Guest post by Gemma Whelan
Gemma Whelan reads from her new book, Fiona: Stolen Child, on Sunday, October 10, at 2pm on the Oregon Education Association Stage. She also appears at 1pm for the panel discussion “First Book, First Person” on the Wieden + Kennedy Stage.
Until recently, when I met new people and they asked me what my profession was, I said that I was a theater director and educator. Friends who have known me for over 20 years, many working alongside me as actors, designers, playwrights, and stage managers, were gobsmacked when they found out I had a novel coming out. They didn’t know I was writing.
The first serious writing I did was when I embarked on my PhD dissertation at UC Berkeley. I had already passed my written and oral exams for the PhD, and done a huge amount of research on my topic, The Image of Ireland in American Drama. My dissertation advisor had a very clear picture in HIS mind of what my “book” should look like, and assumed from the beginning that it would be published. Determined to keep me working, he made me sit in his office and write while he hovered over me. The day he tried to browbeat me into picking up a sharp letter-opener and acting out a portion of the section I was writing was the day I decided to drop out of the program. I knew I wanted to pursue directing rather than academia, so I collected my MA and Candidate in Philosophy in Dramatic Arts and carved out a career as a director and an educator.
Guest post by Lauren Kessler
At Wordstock 2010, Lauren Kessler reads from her book, My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, A Daughter, A Journey through the Thicket of Adolescence, on Sunday, October 10 at 2pm on the Columbia Sportswear Stage; she also appears at 4pm on the McMenamins Stage for the Brave New World panel discussion.
In my new book, My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, A Daughter, A Journey through the Thicket of Adolescence, I took on that challenge by embedding myself in my about-to-be-teen daughter’s life. It was an 18-month immersion experience (and, I probably need not add, a wild, wild ride) that took me from middle school classrooms to the mall, from practice fields to summer camp to online chat groups as I observed, chronicled—and sometimes participated in—the vibrant and scary world of a 21st-century teen. I wanted (I needed) to understand who my changeling daughter was as she moved from (as a People magazine review put it) “sweetheart to snark-mouth.”
BOOK REVIEW: ‘Breakthrough’
By Thea Cooper and Arthur Ainsberg The word miracle is one of the most overused in our language and so often engenders a skeptical reaction. …
Nabob of Negativism
New York Times
By BILL SCHEFT The book jacket of “Half Empty,” David Rakoff’s third essay collection, contains not only the warning “No Inspirational Life Lessons Will Be …
Guest post by: Diane Hammond
Author of Seeing Stars, Diane Hammond appears at the Wordstock Festival on Saturday, October 9 at 11am on the Wordstock Stage.
Seeing Stars, the story of four child and teen actors seeking fame in Hollywood, was inspired by the two years my own family spent in Hollywood supporting our teenage daughter as she pursued a professional acting career. While Stars is not autobiographical, I certainly relied heavily on the things I saw, heard and discovered while we were there. And while upon returning to Oregon we had few regrets besides leaving good friends behind, I will always be grateful for the amazing, exhilarating, alarming and transformative experience those years proved to be for all three of us.
Guest post by: Glenn Rockowitz
Author of Rodeo in Joliet, Glenn Rockowitz appears at the Wordstock Festival on Saturday, October 9 at noon on the Wieden+Kennedy Stage and again on Sunday, October 10 at 11am on the OEA Stage.
That’s probably the best word to describe the lion’s share of my adult life.
Actually the word fucked is probably more appropriate.
Here’s the nutshell of the last 10 years of my life:
When I was 28 years old, my wife eight and a half months pregnant with our only child, I was diagnosed with a very aggressive, late-stage cancer and given three months to live.