Thursday, May 28, 2009

Street Theater

If you get a chance to get into the city for one of these shows, I promise, you won't be disappointed! These teens write and star in the story of their lives. It is a remarkable experience.

City at Peace takes it to the streets of DC!

This week, City at Peace DC is debuting our first ever free street theatre with scenes from our show LIVING [in theory]. Thanks to our collaborative partners, DC Department of Parks and Recreation and Duke Ellington School of the Arts, we will run four shows, one in each quadrant of DC.
We wanted to make sure you have the latest details on street theatre:
Rain or shine, the first street theatre performance will now be Thursday, May 28th at Fort Davis (1400 41st Street SE, corner of 41st and Alabama)Our upcoming show at Randall (820 South Capitol St, SW near Nationals Stadium) will be rescheduled date TBD
We have two more shows next week: Tuesday, June 2nd at Stead at 1625 P St, NW (Dupont Circle)Thursday, June 4th at Turkey Thicket at 1100 Michigan Ave, NE (near Brookland/Catholic University)
All shows begin at 6pm. Bring your friends and family (suitable for audiences 13 years and older), folding chair or cushion and pick your seat to watch our street theatre starring 13-19 year olds from DC, MD and VA.
The show will address a diverse set of challenging issues such as racism, independence, fitting in, self abuse and hetero-sexism. The show is an engaging tool for initiating dialogue and finding ways to make change within your community.
For questions, please contact me, Tom Prewitt, Managing Director at 202-319-2200 or Thank you to our gracious partners:

We hope to see you there!

P.S. If you can't make it to the show, you can make a gift to support our work!
City at Peace DC is a non-profit organization that uses the performing arts to promote non-violent conflict resolution and cross-cultural understanding. Each year, City at Peace DC provides a year-long intensive program for teens to share their personal stories and explore the challenges that confront young people from racism and peer pressure to sexism and power. Through the process, they learn life-changing communication skills, embrace diversity and understanding, and become empowered to foster change in their communities.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2009 Schedule

Here is the group schedule as it stands now. I will update this post as changes are made.

4- Group 7:30 - 9:30
11 - Jen out of town, leader Mike Gross
18 - Jen out of town, leader Mike Gross
25 - Group 7:30 - 9:30

2 - Group 7:30 - 9:30 (anyone going out of town for the 4th?)
9 - Group 7:30 - 9:30
16 - Group 7:30 - 9:30
23 - Group 7:30 - 9:30
30 - Group 7:30 - 9:30

Jen on maternity leave - Leader TBD

Jen on maternity leave - Leader TBD

Jen on maternity leave - Leader TBD

Jen on maternity leave - Leader TBD

Jen on maternity leave - Leader TBD

7 - Jen Return from maternity leave

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Writer's Prayer

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.
Psalm 20:1-5 (NIV)

May the Lord give you those missing words when you are searching for just the right sentence. May he send you help and support from those who are on the road with you, reminding you that you are not alone. May he remember all those late nights/early mornings spent seeking him, while you furiously scribble/type to get that idea down before it escapes. May he accept your rough draft and give you wisdom about how to make changes. May he give you the desire to be published, change a life, change your mind, or just complete your project, and make those plans succeed. Scribe's Alley will shout for joy when you are victorious in completing a project, submitting something, getting something published, or accomplishing your goals. We will lift up our banners of praise in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests as you walk boldly before the throne of God thanks to the blood of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

To Edit or Not to Edit

Here's something lighthearted to remind us that editing is necessary, even for the greatest writers.

Be aware there's some questionable language in this video.

(Credits to 22 Words for finding this video.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is it Magic?

Quote: The only way to learn to write is to write. -Peggy Teeters
The following was taken from The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass:

"A masterpiece novel may be singularly inspired, and it certainly can be a once-in-a-career event. But even so, it is not magic. It may feel that way to the author. He may hype its close-to-my-heart genesis and confess in The Writer on NPR that the manuscript wrote itself.

It disappoints me when authors perpetuate the myth that writing is magic. Some allow it to be so. It's a a shame that those writers fail to understand their own process. What's wrong with that? What's wrong is simply that magic is unpredictable. A method that's mysterious cannot be repeated.

I believe that passion is available to every author, every time she sits down to write. Every novel can be inspired. Every scene can have a white-hot center. it is not a matter of conjuring demons, being obsessed, or just plain luck. The passion that inspires great fiction can be a writing technique as handy and easy to use as those with which all fiction writers are familiar. Passion can be a practical tool."

Monday, May 11, 2009

An Outpouring

You have to learn to pace yourself
You're just like everybody else
You've only had to run so far
So good
But you will come to a place
Where the only thing you feel
Are loaded guns in your face
And you'll have to deal with
-- Billy Joel
So, here we are. Writers. We have a pull on our hearts to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and craft a tale of truth or fiction out of our imaginations. There are words to be used that no one else can write, and yet time and time again we stare at the clean and white, not knowing even how to start. And when we do staple the letters down to the page, we always seem to get them in the wrong order.

How heavy of a weight when we cannot seem to do the thing we must do. Heavier still is it if we feel the weight of God's calling on our writing. We need to use our words to glorify Almighty God, to show Him to the fallen world! How will we ever live up to that?

And then a fellow writer reminds me of the true perspective:
He doesn’t call me on this adventure called life so that I can, with my deep pools of awesomeness, release some sort of handcuffs He’s wearing. He calls me on this adventure because He knows I love adventures and He enjoys seeing me do things I love.
Maybe he's right and God really is saying:
"Let me be clear. I am God. I am complete. I do not need your additions. I want your work to be an overflow of love. I want to pour so much love and strength and truth into you that you cannot help but do things. Add to the world. Add to the people around you. Overflow on them what I give to you. Not because I need you to do something but because you can’t help but go out and share the love I am overflowing in you."
If that is true (and I'm starting to believe it is), we are not burdened by the call to write, but are blessed with the opportunity to write. We don't have to write; we get to write. Let's celebrate and pen some words overflowing from His love.

Fun New Site

I was cleaning out my inbox this morning when I found an e-mail from Courtney from forever ago. She sent me this link: which is now located in the left margin under "Check These Out". It contains freelance writing opportunities, exercises, writing tips, interviews, and more. I hope it helps to light the path on your writing journey.

If you read anything inspiring, or have a breakthrough, please let us know. Let's build each other up by sharing our encouraging news.

Friday, May 8, 2009

New Blog

Please note the new blog posted under "Must Reads" in the left margin. Resting on the Alter chronicals the adventures of Jimmy Ballanger, a long time member of Scribe's Alley. Enjoy!

Practice What You Preach

For this is what the high and lofty One says he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite." Isaiah 57:15 (NIV)

The following was taken from The Writer's Block by Jason Rekulak:

Take a common cliché and write as though it were a literal truth. Describe a character who is "fat as a cow" or "skinny as a rail." Invent a fashion model who becomes "green with envy," or a cardiologist whose "heart swells with pride." Suspend left-brain impulses toward logic and common sense.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Your Right to Trite

You may be filled with fright
That you will pen something trite
Or release a full-blown blight
When first you start to write.

Believe I know your plight
For I have fought the fight
Of dreading endless spite
For things I strive to write.

Let me be your shining knight
And get your heart to just take flight;
Producing junk is just alright
When you first begin to write.

For when finished you may right,
Edit away with all your might.
Then your work will be a'ight
And be proud of what you write.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Food for Thought

Quote: If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster. -Issac Asimov

The following was taken from The Writer's Block by Jason Rekulak:

Clichés are a common pitfall for many beginning writers, and the easiest way to avoid them is to read and read and read - as much as you can, fiction and biography and journalism and anything else you can get your hands on. By processing thousands of pages through your subconscious, you'll develop a "cliché radar" that will zero in on phrases like "heart of gold" and "light as a feather" (Etymologists take note: the word cliché dates back to eighteenth century France and early newspaper publications; typesetters wold keep commonly used phrases and expressions on easy-access blocks called clichés.)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Letters from an Editor

I came across this interview with a successful literary agent, and thought it was worth sharing. Here's one thing that jumped out to me:
For thirty years I have observed fiction careers. I’ve seen them succeed and fail. The more I see, the more I feel that novelists fall into two broad categories: those whose desire is to be published, and those whose passion is to spin stories. I think of these as status seekers and storytellers.

You can’t tell the difference right away, but over the course of a career it always emerges. Status seekers focus on self-promotion and obsess about the industry. Storytellers ignore that stuff and focus on improving their novels. Guess who succeeds and who fails?
He also has a new book out called "The Fire in Fiction". It's been added to my wish list, though I've got WAY too many books to order this quite yet.