writers who share our views (even if many of them are still hiding their opinions in order to develop and/or preserve their careers). And there are certainly wealthy individuals out there willing to contribute money to what we loosely call pro-freedom causes. So if it's not the talent, and not the money, what then? If you scroll down in the comments, you will see my answer: lack of networking. The full solution is a bit more complicated because there is work still to be done on the writing side as well if we are to keep going long-term. We need to nurture pro-freedom writing talent, and then to connect our storytellers with those who can help them make the stories more accessible to the masses. And much as I love the written word, nowadays it also means the movies.

As luck would have it, only two days later after making that comment, I attended a kickoff party for Calliope Writers' Worksop, co-sponsored by Taliesin Nexus and Liberty Island. I am happy to report that an effort so many of us have wished for does already exist, and picking up steam.

From Taliesin Nexus website:In order to encourage the creation of great stories, we serve as a nexus between up-and-coming filmmakers and experienced industry professionals who share a passion for a free society.

It was truly great to see that Liberty Island, an online magazine (and now a book publisher) that gave me a start and an inspiration for writing fiction, is also a part of this exciting venture.

And exciting really is the word. As I stood in that room at Crowne Plaza Hotel in NYC, surrounded by a buzzing crowd of creatives of all ages and those with vision to give them voice, I realized a few things. The time for complaining and wishing has passed. The time for stifling our creativity for the sake of acceptance has passed. We have the talent, the drive, and the energy to succeed. Combined with the infrastructure that is even now being built, piece by piece, one dedicated mentor, one generous investor, one contrarian marketing professional at a time, we will get there. Our voices will be heard, our stories read, our vision shared. Let's get to work, people. We have a culture to build.

Now, for the fun part. The pictures!!!!

With my friend, co-conspirator and fellow author Kia Heavey

Kia and I with Liberty Island honcho David Bernstein

Kia with Robert Bidinotto, author of the Dylan Hunter thriller series

With sci-fi/fantasy author, blogger, and mentor to indie authors (did I forget anything?) Sarah A. Hoyt, who was very gracious about my fangirl behavior.

And last but not least, with Karina Fabian, a multi-genre author and writing mentor. Watch out for Karina's guest blog post right here on September 20th.

Sarah and Karina deserve special thanks for flying out all the way to New York City to mentor the workshop participants. Hats off to you, ladies!

Special shout-out to fellow CLFA members Adam Bellow (who led the main presentation of the evening), Keith Korman, Curtis Edmonds, and Richard Walch, as well as long-time online friend Matthew Souders, all of whom I met at the party but was unable to capture on camera.

Thanks to everyone who made this possible, and hope to see even more familiar faces, at a much bigger event, next year!

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